Sometimes it can seem like the hardest thing in the world
There are days, or is it just moments, where we think: what exactly is the point? What is it, this feeling, of not wanting people to bother with us? We don’t want them to talk to us or try to communicate with us on any level. We want to sleep, but can’t.
Is this just a down day? Of course it is, and yet, when there’s a part of us that felt so alive and enthusiastic for life yesterday, we can’t help wondering, what the hell has happened for all this to change?
Our mood and mental health changes from day to day
In fact, when we look closer, we can see that our mental health changes from moment to moment. It can take the slightest thing to change how we feel; for our mindset to alter. This could be something a person has said, or not said, for that matter. It could be the company we keep. Is it the influence of others deciding our mental stability?
It doesn’t matter, how impervious to the influence of others, we feel we’ve trained ourselves to become. People can still affect our moods and mindset. The alternative to this is being alone. It can be time alone that’s altering our mood. We can become withdrawn and inwardly focused, feeling like we’ve lost our motivation. How strange the mind is that it can alter, or be altered, so simply and inexplicably.
So here we come the issue of self-discipline
How can we keep ourselves on track and motivated when it seems our mind has different plans? This has a lot to do with understanding how we’re allowing ourselves to be distracted. What is it we’re doing to alter mood and mindset? What are we doing to alter our mental health?
When we look deeper, we will see, that to a greater extent than we realise, it is actually us that’s doing the changing. It is us that’s responsible for these seemingly inexplicable shifts.
Put yourself in the place of someone you believe to have immense stability, self-discipline, and determination
Take the racing driver Lewis Hamilton as example. What does this person have that enables him to be so consistently good? What does he have that makes him such an achiever? What is the secret to his consistency? It’s more than a good car that’s for sure. A winning car is only this way when driven by a passionate and winning driver. Not to mention his team; the people around him.
Self-discipline involves the matter of consistency and stability coming from within
In other words, we must keep ourselves aware of any inconsistencies within our patterns of thought, and behaviour. Take diet as a simple yet powerful example. We might think it okay to eat well and healthy one day, and the next, just pig-out on sugary and fatty junk foods. This might be a pattern of behaviour. It could well be a pattern that’s been allowed to build in strength for years and years; as such, it’s something we’re no longer fully conscious of.
If this type of eating were a followed pattern, it would be a prime example, of how we change moods from the inside out. We might now think that this is a chicken and the egg situation: that it’s the mood prompting the day of junk food or whatever. It is more likely though, that it’s simply a pattern – established many years ago – being acted out, over and over again. It’s this that’s changing mind. We are what we eat.
Take a moment now to think back to the consistency of our racing driver
During the racing season you can be sure Lewis Hamilton will be following strict routines. His patterns of thought and behaviour will be stable and consistently beneficial to winning races. He will have an awareness of this. So when it comes to self-discipline, it’s far easier to have this when we’re aware of what we might be doing, to alter our mindset from within. On a daily basis we must ask ourselves:
How am I making this harder for myself?
What am I doing that is in direct conflict with being consistent and stable?
Diet, thoughts and behaviour, have a lot more to do with conflict than we might first realise. If we’re to find stability and consistency, self-discipline, must extend to all aspects of our lives .
Important ingredients to success
Take a few more moments to imagine what kind of mindset our racing driver possess. Actually close your eyes and imagine. Imagine his exercise regime; his diet and the people around him. Consider his general lifestyle. With this, think about his moods, mindset and mental health. What place is he in psychologically?
Apply this to yourself
Think of what changes and improvements to lifestyle, diet, thoughts and behaviour you must now make. The outcome will be a consistency and stability that begins from the inside out.
Along with thinking skills, one very important aspect of routine and self-discipline, is the ability to stop thought and just act. In other words, it’s our self-talk; our internal chatter, that can sometimes be the problem. By ceasing internal chatter – and just doing things routinely – we increase good habits and patterns of behaviour.
Often, all we need do, is simply stop thinking about it and act. As they saying goes: ‘The hardest part of going for a run is putting your trainers on.’ Discipline yourself and just do it.