What’s your process? What do you do once you realize you’re out of sync? “Go do what you already know how to do.” Dottie Pepper recalls advice given to her by PGA professional Judy Rankin.
It’s not true that we’re either disciplined or not. There is a spectrum of discipline. Most of us share a degree of discipline. However, occasionally we strive for increased success and therefore, greater degrees of discipline than our comfort zone allows. These are times that we often find the challenge too much for us. Despite great aspirations, we quickly feel “out of sorts” because we are out of our comfort zone. And because we feel out of sorts, we allow ourselves to conclude that the situation or circumstances are more than we can manage. As we are discovering, if discipline was easy, we’d all do it. But it’s not.
In reality, it’s not so simple. There is a balance to be had. We usually struggle with either discipline or flexibility. Taking up this struggle is what ultimately will work in our favor, at least in the long-run.
If we’re after our peak performance, it’s just smart to routinize it, right? That’s why athletes may sometimes appear superstitious. We find something new that has seemingly had a positive effect. It’s helped us to perform and to win, we believe. Logically, we want to build that “something new” into our routines and keep doing it. Yet inflexibility can create just as many issues for us as a lack of discipline.
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My underlying message is that we are not either disciplined or impulsive. Naturally, people find it is more comfortable and that it takes less effort to be spontaneous. Any disciplined exercise takes practice and vigilance. The best time to practice these routines is when there is no pressure to perform. Though this may be true I recommend implementing “timing” into the equation, knowing when to flex and when to remain stoic.
Not all activity is physical. Physical exercise may be simpler to understand – more importantly – mental training is far more potent and will have a significant impact on improving the quality of your life. The essential factor is practice, but don’t wait until your situation is critical, practice your routines in the simplest situations you can. Practice, but with built-in flexibility.