The Principles of Kingship: Lesson Two, Discipline

self-dis·ci·pline

noun

  1. the ability to control one's feelings and overcome one's weaknesses; the ability to pursue what one thinks is right despite temptations to abandon it.

The Achilles heel of everyone near and far. The thing that separates the doers from the wishers.  The biggest, and second most important trait of kingship. Ladies, Gentlemen, kids of all ages I give you, “the Art of Self-Discipline.”

It seems like everywhere you go you can find self-help books and instructional guides on how to become more self-disciplined. If you’re into the self-improvement game like I am, you literally see it everywhere. While I consider it to be number two in the list of Kingly attributes, it is easily number one in all other aspects of personal life. Self-discipline allows us to do everything we need to do to better ourselves. It is the key to the lock that guards the good life. Getting by without self-discipline is possible, but you will never be anything more than a mediocre sheeple walking through life talking about all the stuff you would do if only you could get your next big break. Now, don’t misunderstand me. There is nothing wrong with being just a normal every day Joe if that is all you want out of life. However, I see many of you that hunger for greatness. I see it in people’s eyes as I walk down the street. I feel it coming off of people in waves of frustration as they talk to me about where they want their life to go. Most tragically, I see it in the regret of older people who didn’t take their chance. They stopped short, afraid to take the plunge, to put in the work, and to fail over and over again until they succeeded. In short, if being successful is your goal, then this is a big deal. A REALLY big deal.

Well, if it’s so big and there are so many tools and books out there to help us why do so many people struggle with it? I’m glad you asked random internet friend. I’m going to tell you to the best of my ability. Usually in my experience it boils down to one or two factors. Either we are just plain lazy, or there is a fear of failure that we may or may not recognize. Both of these are rather large obstacles, however fortunately there are two fairly simple ways to solve both of them. (Note I said simple, not easy.)

Let’s start with fear. Being afraid of failure is a natural process of the ego. The ego doesn’t want us to look stupid, and in fact will go a very long way to keep us from that end. It whispers lies that if we fail it will impact our friends, our social standing, and our relationships. It tells us that a life of mediocrity is much better than a life of failure. It tells us that if we fail there’s no going back, that somehow that boring job we hate won’t be there or there won’t be a million more like it. If we fail, we will be no better than that hobo on the street corner or worse, we’ll become that hobo. Or, this might be the only shot we get at this, better make sure we do it right, we must plan for tomorrow. Today is too soon the moment isn’t right. Etc. etc. etc. Gentlemen, allow me to dispel these myths. The moment will never be right. You will fail sometimes, and that’s ok. Your friendships, will be tested. Real friends will stay; the others are not people you need in your life. Ditto for the relationships. No one is going to give a rat’s rear about your social standing. You know why? Because everyone else is too busy listening to their own ego telling them not to make a misstep. Quite frankly, unless you’re a member of royalty or a political figure, your “Social standing” doesn’t mean much in the grand scheme of things. Falling from it won’t harm you nearly as much as you think it will. Furthermore, in my experience taking that big risk will usually enhance your standing. You will gain respect and admiration once you have succeeded in your goal. Kill your ego, it does nothing to help you. I don’t want to talk to that girl because she might reject me, I don’t want to start that business because I might fail, I don’t want to attempt to lift weights because I’m new and I might get made fun of. Let me tell you what you just did, you ruined an opportunity to have the happiest relationship of your life with a wonderful woman that you could have taken home to meet your parents. You gave up on a business model that would have made you a multi-millionaire and allowed you to retire in your thirties, you stopped yourself from having an awesome figure that attracts respect and allows you to live life your way with no restrictions. All this you lost, because you didn’t want to “look stupid.” The saddest thing of all is that you probably lost all those things already, and you will never know it because you didn’t have the intestinal fortitude to try. I am being brutally honest here, you are your own worst enemy. And the longer you allow your ego to run the show, the more opportunities you will miss and you will have lived a life that was so wasted you were completely oblivious to how far it could have gone. Kill your ego.

Now onto laziness. Now to be completely fair here it isn’t entirely our fault that we are as lost as we are. We live in a society that turns our free time into a commodity to be bought and sold. Theme parks, television, internet surfing, click bait. The list goes on and on. We have more distractions to deal with in our day to day lives than any of our forefathers. Our great grandfathers didn’t have the internet or TV in some cases to keep him from getting what he needed to done. Because of that he got a lot more accomplished in his life time. Humans hate being bored. We crave something that will excite and titillate. If we lack distractions, we turn to work as a type of necessity. However, we cannot use this to be the reason we never get anything done. Excuses will get you nowhere but we do need to be aware of the possible pitfalls that we might face. Allow me to use myself as an example.  I like to write, blog, and podcast. I enjoy reaching out to people on the Web and I truly love the medium that the internet presents. It gives me the opportunity to speak to a larger group of people all over the world than I could have even imagined possible a mere decade ago. The challenges here, are pretty obvious. Facebook, YouTube, and blog sites; all these things that could and do distract me from writing and speaking. It only takes a moment and I’m gone into hours of clickbait and mindless surfing. It’s simply too easy to spend time doing nothing productive. For you, it might be something different. But the outcome is the same, fortunately I have discovered a solution.

Create a Golden Time

     I chose an hour. You may choose whatever time frame you want or need. However, make sure it is a significant amount of time and it gives you enough working minutes to accomplish whatever you need to achieve. Pick an amount (30 minutes to an hour works well I have found.) Spend that time focusing on your goals and only on your goals. What they are doesn’t matter, what matters is that you are putting concentrated effort into achieving them for that time frame. Do nothing else, while you work. This is your golden time; it is the time you must take every day to work on yourselves. If you wish to become better at finance, then study trading stocks for an hour, if you want to learn a language, do that, or if you want to set up a business, do that. What you choose doesn’t matter, what matters is that you chose to do something. Taking this time every day translates out to 3 and a half to 7 hours a week working on you, and you will be shocked just how much progress you make when you cut out the distractions for that period of time and work on improvement.

Gentlemen, Get off your ass. Start your business, learn that language, trade those stocks, or lift those weights. Enough mediocrity, I think we’ve all experienced enough of that to last us several lifetimes. No more excuses.

 

~ The Jackrabbit

The Jackrabbit has also just started a podcast for men’s self-development and betterment. If you’re interested check it out at 248network.com the podcast is Clog the Cog Radio