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  • There's a widely-held belief that self-discipline means being able to do something when you

  • don't actually want to do it.

  • People who believe this think that self-discipline means going to the gym, reading books, or

  • eating chicken and broccoli when you don't actually want to.

  • For them, self-discipline means ignoring your authentic-self in favour of your ideal-self.

  • But this view of self-discipline is completely deluded.

  • Imagine that you've been taken prisoner by a criminal, and the criminal starts making

  • demands of you.

  • He says, "Cook me dinner.

  • Now clean my house.

  • Now go sleep in that corner."

  • If you do these things even though you don't want to, if you suppress your authenticity

  • in favour of his ideal, does that make you disciplined?

  • Or does it just make you a really good slave?

  • An obedient prisoner?

  • And what do you think will happen to you as you live more and more like a prisoner, continuing

  • to do things that you don't want to do, suppressing your authenticity in favour of his ideal?

  • Will you love your master and be happy?

  • Or will you become resentful, angry, and full of sadness, regretting the life you never

  • got to live?

  • Obviously, the answer is the latter.

  • Suppressing your authenticity comes at a cost.

  • I know this from first-hand experience.

  • There was a time in my life when I lived very inauthentically.

  • Instead of following my sincere desire to become a psychologist and philosopher, I studied

  • engineering.

  • I neglected my authentic-self and followed the ideals of society.

  • I thought I was doing what I should do in order to succeed and be respected by society.

  • And in order to follow society's ideals, I had to repress my authentic-self.

  • I told myself that psychology and philosophy were a waste of time, even though I felt called

  • to study them.

  • I told myself a life full of money was more important than a life full of purpose.

  • And I told myself that society, and the people around me, knew what I should want out of

  • life better than I do.

  • And by repressing my authentic-self, I became out of touch with my own true feelings, desires,

  • and instincts.

  • And this loss of connection took a very real toll on my health, causing me to develop lots

  • of GI issues.

  • For a deeper look at the science behind the connection between authenticity and health,

  • I recommend reading Dr. Gabor Mate's new book, _The Myth of Normal_.

  • Suppressing your authenticity will always take a real cost on your health.

  • Forcing yourself to do things you don't want to do is not self-discipline.

  • It's slavery, and every slave eventually becomes resentful, revengeful, and regretful.

  • Sacrificing your authenticity for society's ideal will make you miserable, not happy.

  • And no matter how long you force it, you will always eventually fail in the long-run.

  • And that's a good thing too, because who wants to live their whole life as a slave?

  • So what does it really mean to be self-disciplined?

  • A truly self-disciplined person is a disciple of themselves.

  • They're an eternal student.

  • Rather than trying to suppress, repress, control, or force their genuine feelings in a specific

  • direction, they try to understand them.

  • And through understanding, they learn how to allow their authentic-self to flourish.

  • And by allowing their authentic-self to flourish, they live lives of wholeness and happinessnot

  • resentment and regret.

  • But how does someone become a disciple of themselves in the first place?

  • By discovering their own ideals, not society's.

  • They follow their own interests and confront the challenges that they personally feel called

  • to confront.

  • They walk a path that is their own, not the path society has laid out for them.

  • They pursue what they genuinely want, not what society tells them to pursue.

  • For the person who becomes a disciple of themselves, self-control is never an issue.

  • There are no issues of control, because there is nothing to control.

  • They move as one harmonious unit.

  • If you force yourself to do things you don't want to do, if you follow society's ideal,

  • your ideal-self will repress your authentic-self.

  • You will become a slave in your own body, and your body will take its revenge.

  • But if you become a disciple of yourself, if you understand your own genuine feelings,

  • desires, and nature, if you discover your own ideal, your ideal-self will work harmoniously

  • with your authentic-self to promote growth.

  • So here's the secret to self-discipline.

  • Self-discipline is not about forcing yourself to meet society's ideal, but rather becoming

  • a student of yourself.

  • It's about discovering your own ideal and allowing your authentic-self

  • to flourish.

There's a widely-held belief that self-discipline means being able to do something when you

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