Note: More to Life with Faith and Lois is designed to be heard, not read. We hope you’ll listen to the audio, which includes emotion and emphasis that won’t be on this page. Our transcripts are generated with speech recognition software and may contain errors. 

 

Lois                        

Welcome to the podcast, More to Life with Faith and Lois.

Faith                   

I’m Faith

Lois                          

And I’m Lois.

Faith                      

Our podcast explores life’s many transitions that inspire and daunt us.

Lois                       

Hi Faith.

Faith

Hi Lois, how’s it happening for you?

Lois                         

It is happening beautifully. This sunshine and everything is blossoming.

Faith                    

And I saw your crocus’.

Lois                        

I know. Aren’t they gorgeous? It’s beautiful. It’s just a beautiful time to be alive. Yes. As we transitioned into all sorts of things in our lives, and you know, change isn’t easy and sometimes we face it because we’re thrown into it and other times we wait for that moment in time to say, I’m ready. Let’s try this. And it is interesting how we are at different moments in our lives trying new things.

Faith                     

We are. And that makes life interesting. If we don’t try new things, if we don’t step into the unknown, life can get rather boring.

Lois                       

And so what’s really cool is today we have the opportunity to explore a transition that most often leaves us in a better position than we were before. It’s Episode 69 transition. The Impact of Self Discipline.

Faith                     

Oh Wow. That rings a lot of bells, I bet, for people who when you hear that terminology I know

Lois                       

And it could be a good bell or it could be a really loud gong. Hey, by the way, if you’re enjoying our podcasts we would love it if you would share this with someone and let us know what you think of the work that we’re doing on any of our platforms and you know how to reach us on social media and we would just love to hear from you. We always like to start kind of with the definition so that you know that we’re working off of a couple of definitions. Self discipline is defined as the ability to control one’s feelings and overcome one’s weaknesses. The ability to pursue what one thinks is right despite temptations to abandoned it.

Faith                   

Yeah, I like that. I think we hear begin to hear the negative connotation though because I’d also saying about your weaknesses and we don’t like to face our weaknesses but we all have them in some capacity. I think we can change how we view that instead of seeing it as such a a terrible negative. See it as something that can become stronger.

Lois                       

Self discipline is also often described as the number one thing you gotta do. If you want to accomplish a goal, like say you’re setting yourself up for a trip that you want to go to, you have to have self discipline to save money for that trip or to do some research or you want to climb a certain mountain, you have to have goals set inside with some self discipline. It’s also part and parcel with leading a healthy lifestyle and being happy and all of those things. It’s very interesting that it kind of ties together when we don’t really think they all have this connection.

Faith                    

And I think we’re more self disciplined than we give ourselves credit for. You know, there’s a lot of ways that we automatically are very self disciplined and doing the things we love to do. There you go. Right, right. And so for someone it might be very different for them. Like if you love planning for a trip but somebody else hates planning for a trip, then you see that difference. But it’s takes self discipline to plan for that trip like you said? Yeah.

Lois                      

So what comes up for you, Faith, when you think of the word self discipline?

Faith                   

In the past it was always a negative. It was just like I don’t discipline me because we hear it as some one is going to do something to you even if it’s you doing it. Yeah, but it brings up some old things that you’ve done it wrong. This isn’t correct. I need to correct you and so I’m going to discipline you or hear you need to do it this way and you need to make sure you check all the boxes in doing it. So we feel confined, we feel restricted, we feel like it’s insurmountable at times. But the reality about being self-disciplined, I look at it more as self focused. To be focused on what is the outcome that you want to obtain and how do you move into that and what is it going to take to move into that so that you can achieve it. I’ll give one quick example. I’m in a writing workshop and I love to write, but I’m not, I would never say that I am a writer, but then I’m having influencers saying, you do really have the ability to write. And I’m going, oh, but I can’t do this and I can’t do that. And I’ve let all that go to step into that doesn’t make a writer. What makes a writer is the ability to express oneself in a way. And now the other is something that I can learn. So how far do I want to go with it and how much do I want to be disciplined to learn more, to be better at writing.

Lois                      

So it just keeps getting expands, expands like what you’re doing. Yes. Yes. And that’s how I really learned finally to see self discipline. It’s, it’s me becoming more conscious. Where before I saw self discipline because I grew up in a very regimented household of what had to be done at what time and there was a checkin for absolutely everything. So I resented that, because I felt like somebody was telling me how to do something. Now I see it as the only path to having real, success is the wrong word, but to achieving certain things because I’m awake when I’m self disciplined. That’s good and I, and I’m participating in life at a different level because I want this, you’re exactly right. I’m very self disciplined to the things I know I already want, but if I want something new and I want to make a shift, I have to use those same skills that I use for what I really like to do and maybe these new things will become something I like to do as well.

