Posted tagged ‘Discipline’

Life as it is (impromptu post)

January 22, 2010

I celebrate my father-in-law’s 99th birthday tonight.  He proclaims his secret is to never worry about things that he cannot change.  How do people do this?

I have other friends who have been told by their doctors that they may not celebrate their 60th birthdays, or even the birthday expected next.  They can’t help but worry about things that they cannot change.

Life is difficult.  I don’t know what the key is.  But I know that one must try to be happy with what is right here now.  How does one do this?  One thing is to try, to discpline one’s mind, to learn to purposefully let go of stress and worry, unease and sadness.

My generation was raised to be natural.  We want things (i.e. happiness)  to come naturally.  As we age, this is not so easy.  (Old age and aches and pains come naturally.)  I think a little discipline, mind control, stiff upper lip, is called for.  I hope we can remember how it works.

More On Blocking Writer’s Block – Discipline/Playfulness

December 2, 2009

Generally, I really do believe that discipline is the paramount tool  in (i) getting real work done; and (ii) achieving lasting happiness.  (A bit of a workaholic, I have a hard time imagining happiness in the absence of real work.)

Discipline is especially important if your real work is creative.  Inspiration is terrific, of course, but the tangible application of inspiration generally takes some putting of your shoulder to the wheel, nose to the grindstone.

And yet….   And yet…  creativity also requires play—the shaking free of the shoulder, the picking of the nose off the grindstone and thumbing it at the world, the off-beat syncopation of the song, the heightened leap of the dance,  the crazy invented rhyme, the stroke, if not of genius, at least of ingenuity.

Discipline/play—it’s a pretty crazy balancing act, strength and elasticity, practice and spontaneity, muscle and frill.

Actually, I’m not sure that “frill” is the right word.  Maybe “flow” works better.  “Flow” sounds pretty darn creative, and yet unchannelled flow can also end in puddles, swampland, ditches, floating you away, sinking you in muck.  (Yes, I’ve probably taken that metaphor too far.)

Still, the point is that you need to figure out a balance–a way to discipline your use of time, while remaining playful within that time.  It’s important too, even while disciplined, to remain open to obsession, crazy tangents.   Adhere only to discipline and you could end up writing computer manuals, or worse, you could self-implode, and become simply escapist, reading vampire novels all night.

Too much playfulness, on the other hand, can also lead to complete self-indulgence, ending up in mindless haiku.   (Sorry, good haiku.)

Unfortunately, after a lot of discipline, I’ve moved into to the escapist mode in the last few days.  As a result, I’ll end this right here so I can go back to my nighttime reading.

(For more specific suggestions on blocking writer’s block, or other creative blocks, check out my posts in this category from the ManicDDaily home page.)

Early Saturday Morning Gym

August 15, 2009

(Before reading, you may wish to check out previous post re “Friday Night Gym” for analysis of comparative virtues.)

Five Reasons to Go to The Gym Early Saturday Morning

1.  It makes you feel incredibly disciplined.

2.   It’s not crowded.  The  other people there  look  sleepy-eyed but take-chargey.   You are quite sure, while avoiding all mirrors, that you look super take-chargey.

3.  These take-chargey people do not let the staff vacuum right next to where you huff.    Besides the staff is really sleepy-eyed and not in the mood to vacuum.  (They are the ones that kicked you out last night, remember?)

4.   If you go now, you don’t have to go later,  a time of  serious nautilus puddles.  Let’s not even talk about the Saturday afternoon pool.  (Has anyone studied the human body effects of diaper moisture retardants combined with chlorine? Lots and lots of chlorine?)

5.  You’re getting fat.

Five Reasons Not to Go to the Gym Early Saturday Morning

1.  Who anointed you as the keeper of the Discipline fleece?  And what about the links between sleep and productivity, huh?  Huh?

2.    Who said that “take-chargey” was a good look for you anyway? (BTW, you forgot  to take charge of the puffy circles under your eyes. )

3.  The staff really doesn’t care about your work-out schedule.

4.  If you went later, you could get kicked out at closing and you wouldn’t have to stay there so long.

5.  You’re getting fat no matter what.

If you want something to check out on a Saturday,  try 1 Mississippi at link above or on Amazon.

Friday Night Gym

August 14, 2009

Five Reasons To Go To The Gym Friday Nights

1.  It makes you feel incredibly disciplined.

2.  It’s really uncrowded.

3.  The staff are extremely attentive.

4.  It closes early so you don’t have long to work out.

5.  You’re getting fat.

Five Reasons Not To Go To The Gym Friday Nights

1.  It’s hard to feel good about being disciplined when the rest of the world is out partying.

2.  You see the same old people there every Friday night.  They are beginning to seem very same and very old.  You wonder about your own sameness and oldness quotients.

3.  The staff are so anxious to get rid of you they vacuum right where you huff.   You feel too bereft to ask them to stop, certain that they, at least, have other places to go.

4.  If you’re not going to work out very long, what’s the point?

5.  You’re getting fat anyway.