Having discipline: do not contradict ourselves

What is (self) discipline?

“Having discipline means doing what we think, without acting on the basis of how we feel”.

Note – This article has been asked by one of our Core Course practitioners on Patreon (see how to attend our home study classes here Learn Kung Fu online: a beginner-to-expert course).

In martial arts as well as in any aspect of life, the first thing we need to develop is self-discipline:

  • Once acquired this skill, all the remaining road is downhill
  • Without it, we will never start to achieve concrete and tangible results

Do not contradict ourselves

If we think about it for a moment, nothing is more silly of going in contradiction with ourselves.

Once an idea has been subjected to the test of our reason, it’s completely absurd to overshadow our decision on the basis of things like:

  • Momentary weaknesses
  • Collateral desires
  • Eventual distractions
  • Leak of concentration
  • Fear of failing
  • Superficial opinions

How to remain faithful to the decisions we have made

In any project / decision of our lives, we must identify:

  1. A time for planning (preparation) – We need to evaluate and think about how, what, where, why, when and especially if we have to pursue our intent; a working plan design must have a precise beginning, duration and end (the projects that have no precise development times are called dreams and they do not interest us)
  2. A processing moment (discipline) – We will never reach perfection (it does not exist at all), when we have decided and defined a solid project, the time for doubts must end; we have only one option, start to work and do not rest until the result is achieved
  3. A phase of correction / adaptation (concentration) – The fact of having started working means that nothing can stop us but not that we can not adjust the aim of our goal; the important thing is that our choices must not be influenced by weak factors, similar to those mentioned above

Love the errors

No project worthy of the name proceeds smoothly from start to finish. It is completely normal:

  • To face errors and misunderstanding
  • To find things that (apparently) seem more profitable and easy to reach
  • To suffer fatigue and frustration
  • To (apparently) see that the others are obtaining more with less
  • To be advised to change direction

We all have the same feelings, concerns and temptations but nothing of these must distract us from our decision (read One man: one word) because, otherwise, we will find ourselves each time:

  • With the obligation to start over
  • With nothing in our hands
  • Each time less motivated
  • Having wasted time and energy unnecessarily

The road will not be straight

The only things that legitimately will be able to divert our route are:

  • The inevitable mistakes we will face (read Measure ourselves with errors)
  • The advice resulting from the dialogue with people who have already achieved the results we are aiming at

A note by Master Kongling – Let’s be clear: we do not have to obey others, we must carefully reflect on what they bring to our attention but only to make a criticism to ourselves (in a constructive way). If our intention is good and does no harm to anyone, in no circumstances, weakness must be able to stop or force us to turn back.

In the next article of this series, we will see some practical methods to start building our self-discipline.

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Author: Master Kongling

Founder of 6 Dragons Kung Fu.

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