This is not a self-help blog, but is also kinda is. That is why I am comfortable with writing about this topic. Partly for my own edification, but also partly to
spread the news. I have heard references to a number of new movements toward self-discipline and resistance to self gratification recently. I cannot tell you what any of these movements are entitled, but whatever they are, I would like to join. I am learning that self-discipline is something that I severely lack at this time in my life, and it is something that I greatly need to improve in. It is likely for this reason that there has been such a large gap between this post and my last post. As life begins to take on the characteristics of a river running through a repetitive landscape-same job, same home, same hobbies-one can lose sight of the diversity that life has to offer. What is more, self-discipline seems less important when the essentials are completed, and change is far away on the river. But this is how to waste a life. I do not mean wasting a life in a valuative sense. Value is inherently subjective, and the value of your own life can only be determined by others: this is why it does not need to matter to us. I mean wasted as in a life without fulfilment. Shockingly, fulfilment comes not through self-gratification, but through its complete reverse: self-discipline.
Television is a terrible thing when it pulls us away from activities that are so much more worthwhile (which is most of the time). I will be the first to say that everyone needs some downtime; time where they are being completely non-constructive. Yet, there must be limits on this-and the limits must be set much more potently than they often are in our modern world. I was not reading. At all. I love reading, and I always have-it is one of my greatest passions, yet I was simply not doing it. It took a week’s vacation in a place without television to break me out of my television-induced daze and return me to the wonderful world of books. This revelation of my lethargic state also shocked me into a renewed concentration on self-discipline when it comes to eating. So, what have these two areas of self-discipline brought me? More time, more energy, a renewed love in learning and discovering new things, and a renewed love in cooking beautiful and delicious meals. What is the downside?
Self-discipline is the central tenant of Christianity and many other religions. This is one of the many reasons why I cannot fathom those individuals who seek to eradicate the presence of religious beliefs. Self-discipline is what leads to growth, discovery, and progress. Anything that furthers this cause should be accepted and protected, not persecuted and ridiculed. Try it out, you may find that you surprise yourself with your own abilities!