Faith                   

Right, exactly. I like that the wake up part and that’s a really good way that you wake up to what do you want that outcome to be and how do you want to move into it and step into it and that’s where self discipline can come in. The other flip side though is not wanting to be self disciplined and changing a baby’s diaper. If you haven’t ever done it and you now have a child and it’s like I don’t want to do this part of the child rearing. So there’s a part of that comes out of sacrifice and out of love and out of care and say, you know what, I am doing this for another. And sometimes self discipline of caring for another or meeting those needs can be more of a challenge. So self discipline is not always a pleasant thing, but it’s always about the outcome.

Lois                        

Very cool. Oh, we’re going to dive into this and have a lot of fun. You know, if you do Google self discipline and especially self-discipline books, if you haven’t, you’re gonna be shocked at how much is out there. I mean there are reams and reams of pages that have been written about this subject and it’s endless. It’s everything from, from willpower or to daily meditations to the science of self discipline. Maybe executing business plans, or exercises. There are no excuses if you want a book. In fact, that’s the title of one of the books, “No Excuses.” I’m just saying some discipline is huge in our culture today and some of that can fall into, we want to fix ourselves and fix other people and that may not be healthy, so we’re not going to go there. But Deep Patel has written this book called “A Paper Boy’s Fable: the 11 Principles of Success.” And he points out something so cool. When you have self discipline, no one needs to tell you what to do. The higher your degree of self control, the less time you have to debate whether to indulge in behaviors that are detrimental to your health. It’s great, isn’t that great? It becomes natural, but you’re awake and aware of it not on autopilot. I think self-discipline takes us off that autopilot road and says, Hey, what’s going on? Where do you really want to go?

Faith                    

That’s really good. Yeah, I agree with that. It’s like we want to be able to open up the awareness of it and and that it’s comes from within. It becomes a part of us. It’s a way that we begin to live our lives.

Lois                      

So in Episode 69 the Impact of Self Discipline, we’d like to explore a few things that you might take into account if you are considering something that you would like to become more self disciplined about. And maybe the first question you can ask yourself is, well, what do you want to do differently?

Faith                    

Well, for starters, a real simple way is maybe do the opposite. Do the opposite of what isn’t working. And begin to look at that and say, why is this not working? Why can’t I get up in the morning? And that’s a big one for people as being self-disciplined. When that alarm goes off, it’s like what do you need to do differently to feel refreshed and ready to get up? And to do that in the morning, you have to see what isn’t working and then find ways of how can I make this work better for my life.

Lois                      

So for years I would get up at 2:30 in the morning because I worked mornings and that just became what I had to do because of my job. Well, when I didn’t have to do that anymore and my shifts went to the afternoons and then back to the mornings, I’ve never gotten back to having to get up that early again. And yet I started realizing that I was missing out on some cream time in the morning, that I could be alone, that I could function. So now how I’ve decided to treat my mornings is I’ve set up calls that start at 7:30am if I need to talk to somebody on the east coast. Our workout, my husband and I, we work out very early in the morning at six o’clock. We take the dogs for a walk at a certain time in the morning. So the only way that I could move myself to getting up earlier was to actually set up things that provided an impetus to do it.

Faith                 

That’s really good. Yeah. You found something to replace and to make it flow for you in a new way in your life. Yeah. I think there’s this piece where people will say, my clients oftentimes will say to me, I just can’t do it. And when I hear that I’m going, okay, there’s something missing here. So I will ask the question, what makes us so impossible to do? And it usually has to do with the time of day and sometimes it’s when there’s something really important to do. I will ask this question, what is your best time of day? And when I find out their best time of day, that’s when you need to do this because now you’re giving it the right place. So it’s important enough you give it the best time of your day so that it can happen.

Lois                       

Yes. Yeah, and maybe because I had been so highly functional in those early morning hours that by dismissing that and saying, oh, I don’t need that anymore. I realized after years of absence from that time that no, I actually do function well at this time, so now it, it requires, as we all know, the flip of then having to not stay up quite as late and record things that I can watch later if that’s important. Anyhow, that’s one of the ways that I found, what do I want to do differently to set up my life so it works. Absolutely. Because if you fail at it every time and it doesn’t work, then you just won’t. You won’t do it, you won’t do it. Right. So the other part is to know your weaknesses. And you mentioned this early on Faith, because what’s interesting is that we don’t like to hear that word weaknesses. And yet sometimes the reason we do a self discipline is because we’re trying to overcome something.

