Daily discipline will create great results in our lives. What may seem insurmountable becomes possible through small consistent effort. Take that prisoner digging the tunnel with a spoon over years and years from the Shawshank Redemption as a perfect example of how to get things done. He was determined, consistent and patient.
I myself know this from being a classical pianist and a spiritual practitioner of meditation. I could look at a piece of music and think I don’t know if I could ever play that, but with microvision of daily practice, isolating small runs and passages, not caring about big results, I was able to eventually master the piece. My focus must be to do the smallest of tasks on a daily basis even if I don’t want to. This is the biggest battle of all.
If I set something in motion with intention, I know that the only way to achieve it is to work on it consistently. Anyone can accomplish their dreams with these parameters in place, no matter how unskilled or untalented they are. There are key factors involved.
There must be a strong belief that it is possible.
Without this, we will find many ways to sabotage our work.
There also must be a keen desire driving the momentum to accomplish the task.
Without this desire, the first sign of difficulty will send us running. What lies behind this desire? This is probably the most interesting question to answer. What drives us to want to have freedom, play a very difficult composition, scale a mountain, accomplish our goals?
Many of us cannot even fathom ourselves accomplishing such things.
If I have emotion behind my desires and goals and feel as if the outcome has already happened, then there is a better chance of overcoming things that get in my way on a smaller scale. I see myself on the stage playing those pieces. I see myself traveling and emotionally experience what it feels like to be there. The desire must be emotionally fixed in me by seeing and feeling the final outcome as if it is real. This emotional energy is the driving force behind the desire!
Part of me will have fear, resistance or doubt (whether I am conscious of it or not) and that part of me will always sabotage the daily goals unless I push against it with a certain kind of effort.
Achieving the tiniest daily goal, I can learn to override that sabotaging mechanism within me by feeling the emotion that desires the outcome.
That will then give me more energy to push in the moment of resistance.
In a given day, I might not feel like doing it, but my desire overcomes this, and so I go practice. Each day becomes a drop in the bucket. As the bucket gets more full, it gets easier to push against the “laziness”. I get more positive because results are happening. the scale begins to tip from doubt to resignation.
If you have ever dieted, quit smoking, gone on an exercise program, started meditating, you know what I am talking about. Even if I falter after a few weeks, I have felt the ease with which it began to happen, compared to the first few days. That recollection can lead me to try again.
If I can continue on for at least 28 days, it becomes a solid habit and though I might miss a day here and there after that, I know it takes less effort to get back in the game. When I do fall off the horse, a key element is to understand and accept that I will make mistakes and waiver in my consistency. I learn self compassion by feeling good about all the other efforts I have made toward this goal. It is so easy to exaggerate a small failure and make that an excuse to give up.
With any goal, there will always be push back. That is a universal law and part of achieving what I may think is impossible is to know that I must face the things that get in my way.
My expectations about challenges carry a lot of weight in the matter.
If I know that there will be resistance somewhere in some form, then I set my expectation to know that it too is supposed to be there as a learning curve, a stepping stone, a character builder. I don’t want to expect failure because those kinds of pessimistic, doomsday feelings and thoughts can have a quantum effect on things.
I simply want to accept the small stumbles as part of the process so that I am not thrown by them..
If I can see them as progress instead of setback, I will not be deterred from actualizing my goal. My emotional desire keeps my laser focus: my self compassion allows me to fail.
Many of us do not even attempt to achieve what we think is impossible because it involves failing and experiencing difficulty. We are taught as children that it is not ok to fail. In fact, now the school system is reluctant to hold people back in school or even fail them on a test. No wonder we can’t achieve our goals. We have not learned how to fail! Knowing that I will encounter some resistance and failure along the way and recognizing it as part of the plan will help the discipline. “Feeling the vision” will help get it done daily!
You can do this!