“Discipline is remembering what you want.” David Campbell, author
So what do you want? What do you really want? In your life — your personal life, your relationship life, your professional life, your spiritual life, your emotional life, your whole life — what do you really want? Think about it for a minute…
I want to offer you something to consider that may make you take a closer look at yourself. When I was first told this myself, I hated it, I rebelled against it. But as I considered the concept more deeply, and looked honestly at my own life, I came to see the truth in it. The idea I want to invite you to consider is this: If you want to know what you really want, look at what you have.
The truth is, that despite what you may tell yourself about what you want, you already have what you really want. It has to be true. Look at it this way: at least 51% of you wants what you have or you’d have something else. Perhaps it’s because you’re afraid to change (and no longer know who you are), or perhaps you’re afraid of failing or making the commitment to do whatever it takes to get what you want, or you’re afraid of losing something or someone(s) if you get what you say you want, or whatever. Nevertheless, the fact remains, at least 51% of you — for whatever reason — wants to have what you already have. And as soon as 51% of you wants something else, you’ll have that.
Now if you really understand this, you have a chance of getting what you believe you want — or at least re-examining what you believe you want and seeing what it is that you really want. By accepting this truth, you take responsibility for your life and no longer see yourself as a victim of the circumstances of your life. And, most importantly, you can look at yourself honestly and see why you have what you have, instead of what you say you want. Only when you see why you’re holding yourself back can you do something about it. Until that time, the reasons remain unconscious and continue to run your life.
You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting –
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.
Why don’t you pause here for a few minutes to reflect on this new concept, see if you can see the truth in it, and, if so, take a close look at your life and see if you can see why you’ve been holding yourself back from having what you want. See if it’s what you really want or if it’s what you think you should want, for whatever reason (i.e., it was what was expected of you from early childhood on, it was what you thought was the right or good thing to do or be, etc.). See if you can get beyond all these preconceived ideas and uncover what it is that you really want for yourself – what it is that you yearn for deep in your heart, guts, and soul. And then see if you can see how and why you have been keeping yourself from having this deepest desire for you life. Take a very honest look at yourself and see if you can get to the heart of the matter.
The big question is whether you are going to be able to say a hearty yes to your adventure.
Discipline is really about aligning yourself with your deepest wants and needs, and allowing life to take you wherever you need to go – acknowledging, of course, that life is an ever-changing journey and that your wants and needs will change as you grow. There’s a very sweet, very little (@ 100 paperback pages) book, The Ultimate Secret to Getting Absolutely Everything You Want, by Mike Hernacki, that says “The ultimate secret to getting absolutely everything you want is being willing to do whatever it takes to get it!” Or, in perhaps more contemporary lingo, “Let go and let God!”
I once shot foul shots (basketball) with a Native American Medicine Man I know, who told me that the secret to shooting foul shots was to have the hoop pull the basketball through it, rather than trying to shoot the ball through the hoop. As strange as that idea may sound, it seemed to work for him, as he made 90% of his shots that day. (He said he offered to teach this to the Syracuse University basketball team, but they turned down his offer.)
So, perhaps life is like basketball in this way: if one aligns oneself with what one truly desires and then surrenders and allows that which one desires to pull oneself to it, being willing to do whatever is required of one in the process, one can have what one truly wants. It seems to me that it might be a good idea. Why not experiment with it and see?