I have been meditating this week on the practice of discipline. One of my workouts this week was with a guy who is just about my age, but who has been running faithfully a minimum of five miles a day four times a week for ten years. When I think about that in the aggregate it is quite remarkable. Although it may sound obivous, there is such a profound difference between potential and achievment.
As I have been working out for several months in a row now, which is really a record for me, I am begnining to notice something. Discipline for me is tied deeply to the ability to anticipate and act based on the promise of delayed gratification, but over time that source of gratification changes. Initially when I started working out I would think “I am going to go work out today so that in the future I won’t be so fat.” That then evolved to “I am going to work out today because I always feel better in the evening after working out.” Now, there it stayed until recently when I realized I was begining to anticiapte the actual process of increasing my level of disicipline:
“I am going to go work out tonight so that I will have worked out 4 times this week.”
“I am going to go work out tonight to make sure I hit my weight loss target this Sunday.”
“I am going to go work out tonight to see if I can make my arms sore again.”
I am going to work out tonight because a human body is evolved to work and sweat.