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Decoding the word 'discipline'


What is discipline? Is disciplined life the way to a better life? Was Mahatama Gandhi disciplined? Yes. Einstein? Don't know. Were both successful? Yes, both believed in something and had courage to live their ideas. I always thought discipline meant to have a structured life - rise early, do exercise, eat well, sleep early. Sounds boring! But most homo sapiens struggle through life without having the tools to live an enriched life. As, M Scott says in , The Road less Traveled, inspired by Buddhism, 'Life is difficult'. And he goes on to say - 'Discipline is the basic set of tools we require to solve life's problems'. These words caught my attention. And, I continued reading with enthusiasm. He suggests 4 tools - delaying of gratification, acceptance of responsibility, dedication to truth and balancing.

Delaying gratification is a process of scheduling the pain and pleasure of life in such a way as to enhance the pleasure by meeting and experiencing the pain first and getting it over with. It is the only decent way to live

We must accept responsibility for a problem before we can solve it. The difficulty we have in accepting responsibility for our behavior lies in the desire to avoid the pain of the consequences of that behavior. The entirety of one's adult life is a series of personal choices.

What does a life of total dedication to truth mean? It means, first of all, a life of continuous and never-ending stringent self-examination.

Balancing is the discipline that gives us flexibility. The essence of this discipline of balancing is 'giving up'. The pain of giving up is the pain of death, but death of the old is birth of the new.