About a year ago, a friend of mine recommended a list of books to me, many of which were self-help books. (In a totally reasonable, "I asked him to do it" way, it's not like he gave it to me unsolicited as a way of saying that I needed help.) One of these books was The Slight Edge, which discusses the power of implementing small beneficial habits into our lives, and carrying them out with consistency. Reading at least ten pages of a good book every day, for instance, or always waking up fifteen minutes early to exercise. And the book argued that the people who actually do these things are the ones who are most successful in life because they're the ones who have this slight edge. (I LOVE IT WHEN THEY USE THE TITLE OF THE BOOK IN THE BOOK.)
Well, that's not wrong. Those habits are beneficial, and can only be helpful in your quest towards whatever it is you want to achieve. But they're the method to, not the cause of, success. Nobody actually keeps those habits without discipline.
I am a huge proponent of discipline. It's how I graduated cum laude from a top 50 university with a double major and a double minor, high honors from doing a thesis in my primary major, all on top of having done over 40 productions. It's the only way to get stuff done. You have the discipline to just do it.
I'm bringing it up now, though, because I feel like I haven't been very disciplined lately. I know there are certain things that just haven't been happening that I need to get done, I've been spending way more money on random things than I normally would, and I'm not as far into writing my new short as I'd like to be. Plus, I've been sleeping in way more frequently than I should, and I haven't been shaving my legs even though it's getting warm out. Both of which matter way less, but it's the principle of the thing, right?
But you know what? I also just shot a short film, and it's in post-production now. I'm working on a new short. I'm keeping in contact with people in the industry, and they're responding to me. I'm auditioning.
And I think at this point, the discipline I still lack is the discipline to see the hard work I'm always doing, even if it's not in a constant state of producing tangible results.
Sure, that's an easy way to resolve the hypocrisy of writing a blog post about discipline an hour later than I'm supposed to, and I'm not sure it even counts as a discipline, per se, but it's still important.