No.

Aug 17 2011

"Rub by belly" by tambako on Flickr

"Rub by belly" by tambako on Flickr

I lack self-discipline.

There are many reasons for this, none of them important now. The fact remains: I don’t need to discipline myself, besides basic practices like going to work in the morning. I can buy whatever I want, exercise if I want, and watch movies if I want.

We all know that, but what about the subtler cases? I don’t actually buy anything I want. I don’t eat McDonald’s at every meal.

But I do eat very few vegetables. I know the sorts of healthy foods I should be eating; I just don’t buy them. Meditation can only take a few minutes, but I never seem to get it done.

So:

Yesterday, I read a bunch of online articles on self-discipline. Buried amongst the useless self-help blogs, one helpful article from a Hindu perspective pointed out the power of saying “No” to yourself. Even in little ways. As a practice.

It can be very temporary. If I have an urge to check my email–and I checked my email a few hours ago–I’ll say “No.” I may check it again later. That’s okay. I’ll say “No” for now, just to practice.

I’ve been practicing this today, and it’s an amazing experience. It feels like a muscle. Feels strange at first, then normal, then powerful. I have an inkling this will change my life.

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