When life calls you to go all in, guess what you are going to do?
Devote yourself to your creation. Lean into it. It is your home. By creating you establish a relationship with yourself. By writing it all out you learn to distinguish the voices and eventually you will discover your own. On paper you are able to speak up for yourself. The blank page is the sacred ground of your recovery. Dive into your creation. You can’t drown. You will anchor yourself. This is how you connect with the core of your being.
Yay, the threesome is back – ‘just in time’ in ‘these days’.
What is the secret to personal growth? More and more I come to the conclusion that it is all about consistency. The consistency of doing one step after another.
Self-discipline became a fundamental component of my life. Not only in order to circumvent procrastination or to regulate over-thinking, but in order to basically get anything done.
Of course – change doesn’t happen overnight. Sometimes there are these massive fall-backs.
At the beginning I didn’t get this straight. I couldn’t establish discipline. It frustrated me. In the end it even increased my anxiety – the thing I wanted to learn to manage.
Until I understood that this whole personal development thing is not a straight line. I had to learn to set my intention right. I had to learn to focus. And I had to learn to get up – again and again and again after every single fall-back.
Also I had to learn to household with my energies, because I pressured myself so much.
It’s like running a marathon. If you burn all your energy at the beginning of the race you won’t be able to finish.
There are these punchlines circulating in social media: ‘Change comes in an instance.’ Yes. It does – but only after a long training period. You might read these quotes by inspirational speakers (Is this still a term?) like Tony Robbins or Simon Sinek (just as an example). But did you ever study their whole story?
Every success story is a rocky road. No matter if it’s the story of a company, an artist or a thought leader.
It is the incremental change that paves the road to self-mastery.
For me personally everything in my life became an act of balance. I can cope with the adversities of life only (and just about), because I made the decision to practice self-discipline at the beginning of this blog in 2017.
Before that I was not able to make a living.
Okay, I’m exaggerating, but seriously my life was a mess. Slowly (!) the fog is lifting and there are things that I can share confidently with you now…
Let’s start very practical. I established meditation, yoga, writing and language learning in my life – step by step. On this path the timer became my best friend. For some time I used a method called ‘pomodoro method’ to keep me going. Check out this threesome to find some more inspiration.
2. Cold Showers
Probably you read this already – maybe even on my blog. In my opinion cold showers are still highly underrated. I mentioned it earlier as a trick to reduce stress. It doesn’t only support the immune system, but it also helps to develop self-discipline.
If you manage to turn the tap on ‘cold’ in the morning every challenge of the day becomes easier. Additionally to that cold water can function as an antidepressant. How? Apparently a cold shower triggers our peripheral nerve ends. This trigger could drive forth a series of impulses that help to rewire the brain. My theory is that you receive such a shock moment that you forget about all your worries.
3. Practice ‘Delay of Gratification’
What do I mean by that? We are animals and as we can train our dog we can train ourselves.
This is indeed as easy said as done – if you are committed to change.
For example: If you don’t want to relinquish chocolate completely from your life, but you want to reduce sugar and at the same time you wish to exercise more – then set yourself some rules.
You are allowed to eat a piece (or a whole bar) of chocolate if you go running for 30 minutes.
My example now would be: I finish this article right here and then I will make my third coffee of the day and listen to music.
I don’t believe in super tough measurements anymore. This was one of my major lessons after my numerous self-imposed micro challenges. I can’t just apply the productivity tools of others. But what really helped me to integrate my own tools was the practice of self-discipline.
There is a thing that startles me a lot right now: Some people seem to expect ‘change’. Some people seem to wait for the moment when ‘things get better again’. But only very few individuals understand that it is about us – especially in ‘these days’. It is about us to take positive action towards a better world. And this requires some sort of discipline – especially in times of chaos.
“I don’t have this urge to create.” This is how a conversation I’ve had at a New Years party started off and swiftly ended.
After all this product designer and I didn’t have that much in common. “You need some sort of pain in order to create something.” This we both agreed on in our short examination of “What makes a creative person?” Whereas an artist I spoke to the other day disagreed strongly when I asked her about her growing pain during creation: ”Art doesn’t have to hurt. Only because you are creative doesn’t mean you have to suffer.”
I would love to agree with Chandra, but I can’t. This incoherent incomprehensible unrooted urge to express myself doesn’t let me sleep at night. This is suffering. Maybe the ‘creatives’ are just a bit of masochists.
In order to create something there must be some sort of discomfort. Something that pushes us towards the finishing line of a project – is it a job deadline or a personal goal we are aiming for. There needs to be some sort of necessity to create. If it doesn’t hurt at least an unease needs to be eliminated.
‘To create’ something means to build, design, construct or initiate something that hasn’t been there before. Some sort of invisible hole needs to be ‘filled’, a gap closed, a thirst quenched.
You can only create if you are willing to go beyond the existing. ‘A creative’ is brave enough to face the unknown.
Everybody is creative in one way or another. It’s a human trait. Life itself demands a level of creativity: When we are communicating we have to read between the lines, we have to ‘make sense’ of the world around us. We need to be creative when we cook, when we want to date someone, when we want to book holidays, when we post something on instagram. (pahaha!)
Creativity in the sense of ‘doing something with an artistic merit’ is commitment to walk into the unknown. It is ‘not being afraid of the empty page’. It is ‘not stopping to create’ until the creator is satisfied. Creativity is dedication.
It is an inexhaustible force that won’t stop pulling until we are done or something close to done.
For me this doesn’t go without any sort of pain. Sometimes the pain is hard to stand, but there is only one way: to keep creating.
The fear of creation – this nagging anxiety is paralyzing my synapses.
Black doubt clouds overcasting the bright sky of ideas.
Is there value in my words or am I lost in self-centeredness?
Is this the desperate attempt to find purpose or am I truly questioning?