For some reason I woke up this morning thinking about discipline. Not willpower, but discipline. I’ve learned that willpower is an expendable emotion. Just like exercising a muscle, willpower starts off strong but eventually gets depleted. That is why using willpower to stop or cut back on drinking is not very successful.
But what drives us to get up each morning and perform a morning ritual? Engage in daily exercises? Study for an exam? Become alcohol free? I think discipline has a lot to do with it.
When I was a little girl I sucked my thumb. I know, bad stuff. But when I got way too old for such a habit, my mom decided to coax me into stopping by offering me some kind of reward. I decided I wanted a fancy dress. After we made this deal, she said that she would come check on me as I slept and I’d have my hands crossed over my chest, fingers interlaced, so I wouldn’t put my thumb in my mouth. At 4 years old, I had discipline. The nugget at the end of the rainbow, that pretty dress, was what I needed to stop that bad habit.
I used to watch my dad and his morning routine. My dad was a workaholic and although he was a big drinker, he only allowed himself to drink on the weekends (by the time I came around, anyway). But his morning routine included morning stretches and exercises. I watched in awe and often thought to myself, “why the heck didn’t I get his discipline?”
But I did! Even at 4 years old, trying to stop sucking my thumb, I had that discipline. Again, along this journey, we’ve been trying to get that inner child back. Release his/her enthusiasm and joy. I DO have discipline! The nugget now at the end of my rainbow is living beautifully clean and NAKED and self-reliant without alcohol!!
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