I’m going to let you in on a secret about me: I hate discipline! Not only do I hate it myself, I can’t even fathom why and how someone could like it at all. I mean, I understand that there is a lot of good stuff produced by exercising maturity and having the discipline to do what you don’t want to do in the present so that you get to have what you want to have in the future. I have personally experienced the joy of having accomplished a few things in my life that would not have been possible if I just did what I felt like at the time, but that doesn’t mean I like discipline. It just means that I like what discipline produces.
Anyone with the slightest amount of objectivity would agree that we look at ourselves, other people, our circumstances, and everything else around us through filters that we have consciously or subconsciously constructed. We simply see what we look at and find what we look for, and take what we see as “the truth” for granted while rejecting every other perspective as wrong, no matter how much evidence there is to support them. But knowing this makes no difference when we feel strongly about our worldview. When we are right, we are right and that’s that! We make up our mind which politician we are going to support or which department we are going to give our allegiance to, come hell or high water, and we end up doing everything we can to point to the speck in “those other people’s” eye while ignoring the plank in our own. We all have the tendency to act as if a foolish consistency is some kind of virtue, rather than “the hobgoblin of small minds,” as Emerson put it.
If you have ever experienced a job loss or have been looking for a new job or career for a while, all to no avail, you know how disheartening and frightening that uncertainty can be. In today’s post, I’d like to offer up a few reminders and suggestions on the mindsets and actions to consider, not only to survive such a setback, but to use it as a springboard to thrive and shift the trajectory of your career.
America once again celebrated its independence this week, so I decided to base this week’s post on the same topic. Just as a sovereign nation becoming independent of foreign rule is something to be celebrated, each of us individually must also strive for and indeed celebrate our independence. Although we all sooner or later find ourselves declaring our independence from those who raised us, as we develop the ability to care for ourselves, our success and fulfillment in life is often hindered because we remain dependent on hidden factors that rob us of our right to exercise “the last of the human freedoms” as Victor Frankl put it. This freedom, he said, was “to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way” no matter what was happening.
Over the years, I have consistently heard testimonies about how the concepts I teach are just as effective for improving various aspects of one’s personal life as they are in helping one achieve success and fulfillment at work. I absolutely love to hear these stories of triumph over the past and I’m sure my readers get a boost of energy and motivation from them just as I do. In this post, I’d like to share one of my own victory stories, having to do with physical fitness, which has been an area that I have personally struggled with for as long as I can remember. I’m sharing this not to push a certain diet or exercise routine, but rather to energize and mobilize you to pursue whatever path suits you best when it comes to restoring or maintaining your fitness. And I’m sharing this with you because, if I can claim such a victory after what seems like a lifetime of struggling, there’s nothing to stop you from doing the same by pursuing your goal with intentionality and rigor. Remember that it is not knowing what to do, but doing what you know, that makes all the difference I the end.