As a human being, you were granted a fundamental, but often unappreciated superpower: creativity. Which, essentially, is no more, no less than the ability to imagine and create.
We often don’t think about this, but creating is the one thing that we do best. We’re constantly coming up with new ideas, starting new projects; imagining scenarios… We’re even creating our perception of reality through our senses. Furthermore, it’s this amazing ability to create that allows us to have dreams and aspirations.
But, even though this is an incredible ability, it does have some limitations; which is probably why it is so often undervalued. You see, the limitation of creativity – is that it only happens inside our minds.
We both know that it’s not because we have a dream that that dream becomes reality. The truth is, to make our dreams happen, we often have to apply physical energy. So, in order to get our dreams to come true, there’s one other ability we must master:
While creativity is what gets us started on a project, discipline is what gets us to finish it. It is being able to power through the difficulties and conclude the things we set out to do. It’s being able to control our thoughts, emotions and actions, in order to reach a goal we’ve set out to achieve.
But while this is absolutely necessary for us to finish a project, get through a negative moment, or accomplish a dream, it’s not always so easy to master. And that’s exactly why discipline is so important – because it requires constant effort and dedication. It requires that we let go of our ego that keeps telling us to give up, and keep pushing through. (Read more)
But mastering our egos isn’t always so easy, is it? More often than not, our egos will be telling us in the back of our minds all the reasons why we should give up. “We’re tired, worn-out, sore, hurt, bruised, we have a lot to do… There is no way what we want is going to come true…”
I believe that one of the hardest battles we’ll ever have to face is against ourselves. Either it is our egos shutting us down, exalting our pride and righteousness or stopping us from listening to our hearts, it will always be doing its best to stand in the way of the things we want.
So, if you want to accomplish your dreams, and cancel your ego out to make that happen, here’s what you have to know:
How Discipline Affects Ego
Give it a chance and your ego will come right out to spill the party. So, how do you stop that from happening? Easy – you develop consistency, you strengthen the brain.
Like I said before, discipline is the ability to be in control of your emotions and actions and redirecting them towards what you want to accomplish. The ego, on the other hand, is the complete opposite – it is being controlled by your emotions and external situations, and letting them guide you – and even putting all the responsibility for that choice out of you.
So, by persevering, despite what the ego keeps saying, it’ll learn to take it down a notch. Think about it this way: You’ve probably already noticed that the more you focus on something the more it grows, right? For example, the more you focus on problems, the more you find… The same thing can be used with ego. The more you allow ego to control your actions, the more it will. This means that if you allow yourself to listen to it once, it will grow stronger next time it shows up. And this will make it more and more difficult to overcome it and achieve the things you truly want.
But – If, when your ego shows up, you ignore it, focus on the task at hand and on controlling your behaviour and emotions – it will decrease. Making it easier for you to overcome it the next time it comes around.
Ultimately, you have to remember: the achievement of your goals depends on you. On how much you want it, how much you apply yourself to it, on how able you are to cancel out the voice in your head that keeps holding you back.
So, in order to help you get there, here’s a list of things you can do to discipline your mind and knock out your ego:
Believe it or not, meditation is a great way to master your mind.
Throughout our busy days, our minds wander around, focusing on all the things we have to do, on all the things we left undone… There’s always so much noise going on inside our heads, we rarely have that moment to just sit quiet and think of absolutely nothing. In fact, go tell a busy person to do that and they’ll look you straight in the eyes and wonder what you’ve been smoking. Yes, I’m speaking from personal experience.
So, here’s the thing: do you realise how difficult it usually is to just relax and think of nothing? The truth is, it does require real discipline to put the thoughts to rest and focus on the present moment. It’s not just getting to work that’s hard – being able to rest the mind is too.
Hint number one: make sure you take some time to meditate while going strong towards your dreams. This list of benefits will likely get you even more excited to start – 36 Little Known Benefits Of Meditation.
Now, let’s get real. Nothing calls for discipline more than overcoming our fears. And we’ve all been there – being paralysed by fear. Wanting something, but being damn scared of getting it…
But we all already surpassed something we were afraid of, didn’t we? Maybe it was reaching out to someone we wanted to get to know; maybe it was asking for that job promotion; quitting your job; it could even be jumping out of a 10 meters diving board… The point is, we’ve all been there.
So, how was it? Terrifying, I bet… But wasn’t it also thrilling? Didn’t you feel stronger after doing that, happier with yourself?
Well, here, it applies too. The more you overcome your fears, the less power over you they have. And this means that you’ll be able to better manage yourself the next time this crippling emotion comes around – which means you’ve just disciplined your brain and taken control of your life. How cool is that?
Hint number two: Overcome things that scare you. Ask that cool person out; Go on that road trip; Follow your dreams. Start that work out plan you had been putting off.
Remember – fear isn’t a limitation – it is a challenge. And like all challenges, it’s there so you beat it.
This may just be becoming my personal favourite. Why? Because it requires the two things that are necessary to master discipline: Overcoming fear; and consistency.
I don’t know about you, but I’ve always been pretty scared of feeling pain. And this fear has been one to limit me from many opportunities.
But one wise soul once said to me that we can’t outrun pain… What we can, however, is choose whether or not we suffer.
Exercising is great precisely for this reason. It allows you to strengthen the body – feel the pain; But also strengthen the mind – not suffer. And the more you do, the more you work, the harder you try, the more prepared you’ll be to go after that promotion, to start that business of your own, to let go of that fear that has been holding you back.
So, hint number three: Get started on that work out plan, join a gym, start looking for exercises that fit you best. Join that sport that you’re into – and become the best at it.
Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional.
Being Mindful Of Ego
At last, but one of the most important ones: if the point is to overcome ego to master discipline – why not be mindful of ego when it is present? It sure makes it much easier…
So, to give you the best possible help in that department – here are two amazing articles already written that go into this subject in depth: How Ego Has Been Secretly Running Your Life; The 1 Advice That’s Been Secretly Damaging All Your Relationships
“All Successes Begin With Self Discipline. It All Starts With You.” – Dwayne Johnson