When we commit to a plan- for example to lose weight or get better from our injuries, the path towards our goal requires effort, willpower and discipline. After the initial excitement of trying something new comes it, the boredom of being in a monotonous schedule of keep trying (and sometimes not seeing results) would set in.
At this point, it is very easy to give up- we would start devising a million excuses just to get away from what we have set ourselves to do.
Almost all of us would be bound to go through this situation. Even myself, I find myself having problem keeping the discipline. I have found the story of Ruma Bose inspiring- at the age of 19, she left United States for India and stayed with Mother Teresa on her mission to serve the poorest of the poor. She applied the values she had earned to serve her in life and to write to inspire others.
Below is the excerpt she had written in the book Mother Teresa, CEO where she taught about the Joy of Discipline- a lesson she had learned from waking up at 4am every month to gather for morning service before going off to serve the poor.
I have commited to running. I love what it does for my body, my mind and my spirit. Of course, no matter how I plan my days, at some point I will have a conflict between my planned run and an emergency at work, a friend in need, lethargy, or a myraid of other excuses that my mind devices. It is so easy to rationalize skipping the run. I don’t have enough time to do my whole route today, so why not wait until I can do it right?
By applying Mother Teresa’s joy of discipline, I get a different answer: Just run today, even a little, and be happy with myself for keeping the discipline. The purpose of the discipline for me is to prepare for a half marathon, and faithfulness to the discipline gives me the joy of knowing I am still preparing, still trying. Next time it is time to run, I remember the joy I get from the effort, the joy of discipline, and I can’t wait to head out the door and experience it again. I take pleasure in my work, knowing its value.
Ruma Bose, author of the book Mother Teresa, CEO
She mentioned that even if joy cannot be forced, it can be encouraged through practice.
We need to find joy in everything we do. Even though at first it is tough, going through it makes it a habit- especially if we have developed a ritual for it.