Own My Growth

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Discipline Is Happiness

Discipline

It was 5.30 pm on a Saturday, and I was done with most of my planned activities, except for some reading work and writing my Blog.

My son suggested that we watch an episode of a recently released crime thriller television series on Netflix. 

I said, “why not? I have completed most of my planned activities, and I just have some reading work to complete and my Blog to write. After watching one episode, I will complete my unfinished tasks.”

What started as a plan to watch one episode ended up being a binge session of close to 6 hours, where we knocked off the entire season 1 of eight episodes.

I had to give up on my reading plans and get straight to writing my Blog, well past midnight. I eventually posted my Blog around 2.30 am feeling relieved and happy. Despite the binge-watching, I still managed to muster enough discipline to publish my daily Blog.

As I did my Reflections before sleeping, I had a deep sense of guilt. I had a plan to watch one episode. I ended up watching eight episodes.

If my goal were to watch eight episodes, it would have been ok because it would have been my conscious choice. 

But, my plan was to watch just one episode, and I ended up watching eight just because I was unable to control my instincts.

I forgave myself for the indiscretion and reminded myself that I had more work to do to control my distractions. At the same time, I also felt happy and grateful that I could muster the discipline to publish my Blog when I could have just gone to sleep.  

As I went through this contemplation, I had an insightful realization.

Discipline Is Happiness

I have never felt dissatisfied or unhappy after doing something that required discipline. E.g., Going for an exhausting and tiring morning run or spending 3 hours past midnight to complete my Blog. Doing these actions always fill me with energy and deep satisfaction.

In contrast, I have certainly felt guilty and unhappy whenever I have given up on my self-restraint and discipline. E.g., Binge-watching a TV show when it was not my plan to do so or overindulging in unhealthy but tasty food.

The discomfort and pain of discipline is a source of satisfaction and happiness, while the comfort of indiscipline is a source of dissatisfaction and unhappiness.

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