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Old 01-19-2014, 12:12 PM   #15
Location: Massachusetts
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 3,184
Re: How can Aikido teach you discipline if you love it?

Long Trinh wrote: View Post
Hmm I see what you and other people talk about (though it's so funny how this thread turns to sanitation). Seems like what I thought was discipline is different that what it is. I always imagine discipline means hardship, the old school stuff like rising at 5am during winter and mastering kata that you actually hate.
That's more of a romanticized bad-martial-arts-movie notion of discipline, I think.

Long Trinh wrote: View Post
The reason I think I'm missing out on discipline is because of how I conduct my lifestyle. I've always been a good student, top 10% of my class at a top-tier college. I accomplished things while being extremely lazy, only working at the last minutes. And still get decent (not great) results.
This sounds like bright kid syndrome. You cruise your way through an academic program that just isn't that challenging to you. Then, one day -- and clearly it hasn't happened to you yet -- you run into something that you can't just get by with a trivial effort. You run into something where you have to work. It happens to everyone, no matter what their natural gifts (for me, it was organic chemistry). For any field you can name, you never get to mastery without that work. At that point, you either eat a good big slice of humble pie and accept that you are just like everyone else, and that in order to amount to anything you're going to have to struggle and fail a bunch...or (and I've seen this with a lot of bright kids/prodigies) you stop trying to do whatever it is that challenges you. This isn't always a bad thing: if you decide, with a clear head, that you don't want the mastery after all, then it only makes sense to stop spending effort on it. On the other hand, you can fall into the habit of making excuses for why you're basically a dilettante, and just go from one pursuit to another -- each new one is It, The Answer, and you get all caught up in your enthusiasm for a while...until you get to the point where you have to work.

I don't know what the answer is. I do know that "discipline" isn't some hokey crap out of a martial arts movie. Nor does internally-imposed discipline exist unless you're motivated. You can't just manufacture it because you think you should be a "disciplined" martial artist. It will come, or it won't. Ultimately I think it is a matter of humility and recognizing your limitations.
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