For a long time of my life, before I discovered writing as one of my passions, I opted for strict discipline in everything I did. Based on the consequences this had for me in virtually all cases, I came to increasingly grasp and admit to myself the severe adverse effects discipline had been causing to my short-term and long-term well-being and life quality.
Today I define discipline as potential outcome being the exclusive motivation to keep us on track with the execution of a certain occupation.
Essentially, when discipline is necessary we focus on the result and disregard the value of the process. We do what we do not for the sake of enjoyment but driven by extrinsic motivation hopefully paying off at the end of the process at the cost of intrinsic joy during the process.
Usually, when we set a goal that requires our discipline we entrust that one moment of future outcome with the responsibility of delivering joy to us. Our entire conclusion whether it was all in vain or not depends on the final product, and with it our ability to allow ourselves to feel joy. We forbid ourselves joy during the process, and even at the end it is dependent on specific terms set by the ego.
In many cases, discipline rests on a deep craving for outside appreciation. We unadmittedly feel that we only deserve something when we struggle to get there. We feel guilty for having joy during the process because we fear that our success could be played down. So we prefer choosing the struggle in hope of receiving compliments.
What a waste of joy. What a waste of life quality.
We always expect something in return that we consider of greater value than the creative joy and fulfillment. Extrinsic reward is not treated as a bonus but as an self-inflicted condition in order for us to continue what we are doing. Doing things that way will slowely drain our energy and deprive us of our ability to feel gratitude for what we have.
Beside that, the application of discipline is based on the mindset that resistance is something that implies kind of an inherent idleness that serves no purpose but to be broken through. But with this mindset we'll miss the deeper lesson taught by it. Resistance is always there to divulge to us a better, more self-balancing and fulfilling, way of doing something compared to the way we feel the resistance against.
Anything done with heart rewards us with ample fulfillment in the process without any sense of self-imposed pressure or force. When the heart is at play we joyously leverage the potential of the present, not making our elation dependent on outcome or outside appreciation. The effortlessness of the heart has much more staying power and effectiveness than the forceful laboriousness behind discipline.
Ironically, the heart’s creative joy during the process without attachment to outcome will yield exactly that result which the ego arduously attempts to achieve by applying discipline.
The heart knows that when we create in joy there is no way for our work but to become fruitful. Fruitfulness not measured by extrinsic reward but by intrinsic creative fulfillment.
Extrinsic reward won't be a lofty condition set by us to continue what we are doing.
It will be the icing on the cake that whenever gifted to us will gratefully feel as if it was the first time.