Daily Discipline

Most of us know that having daily disciplines is a positive and powerful way to develop yourself as a man. Men alter their lives through action - and what better action can you take than one which molds or shapes your character? Ok, another great idea - now what?

Let's break it down. One of the best daily disciplines you can take on is one that creates or alters a habit. Why habits? Habits are the actions you take regularly without a great deal of thought or effort. If you can intentionally create habits which serve what you're committed to, or alter habits which hurt you, you can take control of your life.Running

Let's start with what habits to take on. Some of the more powerful habits to create or alter are:
  • Ones which change your view of yourself as a man. If you know you're lazy, and you start working out every morning, you may start to doubt your laziness. Then, later in the day, when it gets to afternoon nap time, you may remember that morning workout and start thinking you're not the man who needs the nap. Bonus habit change. The key to having this work is knowing that you can change some of those ingrained beliefs about yourself. Your men can help identify them, as you may not be able to see them yourself.
  • Ones which make you more productive later in the day. You know this list - sleeping well, eating well, working out, meditation, making a schedule / cpr, etc.
  • Habits which are causing you the most harm. Health is at stake. Children are at stake. Business is at stake. Marriage is at stake. etc.
Now, how to create or alter habits (reference reading The Power of Habit). To note, I didn't say remove habits. Once habits are formed, they are permanent connections in the brain, you can alter them but not remove them. So, what to do:
  1. Identify the routine. That's the easy part - the actions you want to do or stop doing. For me, an action I wanted to stop was binge eating. I'd order some fast food, or clear out a big bowl of something in the fridge. Then I'd feel horrible after and it's had me be very overweight.
  2. Identify a cue. For existing habits you want to alter, what is the trigger that starts you down the same tunnel each time? Look at the time of day, who you're with, where you are, your mental state or context, what are you sensing and what were you just doing. For me, whenever I got highly agitated (wife was upset, argument with a man, big failure, etc) I would go down the tunnel of eating.
  3. Identify the reward. This is the hard part, and often takes experimenting to really understand what reward you are getting from the habit. For instance, my eating could be one of a dozen things. Being hungry, the comfort of eating, social interaction, taking a break, the sugar rush, etc were all possible rewards. The way to discover this is to run experiments for a week or two to try replacing the routine with something else when you see the cue, and see if it satisfies you. Once you see the cue, try doing another routine. Experiment with different routines until you get one that works - that satisfies your reward need. Eating an apple satisfies hunger, but didn't solve my issue. Chocolate bar satisfies sugar rush, but no. Calling a friend satisfies social interaction, but no. What it was for me was I was too agitated and I needed something to slow me down - which overeating did. So, what did I settle on, meditation. I do a quick 5 minute meditation and no more binging.
Ok, time for you to start. Look at taking on a new habit every 2 weeks to 1 month. Use inspections by your team to help you figure out the what to work on and the possible rewards. Then go about perfecting your character. The road to being the man you've always wanted to be is ahead of you, but it takes simple steps - one step at a time.
Gary Menezes, 2018-03-08 | Posted in General