Stoicism is an old masculine philosophy from Greece & Rome which we can learn A LOT from.
One of the Stoic virtues is temperance and under temperance comes discipline.
Discipline keeps one rigid, in a routine and making progress towards whatever one is pursuing.
Here are are some lessons I've taken away which has helped me develop discipline in regards to my health and overall quality of life.
1. Find Wise People To Emulate
Seneca was a Roman Stoic philosopher. He once said: “Without a ruler to do it against, you can’t make crooked straight.”
We need to recognise the importance of having wise people in our lives which we look up to for inspiration.
These figures serve as models for ourselves to emulate.
Pick carefully and choose someone who is living a good life. By good life I mean someone who is morally sound.
Watch what they do, listen to what they say, learn from them and more importantly pay attention to what they don’t do.
What is motivating this person’s actions, their ambitions, why are the consequences they experience happening to them.
Changing your mindset into own ahead of your own will build confidence and trust in yourself to stay on track and become more self-disciplined.
Humble yourself and embrace ignorance. Socrates, who needs no introduction, describes this wise idea well by telling us to admit wholeheartedly that: “I know that I know nothing.”
2. Review Your Day
It’s not enough to go to sleep without considering the implications, lessons and knowledge you gained throughout the day. It’s a shame to forget to do this.
Thinking about thinking late at night were referred to as ‘evening retrospections’, today one may call this journalling.
Ask yourself, what did I do well today?
Where were my discipline and self-control tested, where did I do good?
What did I do bad, why did this occur? Furthermore, how can I improve?
One of the best ways to become more disciplined is to scrutinise yourself, find your weak spot. Be brutally honest and use this time to connect with your subconscious.
Practicing evening retrospections on a consistent basis will allow you to become more self-aware through every step of your day.
The moment you find something which derailed you from your pursuits, recognise it, don't ignore it. Never regret your actions or words and most importantly strive to never make the same mistake moving forward.
3. Your Distractions Are Your Own Doing
Being distressed, being bothered by small things instantly is really bad for discipline and often de-rails you.
Epictetus was born a slave in what we call Turkey today; he lived in Rome, was then banished and spent the rest of his life in Greece. He was famous for the dichotomy of control, which is a fundamental Stoic idea carried through time.
You can do this by reinforcing to yourself what is within your control and what is out of your control; if you embrace what is out of your control and accept it, you will experience tranquility.
4. Every day is a new life.
Seneca said, “Begin at once to live, and count each separate day as a separate life.”
The moment you wake up, remember that the new day is a new life. The past shouldn’t be forgotten, but it most definitely should not be something which holds you back.
All previous actions from previous days are now out of your control and if pondered on too much, serve no good other than to drag you down like an anchor.
If you binged on your diet yesterday, it does not mean you’ve failed and now there’s no point in continuing.
Get back on the horse as the expression goes.