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.
Discipline in professional sports is often thought of as “maintaining routines that help us generate high performance.” But being flexible is essential for high-level performance in sports and in other endeavors. Our objective is to discover something that we’re certain is working well for us, then pick up the frequency of “what’s working well.” This should lead to the high performance we’re after.
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.
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.
Not all activity is physical. Physical exercise may be the simplest 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.