One thing I always admired about people in my parents generation was the discipline that they demonstrated - especially the many of them that attended a Catholic school at some point in their lives (which seemed to be many of them). While certainly not without problems, the Jesuits seemed to do a fantastic job of teaching its pupils the rewards of discipline. (I often wondered if Stanford does the same thing, since I know a lot of alumni whose disciplined approach to life I admire, but I realized I probably have the causality wrong and that the discipline was needed just to get into Stanford).
At any rate, I've had a chance to reflect lately on how disciplined I am in my own life. At work and home, I've took a cold, hard look at how little discipline I've applied lately. It an attempt to be agile and accommodating, I've chosen spontaneity and flexibility over a more structured and disciplined approach. At least in the last little while.
And in the short-term, I think it worked. I think I managed to get my stock price up. But what does this mean for the long term viability of PGuy Inc.? I've been wrestling with this lately and realized that a measure of discipline is needed across all elements of my life so that I can ensure progress in all of them. Living life reactively doesn't work for me. Not that I'm going completely to the other side, because that is definitely not my style either. But a balance is needed. And that balance is what I'm trying to figure out.
One small step I made is with respect to chow. And it has been remarkably successful. I have been getting increasingly disciplined about what I allow myself to eat. In order to deal with the frequent cravings I have for foods that are on that list, I mentally bookmark them. Once a week (usually Saturday) I permit myself a cheat day. I can eat whatever I want...all day long. Every truffle fry, slice of pizza or peanut butter cup that might have tormented me during the week, can now get annihilated.
And it works. It works because my brain loves the idea of bookmarking it. It loves the idea of waiting a few days to indulge. It feels good because it's making a small investment, while still ultimately getting the pleasure. So I really don't mind ignoring the temptation in the moment and replacing it with something healthy. And here is the brilliant part: when cheat day comes around (today is Saturday, by the way), I don't even feel like cheating. Ultimately, I will, because it's too easy not to. But the interesting thing is I rarely tackle the bookmarks. Instead, they get tossed out and I go for whatever tempts me in the moment. For whatever reason, this has worked well for me. It's a small bit of discipline that goes a long way towards one of my bigger objectives of total health. This short-term delayed gratification is a powerful discipline tool for me.
I am in the process of building or overhauling systems for all the other areas of my life. The 5-year strategic plan has been written. Now I'm in regular meetings with accounting to get the right systems and controls in place. Stay tuned.