I’ve been thinking a lot lately about discipline and focus, specifically in relation to directing energy to accomplishing things. To be clear, especially in this goal driven society we live in, achievement isn’t everything, but there is a special satisfaction in creating something, in making it happen.
Despite the satisfaction inherent in reaching a goal, it isn’t what I’m most interested in. It’s the dedication, the planning and the commitment to revisit the same thing over and over, even when we don’t want to, that is amazing to me. It’s the practice, the doing.
Practice is this word we hear so much as children as we are bombarded and confounded and amazed with everything we have to learn. And maybe it is the sheer enormity of practice that early life requires of us that prompts us to take a break and explore a bit later. Maybe it’s because sometimes taking action is uncomfortable and difficult. This isn’t to say that there will surely be suffering as you work on whatever it is you have dedicated yourself to, but this isn’t to say that there won’t be, either.
And how do we keep putting one foot in front of the other when we are struggling? The answer is sometimes you just do, you just keep at it regardless of whatever resistance presents itself. The flip side is that sometimes you are so filled with inspiration that you couldn’t imagine not working at it and sometimes, things aren’t exciting at all, but rather mundane and neutral. All of these aspects have value, are unavoidable and present in every practice. But the real beauty of the whole process is the same as it is in any relationship: we get to know new depths, intricacies and new perspectives are revealed, we learn, and we feel more connected than we did before we began. And, in the best case scenario, it is this connection and affirmation that leads us to choose what we dedicate ourselves to and often becomes our purpose. Pretty beautiful, that.
What are are you practicing in your own life? What are you dedicated to?