Article from the book ‘Are You A Super Leader?’ by Manoj J Lekhi (Amrut Vivek).
I would define discipline as consistently following a particular code of conduct. In our trainings, we have made an interesting observation about it. The moment we say the word ‘discipline’ every person gets defensive. Each of us views discipline with resistance.
Why do people have trouble being disciplined? Be it the discipline of exercise, discipline of food habits or the simple discipline of traffic rules. Why are our children and adults rebellious in nature towards discipline? I analysed to realise
that this is because our true nature is to be free. We are born in this cosmos, in the true spirit of freedom. Before we were born we were free and after we leave our body at the time of death we will be free. Our inner nature is to be free. So naturally everyone wants to be free. So people are naturally inclined towards anything that relates to freedom.
Let’s take money as an example. For me it is just currency. For all practical purposes, it is just a piece of paper which actually doesn’t have any value other than the value that we have given it. Remember on 8th November, 2016, when the honourable Prime Minister of India Shree Narendra Modiji announced that Rs.1000/- and Rs.500/- notes were demonetized the same currency paper had no value anymore.
Then why do we give so much importance to money? It is because, if we have money, we feel we will have our freedom. For most of us money symbolizes freedom. So we go after money for freedom. In the process we get attached to money. If we were living in the Himalayas just like the saints, we may not follow any consistent routine. They may or may not follow daily hygiene or discipline because they are not part of the world. But if we choose to live in this so called practical, physical world, we have to follow some discipline. You observe the traffi c rules, you see the traffic on the roads, the functioning of government, the transmission of electricity – everything is run in an organized form which has come from exercising of discipline by various people. If we live in this practical world we need to follow a certain set of systems. If we choose to live exclusively in the spiritual world one may not follow a certain set of disciplines and would be free. So if we choose to live in our practical world, our success is channelized through discipline. We can earn our freedom through discipline.
All Super Leaders, first are super disciplined and it becomes part of their ‘being’. They may further even choose to drop their discipline.
Buddha was highly disciplined for 6 years, super disciplined. And later he fi nally dropped all discipline and earned his ultimate freedom – enlightenment. It may not be unwise to say that he earned the right to his indiscipline through his discipline.
Science of Discipline
If we choose the path of discipline in any aspect of our life for 66 days the brain gets hardwired to the body and body follows discipline effortlessly. For example, start brushing your teeth using the left hand instead of right and vice versa. Initially it will be diffi cult as it is a new learning to the brain but after 21 days it becomes easy while after 40 days it becomes easier and after 66 days it seems an effortless habit.
What has happened here is the learning brain (neo-cortex) passes on instructions to the limbic brain. This brain secretes hormones which generate feelings which create thoughts which in turn create similar feelings and finally a habit is formed. This gets transmitted to the autonomous brain (the first or oldest brain – cerebellum) and this becomes an autonomous discipline. So when you follow discipline for a period of 66 days it becomes a habit.
If it can be done for a simple act like brushing than why not for human emotions. Our feelings bring in certain equivalent vibrations of thoughts and that leads to development of equivalent vibrations of feelings. We simply have to repeat this again and again till it becomes our daily cycle and leads our way towards freedom. For example, driving. It is very difficult when you drive a car for the very first time but then after several weeks of practice it turns out to be effortless. It gives you a feeling of freedom when you drive now.
Discipline is not a regimented control. It is, in fact, a roadway to freedom. Earn your freedom while being disciplined. For example Sachin Tendulkar fi nds cricket effortless, Pt. Birju Maharaj fi nds dancing effortless, Amitabh Bachhan fi nds
acting effortless but behind all this is tremendous amount of discipline and consistent effort for a period of time.
If you want to live in this physical world and be successful, earn freedom through discipline. Pave your own pathway to freedom via the route of discipline. A Super Leader espouses discipline when required and quits it when it’s not required.