Shortcuts Don’t Work – It Takes Persistence and Discipline
My morning Yoga class focused on preparing for the Hanumanasana or Monkey pose. (I follow this YogaToday.com website which has some great online resources regardless of your level of Yoga expertise.) The pose mimics the monkey warrior Hanumana’s leap from the southern tip of India to Sri Lanka from India’s legendary epic Ramayana. Take a look at the picture of the pose to appreciate that it’s a full leg split with arms reaching for the sky. I can’t get to that full split myself – but I did learn something about discipline and freedom from the stories shared by the instructor.
You see the instructor kept repeating how discipline leads to freedom. Hanuman was known for his selflessness, but without the discipline, he wouldn’t have been as successful in his selflessness. The same obviously holds true for someone trying to get their crotch down to the ground in that pose.
Attaining any goal that’s worth achieving in life requires persistence and discipline. Just like with Yoga, you can’t do much of anything worthwhile without persistence and discipline. This wouldn’t be such a bold statement except that it crashes head on with today’s American fast-food mentality.
I see my daughter and her job hunt since leaving college a month back. She put some hard work into getting her Communications degree, yet now has had to settle for an admin position at a small retail fabric store. She’s grateful for the job, but now has to add more discipline to her life. In order to continue her job hunt and land herself a spot in nonprofit development world where she wants to be, she has to organize herself. She has to have the discipline to fit her job search in around her work week.
Those of us who’ve been out of work know that looking for work is a fulltime job. It’s not something you can do well casually a few hours or so a week. Like any smart aspiring career changer, she filled in for someone on the weekend which freed up her Friday to go to an interview. She’s finagled her morning routines so she can fit phone screens in before she starts work around 9:30 or 10.
The thing we have to understand is that discipline does lead to more freedom – more choices. To take it to the very basics, going to college gives you more choices “longer term” than going to work right out of high school. Staying in school longer for graduate school, and that takes persistence discipline for most of us, gives us more options when we do enter the job force. Increasing the breadth of skill sets as I have done expanding myself from pure software engineering to operations and marketing gives us access to more opportunities we may not have had otherwise.
It seems that discipline and freedom are two forces in a tug-of-war with each other, but that’s the wrong picture. What you really have is freedom tugging away at the rope and discipline jumping onto the same side of the rope to give freedom a boost in power.
Don’t underestimate how important it is to have personal discipline in order to gain the freedom I think we all what to have.
Hope this help!