How to Crush Authentic Masculinity’s 7 Day 3-task Self-Discipline Challenge: Start Small and Reward Yourself
People tell me modern men lack self-discipline. I’m not sure I believe that, but just in case, we’re throwing out a very simple 4-week plan to slowly and carefully increase your self-discipline. Work with us on this and I assure you’ll be pleased. Week 1 we focus on your morning routine in a very, simple way. Week 2 we take it to your job. Week 3 we apply some suggestions for self-discipline at home and in your relationship to the woman in your life. Week 4 we offer suggestions for self-discipline in your friendships.
We start out very small. So small, in fact, that the first exercise just involves how you think. Then we will suggest some very simple steps you can take to ramp up slowly.
Before we begin, though, enjoy this short video by former Navy SEAL Jocko Willink. Jocko is famous for saying, “Discipline is freedom.” He’d be the first to tell you the link between discipline and freedom is not a new idea. Think of playing a piano. If you discipline yourself every day for months then years to play the piano, you will have the freedom to sit down at any piano and play music.
One definition of discipline is doing what you say you’ll do. In fact, try this: tell yourself first you’ll watch this video, then you’ll finish reading this post. If you make a conscious decision to do those two things and then you actually do them, BOOM!, you’re on your way. If you want to turbo charge it, write those two actions down and then cross them off when you do them. These are simple, tiny steps toward self-mastery, but your brain actually releases a chemical when you reward yourself. We’re wired for this.
OK. Here’s the video:
Now, read on.
The man with the best definitions wins, so here’s a definition of self-discipline:
Self-Discipline: Doing what you don’t want to do when you don’t want to do it because you know it’s good for you over the long term.
There. Now… here’s our first principle: Interior growth precedes exterior growth. Think of crops or flowers or vines planted in the fall. All winter long they are growing under the surface of the earth. We don’t see the growth, but it has to come before we can see the fruit, the flowers, and the crops in spring. As a man, you’re the same way. You grow invisibly inside before you can grow outside. This is why we’ll start first by disciplining the way we think. It’s the roots of what we will ultimately do. Here’s a good little saying, “What you think, you do. What you do, you become.”
Task 1: “STOP WHINING!” From this day forward I will not criticize, condemn or complain.
Today—commit to never doing The Three C’s. Don’t criticize, condemn or complain. Criticize means finding fault with someone, condemning means putting them down, complaining means seeking sympathy from someone else by telling them how bad your own situation is. You get it. Doing any one of these is unmanly. Doing all of them? Disastrous.
Task 2: “OUT OF THE RACK!” Get right out of bed at the alarm and make your bed.
Today-- commit to yourself that for the next 7 days you will wake up and stand up at a fixed time each morning. If this sounds tough to you, the trick is not to think about it. Do it for 7 days, including Saturday and Sunday, but on Saturday and Sunday you can go back to bed. A good way to prime yourself for success is to tell yourself seven times when you go to bed that you will get out of bed as soon as the alarm goes off.
This next one is YUGE. For 7 days, commit to making your bed in the morning. It doesn’t matter when you do it, just do it before you start your day in earnest. Maybe after you use the bathroom in the morning or brush your teeth. The sooner after you get out of the rack, the better.
Task 3: “YOU’RE ALL WORTHLESS AND WEAK! NOW, DROP, AND GIVE ME 20!” Do Push Ups.
For Task 3, do something—anything—physical, first thing in the morning. It can be touching your toes 10 times, it can be doing a single pushup or 10 pushups. It can be a body weight squat, what we used to call a deep knee bend. The key is to choose a simple, easy to do exercise, commit to a number of reps and do that every morning for a week.
You may think this is too easy to bother with, but if so, just try it. Take this easy challenge and execute it to plan for 7 days. In fact, let us know how you’re doing on AM’s Facebook page.
This exercise is the simplest, easiest way to start to discipline yourself. Next week we will suggest a way to extend self-discipline to your work place.
Be bold, be authentic, be masculine. When you conquer yourself, you conquer a kingdom.