What is Self-Discipline?
Self-discipline is an art. An art that requires us to aim higher and self-rule ourselves. It is a mastery of the mind over the body that compels us to become self-aware of our habits, thoughts, and emotions. With self-awareness, we learn to discipline ourselves and become in charge of how we act or react in any given situation. Understand that to master the art of self-discipline, continuous practice and determination are needed.
But how can we learn Self-Discipline?
Like any other skill, self-discipline can be learned, practiced, and mastered. I believe sports, especially martial arts, is one such realm that leads to improving the skill of self-discipline. Martial arts has been a part of our society for centuries from kickboxing to Muay Thai to tai chi and many more. Yes, there is a component of self-defence in martial arts, but I believe it has more to offer than just self-defence. One can infer from the name itself that Martial arts is a refined form of art. It has those fine, subtle motions of tai chi and brash aggressive punches of kickboxing. But to create any art form, it requires control over our mind to create the masterpiece with our body.
Martial Arts and its teachings-
To learn self-discipline, martial arts sets realistic goals that fit the needs of every individual. It means that we must strive to build a strong foundation before advancing to the next level. And to build the foundation, one must have a routine guided towards that growth.
Secondly, having control over the thoughts and emotions is a key component of the art form. In order to bridge the gap between mind and body, it is essential that we have an understanding of our inner thoughts and how they guide our actions, as well as reactions. Being in tune with our mind plays a key role in self-defence. It helps us look inwards and improvise and strategize based on the varying opponents and surroundings. Self-awareness is key to martial arts; understanding your strengths and weaknesses is important in building a healthy foundation of self.
Lastly, the one thing that everyone hates the most- the rules, guides the learning process of martial arts. Rules are necessary to become self-disciplined, even if those rules are something you disagree with or have a hard time following. They set the tone for success.
Now that we have learned some of the important perks of martial arts, it is time to see how they apply to our daily lives.
How Self-Discipline applies to our daily lives?
In today’s society, I believe what we lack the most is self-discipline. We live in a generation where we are too lazy to work hard for our dreams. And in the process, we are settling for a life unfulfilled. We also see how our children and youth are drifting towards drugs, crime, and other aggressive behavior. They lack a strong foundation in self-discipline. And without the foundation, how will they meet and cope with the demands and responsibilities of adulthood.
With this in mind, I think it is important that we incorporate effective ways to help our children and youth. Introducing the teachings of martial arts in schools or registering them for a martial arts class could be the first step in building a strong future.
Setting rules for yourself is important to achieve a goal in your life. But you must break down the goal into smaller steps or levels and set realistic expectations for yourself. Understanding your strengths and weaknesses is a key component to setting realistic expectations. Whereas understanding your thoughts and emotions is an important step in realizing what’s stopping you from attaining that goal.
I would end the topic with one thought in mind- Journal your thoughts and become self-aware. The discipline you need comes from understanding yourself.