In one of my summer readings, I came across the concept that a life of discipline leads to fullness of life (happiness).
“With a life live with discipline, we become a better version of ourselves every day, able to fulfill our destiny and find happiness.” Mathew Kelly
As I continue to process my acceptance of my dabbling and engagement retirement lifestyle philosophy (versus a disciplined mastery and achievement focus), this struck me hard. I felt at first, “I’m doing retirement life wrong.” I needed to “unpack it” (in old corporate management terms) to really understand what a life of discipline is.
Our culture of instant gratification and minimal effort seems to ignore the idea of discipline. There are so many examples of lack of discipline:
- Quick fix diets versus (disciplined) lifestyle changes. The diet industry is one of fastest growing industries in the USA and yet we also have the highest overweight and obesity levels ever!
- Sound bites versus in-depth learning or understanding. And not giving respect to those who have the knowledge, mastery, and experience (achieved via discipline).
- People are not willing to put in the work (discipline), expecting top-level benefits on day 1. People expect to achieve stardom overnight or quickly turn a small side hustle into raking in the money (speed versus discipline).
Looking at what lack of discipline entails pushed me to the side of agreement to a life of discipline. But I also realized at this point in my life I no longer want to focus on achievement or mastery!
What was defined as a life of discipline? It encompassed 4 key elements, which are surprisingly similar to my life vision statement of Active Body, Connected Heart, Creative Spirit, Contemplative Mind. The 4 disciplines are:
- Physical discipline – eat well (foods that respect & fuel the body), exercise often (movement, flexibility, strength), and sleep regularly (body)
- Emotional discipline – give priority to important relationships, help others (heart)
- Intellectual discipline – study vision of self and God through contemplation & reflection (mind)
- Spiritual discipline – daily prayer and/or transform daily activities into prayer through gratitude and mindfulness (spirit)
I do believe I live my life in many ways with discipline of body, heart, mind and spirit. (Whew – so not doing it wrong!) Others might find fulfillment in a disciplined pursuit of mastery in their retirement years, but I am finding fulfillment in the dabbling (crafting and study areas).
Do you feel you live a life of discipline? Are you a dabbler or working towards mastery?
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