Self-discipline is often associated with boredom. It is viewed as a cage which prevents people from exercising their freedom. In fact, many consider self-discipline to be in sharp contrast to freedom. Today we will be exploring these concepts.
Animals have a tendency to acquire immediately what they desire. For the animals, that is the only goal of their life. Their brains are wired to cater to the immediate needs of their bodies. The humans, on the other hand, are different, as they have the ability to control their senses. The ability to restrain from fulfilling the immediate desire as it might be an obstruction/hurdle for the achieving the future goals. The animals do not have any long-term goals. Perhaps the only goal they have is to fulfill their urge of something, they don’t have Long Term Large Goals ( LL goals) they only have Short Term Small goals (SS goals). Unlike humans (most of them I mean) animals don’t have any ulterior motive/goals.
The problem for the Humans arises when there is a strong urge to fulfill the immediate temptation. Ideally, the SS goals should be in line with the LL goals. But we all know what really happens, we usually give in to our senses, we are very submissive that way. Let’s take a very common example. An individual is in pursuit of having a fit body, ideally, he should follow the fitness regime, exercise, and diet to achieve his goal. But when he sees an advertisement of Pizza he feels the urge to have it, consequentially he picks up the phone and dials pizza delivery service and ends up ordering a pizza. After finishing which he has a guilt trip. This is an example of SS and LL goals of life.
Leading a (self) disciplined life helps you build a strong personality, and helps you achieve your dreams/goals over a long period. The freedom in the understanding of many people is given a very narrow definition of “ability to fulfill your immediate whims and fancies”. Since discipline has more to do with exercising absolute control over your senses and being swayed by them, people view it as a self-imposed exile.
If you have not understood it until I will break it down for you. Self-discipline is freedom. It is freedom from the mundane unproductive things your mind asks you to do. It is the path to rise above yourself and practice spirituality. It is the path to a better version of yourself, Self-discipline is a showcase of the strength of an individual. It is important for us to realize that to serve one must be disciplined.
Self-discipline is exercising absolute control over your senses and mind overall. You should be the one who controls your senses, not letting freedom enslave you by letting it happen the other way round. Self-discipline allows you to align your Short-term Small goals with your Long-term Large goals, and be successful. Freedom allows you to write, but self-discipline allows you to blog (write regularly). Freedom allows you to play, but self-discipline allows you to represent your country/state/institute.
“Not to do what you feel like doing is Freedom”
-Swami Chinmayananda Saraswati
– Article by Dr Chaitanya