Learning to Say “NO” to Unhealthy Compulsions

Learning to say no

There are so many bad habits I want to change but feel like I can’t conjure the discipline. What’s going on with me?

You would not expect to be capable of climbing a mountain just because you decided to climb one. Like so many aspirations, such an adventure requires planning, preparation, and practice. It does not only require one huge commitment; it requires dozens of small ones, as well. Many people don’t understand why they get so overwhelmed by the idea of doing something new until they realize that each “something new”
requires dozens of steps before they will reach their goal.

The next time you hear yourself say that you can’t manage to do something, pause a moment and determine whether you truly cannot do it or whether you choose not to. Be clear that if you don’t want to put the time, money or effort into something, it is not necessarily because you cannot; but rather because you choose not to make it a priority. If you really wanted to do it, you would most likely find a way, even if it took a long time to execute the plan. When you find yourself saying that there is not enough time to do something, the odds are good that you are, in reality, choosing to spend your time in other ways.

Unconscious use of the word “can’t,” prevents the mind from seeking solutions. The statement “I can’t” usually means “I don’t want to” or “I am not willing to make the time to.” Sometimes “I can’t” simply means you haven’t figured out how to do it yet. Asking yourself how you could learn will reverse the pattern.

The discipline of saying “no” to unhealthy compulsions results in deeper 
freedom. Discipline allows you to use your mind in service of your deepest aspirations rather than being at the mercy of its every superficial whim. Although self-discipline is commonly perceived as a strict regimen that is devoid of indulgence, the word discipline actually comes from the word “disciple,” which means “learner.”

To be disciplined actually means to be one who is willing to learn.  Most people who are repelled by the idea of restraint and self-control generally hold freedom as a very high value. What they do not realize is that discipline can ultimately be a pathway to freedom. This is one of the paradoxes of life. Discipline helps you to achieve your heart’s desires.  

Some of the traditional Asian philosophies propose treating one's body
as a temple, one's mind as a servant and one's breath as the bridge that allows the spiritual and physical worlds to meet.  In this model of living, the purpose of life is to care for one’s own body, mind and spirit so well that they can function at their optimum and thus, allow you to be of better service in the world. 

Ironically, the ancient traditions of Martial Arts, Tai Chi, Yoga and even Buddhist meditation are based on the concept that self-discipline is a path of liberation. Eastern philosophies emphasize “daily practice” not only to 
perfect an art, but also for the personal discipline, which results from the practice itself.  Any activity that includes focus of the mind and utilization of the physical body, including activities such as running, swimming, weight lifting, knitting, gardening or surfing can be useful pursuits on the path of self-mastery, if carried out in a conscious manner.  

Surround yourself with people who inspire you. Engage in activities that make you feel good about yourself. *

Make your time on the planet count! 

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