Saturday, January 1, 2022

Word of the Year 2022: Disciplines 1: Introduction



Tai chi lesson in Upper Tom Lea Park, El Paso, Texas. April 2017.
Tai chi lesson in Upper Tom Lea Park, El Paso, Texas. April 2017.

There are:

  1. Skills I want to master, 
  2. Creative works I want to produce,
  3. Fitness levels I want to sustain or achieve, 
  4. Financial goals I want to meet before I retire, 
  5. Relationships I want to nurture,
  6. "Greater societal goods" to which I wish to contribute, and
  7. Serenity I want to achieve and sustain notwithstanding storms that might pass through and around me. 


Tai chi lesson in Upper Tom Lea Park, El Paso, Texas. April 2017.
Tai chi lesson in Upper Tom Lea Park, El Paso, Texas. April 2017.


All of the above require a discipline. 

A intentional regular daily, weekly, or monthly practice - in other words, an action - designed to achieve or sustain a goal, whether that goal is physical, emotional, intellectual, or spiritual.

If I compare a discipline to a bank account, it's about me depositing money into an account every day, even if the amount is small. The more reserves I build over time, the more money I have to work with to meet my needs and desires.

2022 is to be about practicing regular disciplines that will transform my wanna-do's to my doing


My barriers to discipline practice

  1. Too much screen time. Doesn't matter if I spend squander my time reading serious news or fluff - it's time I will never get back. It's time I could use to create, learn, practice, produce. 
  2. Too many distractions. Like writing this post, for instance. I look out the window. Make lunch. Watch a brainless youtube about babies' reactions to seeing their dads without a beard for the first time. Sweep a floor.
  3. I tend to do not-urgent/not-important things in my daily life before (or instead of) the not-urgent-but-important things. My daily to-do list is helpful, but it's just an unweighted list of tasks. In other words, visually, sweeping a floor carries the same weight as completing this post. Pennies equal dollars.


Understanding the Time Matrix – FranklinPlanner Talk
7 Habits of Highly Effective People time matrix. Source: Franklin Planner.


These barriers are not new for me, of course. Hey, look at this vintage post that I forgot I wrote until now: Getting Things Done (September 2012). And this one, Portable Tai Chi, in 20 fucking 10.

Building a new skill is uncomfortable. I am averse to discomfort. I feel a little distressed. I feel awkward. Annoyed. Frustrated. I feel like I'm just not going to get it. I have the desire to flee. And it takes so. much. fucking. time. The hours it takes to reach even the beginner stage. The hours it takes to move past the discomfort phase into the I-think-I'm-getting-it phase, when it becomes more satisfying. 


Although I've had certain goals on my "I want to do...." list for years - without putting in the requisite labor hours to get me there - I do have the ability to get them in my Ongoing or Completed columns.

Because I have, in fact, knocked a number of items off the bucket list that I wrote in my early 30s, at a time when I was a single parent of a very young child, with very few financial resources. 

I've also realized a number of adolescent dreams, albeit in ways I did not anticipate back then. 

And I learned to dance, didn't I? Who would have ever thought that could happen? Not me! 

But a hard home truth: I ain't getting any younger, so I better get crack-a-lackin'.

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