Faith                

Exactly. So yeah, there will always be areas of weakness in all of us, but that doesn’t mean we are weak. So we take that on as an identity and we’ll then you’re saying I’m a weak person. Oh, absolutely not. There are always missing pieces or ways that we were taught to do certain things that have not given us the undergirding of strength and a good foundation to walk in, to grow in and to build on. And so if that’s lacking, we need to put it in a weakness is just, I see it more as kind of a notice and alarm saying, hey, this is vulnerable and so how can we undergirded with what will work better? What can we focus in on and saying, okay, do I need more education? That would be one thing. Then you could excel. I’m in a dead end job, what would you rather be doing? And to find out what are the passions and the strengths so we ask better questions of ourselves in life so that the weaknesses become no longer a weakness, but we build in a new strength that we’ll now we begin to live our life from.

Lois                        

And what you’re saying is that we’re admitting to ourselves where it is that we want to have a shift or improve or get better at this or lose weight or get up early or whatever your dilemma or thing is that you want to improve on – because we all have something we can improve on or like we have a goal like my husband and I have a goal to do a ride this summer. In order to do this in June, we have to get out on our bikes. So that is a new discipline that we’re going to have to add to our schedule if we want to make that a success. And so it’s not like beating ourselves over the back, but we have to admit it. We really can’t do that unless we add this into our regimen.

Faith                  

There you go, so you find out what’s missing or what isn’t working and what can we replace that with. Very cool.

Lois                       

So we’re talking about self discipline and one of the things that will be really helpful to you if you do choose to take this step is to remove the temptations that would hold you back. I mean some of us have social media that really, you know, it pings on us with everything and if we’re trying to give ourselves a diet from social media, then notifications, maybe you could turn one off, just one, just one. But start with that. It’s hard to start cutting back on certain things if we leave a full table of that item right in front of us.

Faith                    

Oh, without question. I mean temptation is going to be the thing that’s going to constantly be talking to us like come back, come back. And so it’s really hard to say no I won’t. I mean we are such suckers. To go back to the familiar and because the familiar is we know it, we understand it, we know how it works. Even if it’s not good for us, we know how it works and so we like to have that feeling of I feel safe here, so it’s amazing how old behaviors, things like that to change them. But as we’ve talked about before, if you take the 30 days and focus in on it, you have now created a whole different habit, a whole new way of seeing it. I think sometimes we think self discipline is like for years or something like that. True. And it really isn’t. It’s like if you will do it for a period of time, it begins to be come a part of you and you do. You’re living differently.

Lois                      

Which is why setting goals is so important. When you’re in the midst of this, once you finally decided that you want to do something differently, you know what your weaknesses, you’ve admitted it, you’ve kind of cleared out some of the temptations. What is your goal? And Faith, you know this with working with people and just in life, why are goals so important?

Faith                 

Because it’s the outcome and we all need to have an outcome. We all need to see that which is set before us that we’re moving towards. If we don’t have that image, if we don’t have that perspective, then what we are in, we believe is forever. And we have that forever feeling like, I’m stuck here. This is it. No, it’s not. So the goal opens the horizon, it opens up that avenue for us to see, oh, there’s so much more. There’s more to come. Okay, that’s the goal. I want to move towards that.

Lois                       

That’s beautiful. And that’s just so important for us with whatever we’re talking about. Because whatever you want to have, an impact of self discipline in will be different from your neighbor or from your spouse or from your siblings. Because we all have different needs like that I found in the middle of trying to track with something I’m trying to gain a new pattern with, to maintain my gratitude levels while I’m in it. Because the more thankful I am for the opportunity to be able to go out and train for this ride, the less I want to gain something else. It’s like, okay, I’m focused on this right now. I’ve got a goal and I’m so thankful that I am moving in this, that I’m healthy enough this week that I can participate in this. You know, recently we had some friends who went skiing a couple and they’re very, very strong skiers. On day one the wife breaks her leg and just breaks her leg coming down and it’s not a good break. So she comes in and she gets treated and she has the cast on and she stays in the house and he goes out the next day. He breaks his leg on day two and they are avid athletes and they are both now walking around with crutches and having to use the thing that you put your knee up. I mean it is just – it’s changed their entire lives, which never happened before. So I sit there when I’m on my bike and I’m just thankful that this hasn’t happened because it could. And so just being grateful as you’re moving towards your goals as to what you can do in that space. Now I will tell you how self disciplined they are on the road to recovery, it’s remarkable to watch. But it gave me a real aha moment that you just don’t know and it’s bad enough that it would happen just to you, but then it happens to your partner as well. Oh my goodness. So I’m very, very thankful.

