DISCIPLINE + FOCUS = (eventual) SUCCESS.
That is, with a hard-nosed daily discipline together with an equally ardent focus on the prize is the recipe for success in anything in life—no less for spiritual things.
Goal-setting is a typical thing at New Year, but as the days wear on and the reality sinks in, people are easily worn down to the negative attributes of change.
The focus slips onto the middle-ground; a hellish place, really.
One Eye Each on Better Places
We need to split the middle and keep one eye fast to the ground and the other deliberately lofty—on the vision of accomplishment. Discipline itself doesn’t go to what it’s missing out on. We achieve nothing good in life without sacrifice.
As one eye focuses on the day in question, and on getting that day right, not giving up on the goal, the other eye views the target—the one moment in time when all the hard work will pay off. Pay day is reached in the fulfilment of the treasured goal.
The Nature of the Tremulous Middle-Ground
One of the problems we’re all too familiar with is focussing on what we losing; the cost of our sacrifice in attempting to achieve something significant.
Very quickly we can be won to this thinking—sometimes it’s a matter of minutes—and as we look back we’ve wasted the effort of previous days, weeks, months, and in some cases years, of discipline and effective focus. All that comes to nought.
This relapse came because our eyes lost focus for ‘the day’ and ‘the goal’—instead, we wanted everything we wanted... for the tempting instant. Moments after the relapse we don’t want it anymore. And yet, the stranglehold we had over this temptation has now weakened and we’re now in a precarious situation.
Choose Now Where Your Focus is to Be – Form the Habits Required Now
For anyone who’s chosen a tough goal—one that’s testing their mettle at some point—it’s best to decide beforehand where they’re going and not going.
Habits are quite simply formed. We engage in a practice more than once and it’s habit-forming. That happens as much for good things as it does for bad. We just know it more from the latter side because of our default lack of discipline, for discipline is less natural than being undisciplined.
Simplicity is power. Decide on what needs to be done for the day, forget the middle-ground of sacrifice, and hold out in faith for the one day in time (which will prove to be many days) when the dream is realised.
© 2011 S. J. Wickham.