Sometimes it feels like there’s a battle going on between want to and should.
So there are things that I feel like I should do, this is what I’m supposed to do, and then there are other things that I would rather be doing.
And so we see that learning discipline means that we’re then able to practice and develop the strength of will and the habit to be able to make ourselves do what we feel we should do.
If we have no discipline at all, then we just do whatever we want, and then the things that should be done don’t get done.
So when we become focused on discipline, we become able to do the shoulds.
But when discipline goes too far, then it becomes life is about the shoulds.
The whole day ahead of us: “This is what I should do.
I’m gonna do the thing I should do, and then I’m going to do the next thing that I should do, and as for what I want, that’s not important.
What’s important is that I do what I should do.” And when people take discipline very far, maybe too far, life can become just about doing these things that we’re supposed to do.
And what happens to what we want to do? What happens to that feeling of joy, the feeling of being alive and being able to experience life? If we’re just going from one should to the next then we become like robots that are just carrying out instructions.
But where’s the chance to really enjoy things? So somewhere there’s a balance, it seems, between these two extremes of just being a robot, you’re doing what you should all day and just carrying out instructions, and then the other hand, where you just do whatever you want at any particular moment.
That may also lead to unpleasantness, because the things that should be done won’t be done.
We might do things that we shouldn’t, that will then lead to difficulties later.
So somewhere in the middle, we can balance what we should do and what we want to do.
But where is that balance? I think that somehow we need to be able to enjoy ourselves.
We can’t make life just about doing things that we should do.
We can’t make it just going from one task to the next, carrying out the program that we think is best.
We have to be able to enjoy life now.
Even if our disciplined, regimented program is designed to be able to enjoy life later, that’s not enough.
We can’t just say “OK, I’m going to work continuously for the next 10 years and then retire and be able to enjoy myself the rest of my life.” It seems like something’s missing if we do that.
So we can even be strengthening the shadow parts of ourselves.
If we insist too much on always doing what we should do, never what we want to do, there could be a voice inside us that starts to protest against it, and maybe eventually openly rebel against the side of us that’s trying to command it to do what it should do.
So this is my caution for anyone that’s going too far down the road of discipline.
Seems like it’s a lot easier to go down, too far down, the other road.
Discipline is a hard road that takes a lot of work to be able to become good at.
But then it has its limits.
And we need to somehow find a way to enjoy the moment.
We need to live now.
We can’t constantly be preparing for the future.
We can’t constantly be living according to our design that we perfectly arrange everything in our lives and then carry out step by step in a robotic way.
There needs to be some room to simply enjoy where we are now.
And if we’re on the way to something, well, enjoy being on the way, because this is our chance to be alive right now.
And it seems like if we’re going to forget about that, it better be for a good reason.
That would basically be like sacrificing our lives.
We could say “OK, I’m never going to have any fun ever, because I believe in this particular cause that I’m dedicated to.” But even then, just to be able to keep going to carry out our mission, we need to have those moments where we simply enjoy being alive, forget about what we should do, forget about what needs to get done, and simply enjoy being in this moment.
#shouldvswant #toomuchdiscipline #enjoythemoment