November 23, 2010

Self Discipline II

Here is the previous article in this series. I suggest you read this one first before proceeding.

In the last post, I mentioned that self discipline is the ability to get yourself to take action. No matter what type of relationship we refer to, they all are based upon action. The reasoning is simple: action is what transfers something from the invisible (our minds) to the visible. People can see the results of our actions.

A Learned Science

Self discipline is something that can be learned. The truth is anyone can have self discipline if he or she would only apply oneself. Of course, if one looks at society, he or she will realize why most people are discounted from this discussion. It is a fact that the greatest percentage, by an overwhelming margin lack self discipline. Instead of putting forth the effort to amass this talent, people make up excuses as to why they fail.

An analogy that works well for this topic is the idea of building a muscle. When one starts to work out with weights, the idea is to go slowly while working one's way up. So, on the first day one might do 5 reps at a particular weight. Depending upon how well that worked, one would decide to go for 6 reps the next time or, perhaps, cut back to 4. Regardless, one needs to get to a comfortable starting point from which to build from.

Self discipline is the same way. One needs to find the place from which to build from. Fortunately, most are beginning at ground zero. From that point, progress can be made. The idea is to start small and complete the task. Each day, one can add more and more to the list. Over time, it should be easier to do things.

For example, maybe you decided that losing some weight is on your agenda. What would be the first step? Perhaps you opt to walk each day for 30 minutes. I suggest you write this down on your list of things to do tomorrow (or today if it is early enough in the day). So, now you have a list of one thing to do. Before we retire for the night, I want you to add one more thing to your commitment: put down the time you are going to complete this task. This will add the emphasis of a time commitment also.

Now, guess what you do tomorrow at the assigned time? You complete your walk. This is what self discipline is all about. You complete the tasks that you set out to complete.

Why Do Most Lack Self Discipline?

It is a simple fact that we buy all the excuses that we offer to ourselves. Self discipline is so difficult because we reason with ourselves in a way that is magical. I wish I was as successful at convincing others of the things that go through my mind as I am with myself. I buy 100% of the ideas that flow through there. Thus, to overcome my lack of discipline means I have to ignore the lies I tell myself.

Getting back to the example of exercise. I have many excuses for not getting out there that I used in the past. See if you can identify with these: it is hot/cold out there. I didnt get enough sleep last night. I will start on Monday. My back/shoulder/leg hurts. I am too sore. I dont have enough time.

Do any of them look familiar? If you ever tried to get active with an exercise program and failed, you probably thought at least a few of these. Of course, if you had told them to someone else, you might have received a 'bullshit'. But when we tell these to ourselves, we think 'absolutely'. You can now see how we buy into all the excuses we make.

Self Discipline in Relationships

As I mentioned, all relationships are judged based upon the actions we take. A BDSM relationship is no different. Whether one is a sub/slave or Master/Dom/Mistress, the fact remains that each person has responsibility within the relationship. The other person is expecting certain things from us. Failure to receive those things will ultimately lead to the breakdown of the relationship. Again, just because we are in a power exchange relationship, that does not mean we are exempt from the basic tenets of life.

In the other post I mentioned how a Dom/Master really does not want to 'babysit' a sub/slave. While some will take the approach that some things are forgivable, the basic truth is we all want things done when they are suppose to be done. Failure on the part of a sub/slave will test the fundamental makeup of the power exchange. This gets even more obvious when one moves into TPE commonly found in M/s. It is worthy to remember that the main barometer that a slave is judged upon is obedience. Lacking the self discipline to get things done will lead him/her to be deemed disobedient.

Fortunately, there is hope. The above mentioned insight will assist you in taking action. Trust is a fundamental need for any relationship. However, we always need to remind ourselves this is built by doing what we say we are going to do. Once again, we see a basic relationship trait tied to discipline. Both individuals need to be aware of this idea if they expect things to progress long-term.

One final point. Human seems to be fundamentally lazy. This is part of our condition and one that we need to work to overcome. Concentrating on self discipline is something that can help us with this.

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