DISCIPLINE: We aren’t 5-year-olds anymore, so get a grip!

14 Feb

   It’s amazing what a little self-restraint will get you. Really. And if you know this, you have an advantage over everyone else because (a) Most people DON’T have self-restraint, and (b) Most people don’t know the value of it.
   Restraining impulsivity and making wise, calculated decisions is the most sure fire way of getting what you want. You will ALWAYS have the upper hand advantage if you follow that simple idea.
Things that are important to you should be worth that extra time and effort. You will also appear cool and in control to those around you. And that kind of confident coolness commands respect and adoration. Not only will you make better decisions that will be more beneficial, but your demonstration of self control will give a certain amount of credence and legitimacy to your choices.
   People are all too often satisfied by nothing short of immediate gratification, immediate solutions. This is problematic in several ways, not to mention that you miss out on the sense of accomplishment and ownership when you have worked hard for something. Going with that instinctual pull to satisfy one’s craving immediately leads to impulsive and thoughtless actions and decisions. Most of the time those actions are the exact WRONG thing to do. If they were right, most everyone would have what they want and be perfectly happy. Now you and I both know that isn’t the situation. But it can be YOUR situation if you implement a little discipline. And, the more you do it, the easier it gets. Practice makes perfect you know.
   Sadly enough, most of our impulsive instincts only work against us if followed. That is because these impulses consider only the short term and not long term consequences and effects. Secondly, that immediate and narrow focus on indulging our urges leaves little room to weigh and consider other options. It may seem like a great and very tasty idea to eat the whole cake sitting there in front of us when we’re really hungry. But this decision, in the ‘heat of the moment’ if you will, fails to consider the consequences of that action further down the line. Say a severe stomach ache, or an extra couple of pounds maybe. Of course you may also fail to deliberate on the vast array of other, more healthy alternatives.
   The proclivity toward immediate gratification is simple of course, and we come by it honestly. It’s encoded into our brains, and was the primitive way to ensure that we would seek out the necessities for survival. Our minds and bodies are programmed with a natural response to satisfy our most basic needs. That is, we feel a need of some sort, and are thus compelled to satisfy it. You are hungry, you eat. You are cold, find shelter. You are lonely, find a mate. We all have very basic needs and our gut instinct is to cater to them immediately. Sure, this is what kept us alive as cavemen. However, this day and age, we have a little more control over our environment. There is no longer that need for the immediacy we crave. This applies not only to physical desires such as food and shelter, but emotional needs as well.
   We now have options and need not rely on primitive urges and impulses. Sure we all have them, we all get hungry, cold, lonely etc. But we don’t have to RELY on our natural responses to such desires. We have the luxury of taking a step back, evaluating options, and making an informed, wise decision that will not only benefit us presently, but takes into account future consequences to follow. We are able to balance present needs with our desired outcomes.
   One who can harness the power to recognize a perfectly legitimate instinct (or want) but then also employ a little restraint and recognition of the correct way to go about satisfying it will be that much more in control of themselves as well more pleased by results he or she reaps. Bottom line is that you don’t want something immediate but half-assed and something that will end up not working out anyway. Wait that extra amount of time and get it when its right.
    Don’t sell yourself short by forcing something that requires more time to develop. In many instances, obtaining what we want prematurely ensures long-term failure. Why speed up to a red light?  Don’t take the easiest fastest route to a dead end road. Take time, have discipline, and get what you want the right way and have it last. In other words, don’t try to immediately satisfy your hunger by reaching for that sloppy tasteless burger that’s right in front of you when a luscious filet mignon is only 30 minutes away from steak perfection. Get it? Would it KILL ya to have a little self control and discipline in order to give yourself the best?
   It is a most benefical practice if one can learn to curb that need for immediate gratification, realize that what they want is worth taking the time and getting it the RIGHT way.  We are all guilty of it of course, but that’s no cop-out! Anything that is important to you is worth spending the extra time to get it on the RIGHT terms, on YOUR terms, and thereby making it last.
   This practice of discipline can, of course, be applied across the board. It can apply to a relationship where you are waiting out your significant other for that important phone call. Sure, you could pick up the phone- but it would mean so much more if they were the one to call. Or, say with work. You may be able to sloppily finish a project in 20 minutes, but won’t you feel so much better taking the 40 minutes to make it perfect? Anything worth doing is worth doing right. There IS truth to these cliché’s. All things that we really appreciate, and are important to us have almost always come as a result of hard work and sacrifice. They have all required time and effort- which is in turn, is what makes them so valuable.

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