I Wish Discipline Was My Friend

Spring is fast approaching in Australia, and after weeks of putting it off, I finally got around to cleaning out the bulging shelves of my book collection. Eager to sort out what needed to be tossed and what needed to be passed on, I cleverly decided on three piles; one for keeps, one for giveaways and the other a sort of ’in limbo’ pile that required further consideration, (you know, the box that ends up in the garage awaiting the next yard sale). As I began moving through each shelf I noticed that a fare whack of books still had bookmarks sticking up out of them. I was surprised to see so many books I’d been so keen to read had wound up half-read, shelved, and forgotten. A few times I thought, “Wait a minute, I’m sure I finished that one,” but alas more and more unfinished tomes started to appear. Now growing by the minute, the newly formed ‘unfinished’ pile started looking more like a year’s homework than the spoils of an afternoon of Spring-cleaning. Not that I’m the most undisciplined person when it comes to reading, I was just amazed to realize how quickly my enthusiasm to read a book could wane. Somewhere between saying and doing, the sustaining energy had vanished.

My moment of introspection stirred up recollections of other desires and projects prematurely shelved and I think I actually cringed! Might I have a discipline problem? I remember the words of my mentor, Paul, as he frequently reminded me that there were no short cuts to enlightenment and that only through unbending intent could one reach self-actualization. If there was any greater truth to place ones life upon, I believe this to be it!

A question…why do you think you incarnated here? Ummmm…to master the art of indulging in food, material possessions, drugs, money, stress, gossip, worry, procrastination, work, and bullshitting to yourself? You see most of us have already spent lifetimes mastering the path of least resistance and if this statement produces a nod of agreement, then you have too! But it’s time for a change.

So, where do we start? First we must realize that our most precious desires deserve the chance to come to fruition. To stretch beyond simply “wishing and hoping” to be more relaxed, to be fit and healthy, to have loving relationships, to be financially abundant, or become self-actualized, a greater level of attention is needed. Humanity has reached a point where practice is over and, in all honesty, our future literally depends upon this collective demonstration of what we are made of. If you haven’t already felt this urgency watch tomorrow’s news! Let us not wait for another ‘9/11’, an illness, accident, or natural disaster to jolt us free from our mundane concerns. Now more than ever it is time to stand up and be counted. In other words, we must act as if there was no tomorrow in the pursuit of our dreams and wishes.

You create your own reality and there are no excuses as to what gets mirrored back to you. Becoming the person you want our world to be starts today by allowing discipline to carry your desire through to the end. If you would like more friends, become a better friend and reach out to other people. If want to feel more love then give more love. If you desire greater health, stop indulging in activities that undermine this. There is no more next week, there is only now. And, no matter how many excuses you find to manoeuvre around this, consciousness is always watching!

Action plan:

  • Stop lying to yourself today.
  • Stop feeling sorry for yourself yesterday.
  • There are no excuses.
  • Set realistic goals and stick to them as though your life depended on it-and it does!
  • See the consequences of your inaction.
  • See how you sabotage yourself and stop it!
  • Be willing to ask for help, and receive it gracefully.
  • Be Humble, you have nothing to hide.

As for me, I have re-examined my book piles and exercised discipline through discernment, in choosing which books to pursue, and which to pass on. No more time spent ‘in limbo’ for me.
Christopher Temple Lipscomb, 2003

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