When we think of discipline, what often comes to mind is punishment. In fact, the first definition of discipline at Dictionary.com is “the practice of training people to obey rules or a code of behavior, using punishment to correct disobedience.”
However, the human mind is a YES-based operating system.
As any golfer will tell you, if you focus on not hitting your ball into the water trap, your ball will inevitably plunk into the pond. To hit the hole, focus on the hole.
While using pain to discourage errant behavior is useful and effective in some instances, it’s also highly effective in far more instances to focus your attention on your desired behavior, and reward yourself for a job well done.
One great way to do this is to redirect. People who hear “No” or “Don’t” too often will start ignoring those commands. Offer yourself a positive action to replace your undesired behavior.
For example, if you find that you’re consistently engaging distractions when it’s time to get your work done, try redirecting. Instead of saying, “Quit checking Facebook!!!” you can try saying, “While this is fun, I’d really like to do some research right now.”
Some psychologists refer to this as
‘Watering the grass instead of the weeds.’
Another great trick is to treat your mind like a child. When it’s begging for attention through distraction & drama, just refuse to engage. Turn your attention to what you want, and when you feel your mind focus, give yourself a high-5, smile & say, “Good job!”
The root of the word Discipline is the same as the root of Disciple. Discipline isn’t about punishing yourself when you’ve done wrong, but rather giving yourself a path you can feel good about following.
How Will You Say Yes to Self-Discipline Today?