Part 4: There’s no Point in Wanting It – Discipline is Crucial to Your Success.

by Brigid Fitzgerald | The Simple Life Diaries

The Power of the Mind over the Body – Part 4: Discipline….

Discipline can be thought of as punishment, strictness and restraint – all very unappealing concepts and quite depressing to be honest! But if you think along the lines of cultivation, practice, willpower and self-mastery it’s a far more fun approach to take.

So let’s do that – forget the discipline and take on self-mastery!

Once you have mastered the first 3 steps of the mind-body connection Recognition, Decision and Persistence it’s time to maintain the momentum and the only way to do that is to have discipline – sorry – self-mastery! The persistence in your endeavour to be healthy is great but it’s easy to fall back into an old comfort zone and forget about how much work and passion you’ve been putting into being healthy!

Losing that weight becomes not so important, nor does easing your way out of an autoimmune disease when the thought of a ‘quick fix’ becomes so much easier. Maintaining your interest and passion, determination and basically being quite obsessive becomes a necessity!

I’ll give you an example of determination:


I was 49, in Whistler, Canada and it was an awesome snow season. Having not put on skis for decades I thought I’d give it a go. But it just wasn’t enjoyable for me once I saw people floating down the mountain in beautiful balance and rhythm on their snowboards.


I recognised that attempting to use skis put me in a place that made me frustrated, my feet hurt in the boots and it was more hard work than fun. It didn’t flow for me.


I decided to take a risk – considering my age – and try my hand at snowboarding which I thought was a young persons sport and maybe not for me. But the beauty and flow of their movements drew me.


Persistence while falling over, experiencing dogged stubbornness, sprained wrists, laughter, aloneness, feeling stupid, like an ‘old lady’ trying something beyond my capability – these all kept me going and improving. Progressing from the ‘falling leaf’ pattern of snowboarding (only using the front edge) swinging my arms and head wildly to turn myself  – to being able to carve my way down the mountain with grace (but not too much speed) and improve my time tenfold while not falling over was an amazing feeling.


Disciplining myself to persist with my new found lessons and strength (self-mastery) I went up (almost) every day, no matter how cold it was or scared or tired I felt. It was difficult and sometimes just overwhelming. The rewards were incredible and highly addictive. I’ll never forget the first time I realised I’d ‘got it’, I almost cried with excitement.

Stopping the voice in my head from putting me down, telling me it’s boring, that I’ve reached my glass ceiling and will always be slow, ungainly and falling over, that no one will come up the mountain with me because I hold everyone up. None of this mattered any more. I’d done it – I’d achieved something beautiful – self confidence, a realisation that I could do anything!

I hurt a lot, was bruised and battered but totally triumphant and showed my corked muscles and bruised body off as my badge of honour.

What does this have to do with health?!


Discipline (self-mastery) is all about having fun – making your life breathtaking and overcoming obstacles using any techniques you can find. For me it was having fun – my health was holding me back, to me it was a guide as to how far off track I really was. Snowboarding made my heart sing….no one was going to hold me back.

This same discipline can be used for improving your diet, changing your approach to the diagnosis you’ve been given. Using these milestones as a guide as to where you can aim your life now and if you are up to taking the rest of your life in your hands by redirecting it towards the place, the activity, the energy you envision for yourself.

Approach your health issue from every angle possible. Be creative, look outside what you think is possible and walk a dangerous path to find your way. What’s the worst that can happen – really. What are you afraid of?

It’s far more than simply changing your diet. That’s all well and good but it’s more about changing your attitude towards you entire life! What brought you here to this place of unhappiness and ill health and what are you willing to do to change it – redirect it and transform it into a life really worth living. A life you want to hold on to with everything you have because NOW you know you are limitless in your possibilities and abilities.

It doesn’t just happen – there’s a lot involved and it is all worth it – it’s fun and it’s challenging. So who is up for a life of ‘sameness’? or would you prefer to move outside of your comfort zone – to that place where you will feel silly, vulnerable, a little lost and expanding your self-knowledge exponentially.

Where your discipline, self-mastery and personal strength will grow into an epidemic of possibility.

Part 5 is coming up next – It’s time to have some FUN!

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