Faith                

Gratitude is a wonderful way to keep you motivated too because if we can get off of the fixation that everything is dark and heavy and a negative because we’re doing some self discipline of change and be grateful for, yeah, I’m, I’m making some changes, but what is really good? So let’s take dieting for instance. If you are changing what you eat, you can also take that walk and say, but I can take my a little bag of nuts with me and I can take this walk and enjoy this. So now there’s a gratitude that goes beyond what you are being self- disciplined in to make a change in your behavior.

Lois                        

Part of what helps me is a focus on others while I’m in the middle of this self discipline too because I know the ripple effect will actually pour down on people that I’m around because if I’m taking care of myself in the morning and doing this, I’m just going to be happier. Like when I see you, I’ve already done several things. I am energized and ready to go versus this is the first thing in my day. So I mean it’s just, I can tell the energy level has changed and I’m not doing it for you, but it will affect you and impact you and other people. You know, you may be doing something with your education, you mentioned that and that may change the lives of your children because of the new job you could get or the example that you set for them and you don’t do it for them, but they watch what you do. So when we take our eyes off of ourselves completely as to why we’re doing this, we’ll realize that we actually impact others in the midst of the transition on self-discipline.

Faith                  

Yes. One thing I would like to just also add to that is when you are moving into changing a behavior and you’re being self disciplined about it, be sure you take care of yourself because if you’re not getting enough rest, you’re not drinking enough water. If you’re not eating properly, if you’re not engaging socially and those kinds of things, if you becomes a weight, you’re not going to keep doing it. That’s right. So be sure you do a lot of self care during that time.

Lois                       

Excellent. And forgive yourself and move forward because there’s no doubt there’s going to be a mess up. That’s just life. And that actually will help you fine tune what it is that you want to do. Cause it was like, well that didn’t work. I’m going to try something different.

Faith                

Right? And when we do mess up, there may be a deeper message trying to be heard. And so listen to it, especially if you hear the message, you know what? I don’t care. I’m just going to do this anyway. Listen to that message because not caring in that moment is saying I needed something else and I want to go back to what feels better in that moment for self comfort or whatever it might be. We don’t do enough self reflection. When we are moving into a transition of self discipline. A lot of things are going to come up and that’s an opportunity to hear them and to advance emotionally, spiritually, mentally, and become more of who you really are.

Lois                     

We talk so much about learning from every situation and we learned so much when we attempt something new and then we fail. And then we go, okay, how can I do this just a little differently so this next time will be better. We can say, I don’t care and I’m going to walk away from it. But if you choose to get back in the game, which we hope you will, that is one way to look at it and say, okay, maybe I need to go to bed by 10 o’clock if I’m going to get up at six I can’t do it otherwise. And I don’t know what that looks like for you, but we just encourage you to get back in it when you can. Fine tune it, fine tune it. Excellent. And finally get support. You don’t have to do this alone and make sure it’s support that’s safe support.

Faith                    

Yeah. Right. By all means, don’t go to someone who says I can’t believe you messed up. Yeah. You don’t need that. You need someone who’ll say, that’s good. Look what you’ve already done. And you want to have people who will encourage you and support you along the way and do it with trusted friends or a therapist or as a spiritual director, somebody that you really trust and feel good with and let them walk this time with you. At least in the beginning.

Lois                       

Right. Cause you know, it’s often so helpful to share with somebody. You’re going to do somebody, I’m not big into the word accountability – years ago it kind of stung me -and yet today is, we’re talking about self discipline. It’s really all about accountability. And so if you can find someone that you share this with or that you announce it to, right, then you’re like, oh yeah, I’m doing this and it’s not a secret.

Faith                   

There you go. That’s what I was going to say that it’s not a secret. Like you’re not doing it all on your own. And I’m going just going to keep this hidden until I, you know, I’ve lost 50 pounds. I’m not going to tell anybody. Well that’s just silly. I mean get some support and encouragement along the way. And then each of those little milestones along the way towards your goal are celebratory times.

Lois                        

That is so cool. Thank you for this journey with us on this topic. You know, there are so many ways to move toward a transition of self-discipline. Consider why you want the things in life you do. And when your reasons are strong enough, you’re probably ready to transition.

Faith                 

Making a decision to include self discipline in your life is one of the greatest gifts you can give to yourself. Building self discipline can help in all areas of your life.

Lois                       

So please share this podcast with someone you know who might be in a transition to an area of self discipline in their lives. And join us next week for Transition, the Impact of Shame.

Faith                  

Get the latest news on our social media platforms and on our website, and please subscribe.

Lois                       

More to Life with Faith and Lois is a podcast to support, encourage and uplift you.

Faith                  

As you transition through all sorts of change, we want you to know there is more to life.

Lois                       

We’ll be back next week.