23 April, 2014


PSA: This post is stupid.

The title is boring. I know. But this methodology is something that inspires me – even if only for a few hours a day – and I thought I'd share it with my few readers.

As I’ve mentioned numerous times before, I have various projects in mind for the summer – losing weight, learning Danish, writing fifteen chapters of An Anarchy of Dreams – but sadly, I’ve not done very well on any of them. No success. I haven’t exactly tried, granted, but wouldn’t everybody love to come out of a certain mission feeling victorious?

Unfortunately, the preamble to success is a vicious, draining and yet highly-rewarding cycle. For success, you need persistence; for persistence, you need discipline, and for discipline, you need effort.

Effort. Putting in effort is what matters.

Let us assume that you, the reader, are trying to drop a few pounds. Let’s start with Step One of the cycle: effort. You’ve finished the first day of your workout – abs, strength training, cardio, the works. But Day Two is what matters the most – day two is when you’ll need to put in extra effort, because you already know how hard Day One was on you.

This is where discipline comes in. Your thoughts are a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you keep telling yourself that you won’t be able to lose that butt-chin, that is ultimately what will happen. Hardwire yourself into discipline. Tell your self not that you can do it, but that you will. Willpower is as strong a factor of success as discipline is, and is also the root of discipline. Tell yourself that you will act methodologically and that you will eat a bowl of vegetables a day, that you will not skip the last ten push-ups, that you will wake up at six in the morning everyday to go for a run.

Now that I think I’ve used the word “discipline” too much, let’s move on to persistence. With discipline comes persistence. You don’t even have to think about persistence, it becomes a force of habit once you’ve disciplined yourself. You will learn to do things regularly without having to persuade your unmotivated mind – because you will no longer have an unmotivated mind. Discipline makes you look at the top of the mountain and how it will feel to be there – not how long it will take to get there.

After you’ve mastered discipline and persistence has become a routine, you need to remind yourself that results do not come overnight. It takes time. You can’t write a novel overnight, you can’t master the Danish language in three hours, and you can’t lose ten kilograms in a week.

Take your time, but do not ever skip out on your disciple/persistence routine. Make it a necessary part of your life – like brushing your teeth or taking a bath.

Time heals everything. Give it time, and you will ultimately look down upon the world from the top of your very own mountain.

I’ve found that a great way to maintain discipline is to go public with your routine. Make a blog, Tweet your progress or talk to your friends and family about it – everyday. For example, I have a Tumblr maintained exclusively for my weight loss routine. Check it out! It’s called Phil Anselmo’s Shaved Head.

1 comment:

  1. You can't write a novel overnight... heh. Well of course not - a novel takes at least 3 days to write, if you believe the good folks at 3 Day Novel.

    It also helps to set a schedule, I've found. Checklists do too, depending on the tasks.