Choose the right pain

“The pain of discipline is far less than the pain of regret”

For thousands of years, philosophers and psychologists have discussed the art of discipline.  The word “σωφροσύνη” existed in Ancient Greece; the concept that the idea of an excellent character and soundness leads to other qualities, such as temperance, moderation, prudence, purity, decorum, and self-control. 

In the majority of religions (including Buddhism, Christianity, Islam, and Hinduism), self-discipline plays a vital role. Regardless of where you look, whether it’s in a spiritual or secular environment, self-discipline is always mentioned when people discuss improving their lifestyle. Discipline may be defined as the development of new habits, the regulation of emotions and actions, and intentional focus. 

Discipline is essential in one’s daily life. Whether it be while brushing your teeth or practising Kung Fu.  Regardless of the situation, you need discipline to get what you want; It won’t happen overnight. Discipline ensures you build positive habits, quit procrastinating, and manage your time effectively. With time and discipline, anyone would be able to see significant improvement and approach success.

Self-discipline shares multiple similarities with Kung Fu. No one became a Kung Fu expert after only practising it once. No one mastered a Kung Fu technique after trying it once. Similarly, self-discipline is like a muscle: the more you work on developing it and using it, the stronger it will become.

Personally, Kung Fu has been a way through which I have acquired a greater form of self-discipline. The first steps were simply showing up every Thursday and Saturday to train. Then, as I began to get more involved in Kung Fu, I would go home and practice my forms and techniques. Over time, this became an instinctual habit. 

The role of discipline is not limited to oneself. Discipline is vital for any civilized society, as a matter of fact, discipline and Nature are synonymous. If anything were to happen, which defies or interrupts the routine of Nature (such as an earthquake), it becomes a calamity. Similarly, life without discipline can lead to chaos.

Note that discipline is not a term that should be limited to institutions like schools and universities. Neither should it be used as a weapon or tool in the hands of adults to seek unquestionable compliance. Discipline shouldn’t be confused as a method of suppression nor a means to assert one’s authority. Instead, as an intrinsic motivation in a person to control oneself, one’s emotions, and desires and live in a sustainable, exemplary manner.

It’s never too late to become disciplined, nor is it hard to find a way to initiate the discipline. Whether this is through practising self-defence techniques or just waking up at a certain time every day. Having discipline now is better than having future regret.

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