October 1, 2015

Self Discipline

Discipline is a topic that appears to be misunderstood by many.  Obviously, this is a part of the BDSM world since discipline is part of the acronym we use on a daily basis.  Nevertheless, many people seem to think that discipline is something that only comes in the form of punishment or harness.  Sadly, this is missing most of what that word means.

The Key To Success

Have you ever considered what it takes to truly be successful?  If you study the personal development field, you will come across tens, if not hundreds, of key ideas that are the basis for success.  Unfortunately, with so many conflicting ideas to choose from, one could become lost.  Personally, this is why I believe so many suffer when embarking upon this realm.

Many claim that proper goal setting is the key.  Still others talk about motivation.  Another facet focus upon the idea of a well thought out plan.  Some promote the idea of courage.  Visualization is another component that many believe to be the link to high achievement.  Faith and belief are also touted as the magical elixirs which lead to getting all you want.  In short, I could go on for the next hour listing things that are all parts of success.

In my experience, while all these characteristics are crucial, the one overriding element for success is discipline.  Without discipline, all the other attributes are meaningless.  Ultimately, action is required in any area before success can occur.  We must DO something if we expect to get results (of course, NOT doing something also gets us results, just not what we desire).  Oftentimes, this action is not something that we desire.  In fact, quite often it is painful to do certain things which lead to success.  However, if you want the results, you must take the action.  Having the proper amount of discipline in your life is what enables you to do what is required to achieve the results you seek.

The Inner Game

Most of my regular readers know that I feel that BDSM is a journey within.  This belief stems from the fact that all of life starts with us.  It is through our minds that we perceive the world which we live in.  Everything we encounter is a result of what goes on between our ears.  If one wants to alter his or her present state, delving within is necessary.

BDSM is considered an "alternative" lifestyle.  Why is this?  The answer is fairly simple.  BDSM is different from what we are conditioned to believe is "normal".  The masses (or powers that be) decided what is considered proper and the path to follow and spent years pounding that into our heads.  It was nothing more than a propaganda machine meant to control our minds.  For those who entered and stayed in the BDSM world, obviously breaking away from this mindset was critical.  It was through the questioning of what was "normal" and the lack of fulfillment that resulted which led to our search.  Again, I want to point out that this search started within oneself.  It is only through the questioning that one determines that the belief system instilled in the mind does not work for oneself.  Thus. we start to follow another path in the quest for fulfillment.

Discipline is also an inner game.  This is something that seems to elude many people.  As I mentioned in the beginning of this post, too many believe that "discipline" is something that comes from outside ourselves.  The common view is that a Master is to discipline his slave or that one is disciplined when she is wrong.  In other words, discipline means punishment.  It is an external influence meant to deter certain behaviors.  When looking at the "carrot or the stick" scenario, this is the stick.  However, getting back to our success experts, external discipline is not the most effective.  The truly effective form of discipline comes from oneself.  Hence, self discipline is what we all need to focus upon.

The Ability To Act

It is not uncommon to read a profile stating "I am looking for a Master to give me the discipline I need in my life".  My question is why do you need a Master to instill this in your life and will this really make a difference?  So many believe that having someone else who is calling the shots is some kind of magical elixir for accomplishment.  While having that accountability is certainly helpful, it is not the end all and be all.  The problem with this concept is what happens when that individual is not around?  Or even more importantly, what are you doing today since that person is not yet in your life?  The obvious answer is nothing since this individual believes discipline is an external event.  She simply lacks the internal discipline to act herself.

Our military personnel are considered some of the strongest people around.  They endure tremendous obstacles upon their entry into the military.  The entire structure is one of discipline.  Certainly, when one is a green recruit, all discipline comes from an external source (usually a drill sergeant).  However, over time, the system is established where the discipline moves from external to internal.  It is not uncommon for one to make his or her bed, in a military fashion, years after leaving the service.  The discipline was such that it became a habit.  No external influence was needed.

We see the same thing happen with those who are fit.  If your body is not the way you want it and you are carrying a few extra pounds, the reason is fairly simple in most instances.  You either take in too many calories by eating the wrong foods or do not exercise to burn enough calories (or some combination of the two).  Therefore, if you are in this situation, it is because you lack the discipline to eat what you should while working out in a proper way.  It really comes down to that.  A person, on the other hand, who has a nice body, maintains an effective diet while getting the necessary exercise.  He or she takes the action on a regular basis to complete the activities which attain the desired result.

This idea is not relegated to only exercise and weight loss.  Take any area of life.  People who are slobs lack the discipline to pick up after him or herself.  Of course, when we are younger, we have mom after us about that.  But what about when we move out?  Do we have the discipline to put the plates in the sink and pick up the bath towel off the floor?  If your place is a mess, then you do not have this discipline.

In closing, I will mention that all of us fall short in the area of self discipline at times.  There are areas which all of us tend to overlook (read get lazy about).  Nobody is perfect in this regard.  However, some focus their attention on this more than others.  One observation I made over the years is that in the BDSM world, it seems that many feel that this idea only pertains to those who are submissive.  For whatever reason, the dominants feel they are exempt from all that they require those under their care (control).  This is absolute garbage.  The "do as I say, not as I do" philosophy is worthless.  A dominant is suppose to be a leader within the relationship.  This means that he is tasked with setting a good example.  Again, he will not be perfect.  However, being lazy and simply barking out orders is not domination.  If one cannot control oneself, how in the world does he expect to control someone else?  In my mind, this is an impossibility.  Domination starts with oneself and self discipline is a central requirement for success. 


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