What Discipline means to me

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Discipline, self-discipline to be exact, is one of my core-values. Currently my life was never impossibly hard; it is only hard because I chose to make it hard.

The area where this shows the most is in exercising, working out. I could be a couch potato every day, but instead I workout three times a week. Why? To remind me of the last part of that simple sentence every day: “it is only hard because I chose to make it hard”

Three times a week still isn’t daily, as breaks are good if it is intensive. So there was another area I practiced daily for the last half-year; programming, which i consistently did from January 1st till July 16th (with the exception for 2 exam weeks). Now I keep that progress to myself with programming, and don’t require code as output; reading and researching also counts.

Still, making progress daily was now second-nature, so why not apply it do exercising (already did it three times a week, so why not) I want to stay fit; so the days in-between the 3 workout days, I now do 100 pushups. This way, I exercise everyday while still having rest. That is what I call discipline

And yes, this took a while to built. Most of the advice to beginners is to do as much as you can as your baseline, and do one or two more each day. While that certainly is a way to keep building, building strength directly depends on how hard you train. So this advice is more about letting you stick to it, than making large steps.

Because let’s be honest: If you had other areas in your life where you did hard stuff because you wanted to, you can do more than just “ow lemme do 2 more pushups, phew done it, almost sweated” That would just hold you back by pretending you are a complete beginner constantly; use the skills you have to enhance the advice. The best heuristic I have found thus-far is the 40% rule. What you are physically capable of is like a battery that gives warnings when it is being depleted. The 40%-depletion warning is when you get the thought “i am so done, i can’t do any more of these”. You surely know how to extrapolate this, but just in case: if that thought pops up at 20 pushups, your target for that set is 50. It is just a warning, a thought, a notification, letting you know where you are at. Because in nature, you would not survive by draining yourself to 0 for simple task; you would be too easy of a target for predators.

“But what if I go to far?” Well, have you, and if so: did you not recover? Injuries aside, which risk can greatly be reduced, finding the upper limit is a good way to set a baseline. Exercise is a fine balance, discover both sides to know the meaning of the signs your body gives you. How this upper and lower limit discovery can help, here is what good isolation of the two can do:

Let’s say you want stand on your hands. Analyze for a second what exerting too little and too much means:

The first case is what will probably happen. A good exercise before starting the training is forcing yourself to the last case: just go full power and fall over, learn to fall as best as you can. Now that you have fallen once, and you have seen that it wasn’t bad at all (assuming you fell on a soft-surface ;D).

This simplifies it, mentally prepares you, so you can now start the training. It is also part of setting up your learning environment, be it mentally. From there the training can begin.

Same with stamina:

From there the training can begin.

And that is what I call discipline.

We gaan door / We persist

We gaan door / We persist

Ook al weet ik niet waarom / Even if I don’t know why

Ook al weet ik niet waarvoor / Even if I don’t know what for

Maar we gaan door / Yet we persist

We gaan door / We persist

We gaan door / We persist

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