Discipline is a word that inspires me to think of armies marching in perfect rows, Generals yelling out orders that are always enacted; but really it is just as much about the ability to say no to the last piece of cake.
Discipline is a mental game, a challenge of setting a goal and doing what it takes to achieve it. The setting of a goal is often the hardest part, the figuring out what it is we want and the process of how to get it. Once the goal has been set it is easier to achieve.
We are back to fundamentals at the moment, where food, shelter, work, exercise and family are the cornerstones of our world. The Australian government puts exercise alongside the need to do our shopping. A bike ride, a walk around the park deemed essential, yet weather aside it isn't something that comes naturally for a lot of people.
One of the main aims of my life is to find and maintain as much balance as I can. Exercise is something I deem essential, mostly to keep the crazy at bay, but I really do like eating the last piece of cake, relatively guilt free. The ability to get up every day, to get outside, to push myself and to keep going is an excellent example of discipline, a word often touted my way.
For me the deterrent of the hangover is enough to stop me drinking too much; like the thought of feeling listless and locked in my house gets me to leave with bike in tow every day. Discipline or will power, drive, or focus are things that can take all of us where we want to be. Whether that is losing weight, finishing a 100Km bike ride, walking 10kms, or being able to cook a complex dish; as long as it is realistic, you would be surprised what you can achieve if you try.
I will leave you with something that I actually thought was unachievable. I agreed to do something called 'Everesting’ a few years ago; bottom line it is climbing one hill over and over until you reach the height of Mt Everest, 8,848 metres. That means over 16 hours on a bike, and everything it takes to do to support that. I went through some deep and dark places on the day I attempted the feat. However, I had a goal and I wasn't going to let it get the better of me. If there was one thing I learned, it was that my mind was far stronger than my body, and within reason I could will myself to do what most may say is unachievable.
We don't need to be extreme athletes to have discipline, sometimes getting out of bed each day takes everything we have. Having the discipline to find your balance, particularly in an unusual world, is something worth investing in.