Discipline: Not Sold in Stores
Just because it’s there, doesn’t mean I have to take it.
We live in a world of big shiny abundance, or at least the world I live in. When I walk into a convenience store my field of vision is completely overwhelmed by beautiful, magical colors; from gum to candy bars, from energy drinks to beer. Billboards line the highway with resort destinations, the hippest tequilas and lawyers who’ll gladly get you out of a bind. Neighborhoods are packed with big box stores where almost anything desired (or advertised during the evening news) is within a one mile radius. And if we don’t feel like driving then we can order it online while we watch our favorite new TV series.
We literally live in a playground. You know that feeling when you were about ten years old and your parents left you home alone for the first time? That’s how I see it.
If you were like me, then you raided the pantry and destroyed just about everything you could before they got back, and maybe even watched something you shouldn’t have. 😏
Our parents limited the amount of rubbish we consumed and reserved birthdays and special occasions for the great binges. But what happens when we grow up and our parents aren’t there to tell us “no!”?
When I became an independent adult, no one told me what not to do, I did whatever I wanted. Box of Oreos on a Tuesday night? Why not! 10 hours of TV on a Sunday? Let’s do it! 7 day party vacation? Sleep is for the weak.
Under my nose, the world around me became the most convenient store imaginable. Whatever my appetite, the menu was unlimited; whether I was in small town suburbia or the big city, there was something for me.
By 25 I had become chubby, lazy, and pretty much consumed by my consumption; a real all-star! Thanks to my excessive personality however, it didn’t take long before I hit the wall so bad I had no choice but to rethink my strategy.
Long story short I slowly began breaking away from my routines and it unveiled a whole different world to me.
I was in a constant state of consumption:
6:45 am – wake up: turn on the radio
7:45 am – drive to work: stop for coffee and a bagel, while listening to the radio
10:15 am – break time: coffee and a snack
12:00 pm – lunch time: time for a nice hearty lunch, talk about the news
3:00 pm – break time: another snack, need my energy
5:00 pm – after work: a few beers with the guys, talk about sports and the news
7:00 pm – drive home: listen to the radio
7:30 pm – get home: eat dinner
9:00 pm – after dinner: watch tv and eat snacks
11:00 pm – fall asleep and do it all over again
I don’t know about you, but that was pretty much my life for a very long time. How could I find time to workout or read with such a hectic schedule? How could I get anything done with such a heavy routine?
How could I find time to think?
When I saw it for what it was I had to make a change, there was no going back. I realized the overabundance of consumables wasn’t something I was going to change, but I could definitely change myself.
I freed up so much of my time I was able to learn about how to improve my health, how to pick up my hobbies and most importantly, how to think!
As l learn more about the fundamentals of nutrition and my general well-being, it’s obvious the cheapest, most readily available products, from food to fun, offer nothing but addictive potential. We’re surrounded by things to trap us in the loop, and I know because it’s always looming and I was trapped!
But since I’ve gotten out I’m able to see it for what it is, and appreciate what it’s brought me. Like I said at the beginning of this blog, just because it’s there, doesn’t mean I have to take it. It’s showed me that in a world of abundance, the only way to find fulfillment is with discipline. The discipline I’ve acquired has given me the gift of time, learning, self-confidence and appreciation for the moments where I do indulge.
The best part about it for me is no matter how much money you have, you can never buy discipline; it’s earned and no one can take it away!
Does it make people nervous when I tell them I don’t want a beer, or that I’m writing this on hour 36 of my fast? Sure, but like I’ve said before, I wouldn’t be doing this right now if it weren’t for the choices I’ve made.
A lot of people ask me if I have fun, or why I sacrifice so much. The way I see it I’m having a lot more fun than I used to and the only thing I’ve sacrificed is my shackles.
Maybe it’s a test, maybe it’s a game, who knows what the world we live in really is. All I know is the less I take, the better I feel!