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The Simplicity of Discipline: Thriving Without the Baggage of Expectations

Don't Expect, Accept

Don't Expect, Accept

Expecting more from the self can help us change the course of our life. Wanting to be in better shape, or learning a new skill is the first step towards self- motivation and eventually action.

Any shortcomings or obstacles (like missing a day of action) make us see expectations in a different light, something that chains us and moves us away from the simplicity of self-discipline.

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IDEA EXTRACTED FROM:

The Simplicity of Discipline: Thriving Without the Baggage of Expectations

The Simplicity of Discipline: Thriving Without the Baggage of Expectations

https://zenhabits.net/simple-discipline/

zenhabits.net

5

Key Ideas

Having No Expectations

Instead of imposing a daily habit, where self-expectation is bound to happen, we can simply appreciate the habit and let ourselves move naturally towards it.

This takes the stress out of the activity, and we enjoy it more. Due to zero expectation, we change a mindset from ‘have to do’ into ‘want to do’.

Any failure in the habit does not lead to any discouragement or demotivation, and we start to do the activity more often and become more and more present in it.

Expectations are Part of Our Ego

Dropping all expectations isn’t that easy.

We usually do not look at reality as it is, due to it coloured by our beliefs, ideals, fantasies, frustrations, and assumptions. Expectations become part of our ego and becomes the reason we feel discouraged, overwhelmed and inadequate.

The Simple Discipline Of Work

When you have a to-do list with ten to fifteen tasks, including five important ones, the simple discipline of work needs to be implemented:

  1. Choose one task that feels important while letting go of the others for a short while, as they can become your distractions.
  2. Be in the moment and do the task, staying in it completely.
  3. Let go of any expectations of the burden of tasks, and choose the next one when the task at hand is complete.
  4. Remain stress-free and do not overwork yourself, resting when you need to.

The Discipline of Consistent Habits

When we pick a habit, we face a challenge of maintaining the consistency of the daily action. The simple discipline of habit can be implemented:

  1. Set aside a time and space to commit yourself for a certain habit(like journaling).
  2. Do the habit, even if you feel a certain resistance.
  3. Try to appreciate your work, and let go of how you think it should be done.
  4. Repeat this for the next few days.
  5. Do not fret if you miss a day, not getting in the expectation trap.

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It takes practice to get good at anything
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Committing to actually starting

Overcome your mind's resistance to get started by saying, "I'm all in. I'm going to start today." Then get moving. If you're not good at this, commit to making a small habit change this instant.

Many people want to learn a language or start exercising, but then don't take action. It is because they haven't really committed to getting started.

Focus on starting

The skill to master is getting started. You don't have to exercise for half an hour; you only need to start.

Often, we're supposed to do a new habit, and we procrastinate, turn to distractions, and rationalize our resistance.

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The lack of true rest
The lack of true rest

It drains us out of our energy to the point where we're never fully present, fully alive in the moment.

And this could have negative consequences on many level of our ...

What true rest looks like

A few ways to rest that feel very replenishing:

  • Closing your eyes, lying down, and doing nothing.
  • Going outside without using a device.
  • Relaxing with someone else. Feeling connection with them.
  • Being fully present with a simple activity, like drinking coffee.
  • Playing music, creating art, dancing etc.
How to relax

You can relax while doing something (having a bath, a cup of coffee etc.) You don’t have to be lying down, with your eyes closed.

The key is to make this the one thing that you’re doing. Be all in with this task, instead of jumping around.

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Changing Your Identity
Changing Your Identity

We mistakenly attempt to change our habits while keeping our core identity. As we play our different roles, we have to switch to different identities, like a father, teacher, reader, spea...

Benefits Of Changing Your Identity
  1. Changing your identity will automatically lead you to discard some behaviours that are not associated with that identity, helping you stop smoking or eating meat, for example.
  2. Your behaviour will align with the behaviour of the chosen identity.
  3. You will not have to lecture yourself every day about your motivations.
  4. You will be surprised about the many old beliefs about your abilities suddenly vanishing.
  5. The mindset change will bring new growth and new possibilities.
How To Change Your Identity
  1. The best and fastest way to change your identity is to do it intentionally and consciously.
  2. Visualize yourself as the person in the new identity, like a writer, a minimalist, a non-smoker or a vegan, and write down the same to reflect on it.
  3. Get into action mode and see yourself being the new person, like getting up in the morning and witnessing yourself wearing the running shoes and going out for a run. See yourself in your new identity while in action.
  4. Appreciate and reinforce your new identity on yourself and be the change. See how easy it is to be an early riser or a runner or a writer.
  5. If you miss a day or two, don’t give up and visualize yourself as the new identity handling the disruption.