Ends and Beginnings: Control I

Is forced self discipline a prerequisite for success?

For me and everyone else who follows the Georgian calendar, today signals the end of a year. 12 months, 52 weeks, 365 days and 2080 hours.

Endings are a time of reflection.

My longest experiment for the year was one of control. Not exerting more control but loosening my habitual grip and slowly allowing the rock in the palm of my hand to fall.

For years, the narrative that I’ve been taught is one which tells a tale of control and discipline leading to success. I’m sure you know the story well: those who struggle late into the hours of night, juggling multiple jobs to be able to practice their craft, those who put in more hours than anyone else, they’re the people that succeed.

This year, exhausted and frustrated I decided to try something new. I asked a question:

What if forced discipline was not a prerequisite for success?

What I learned is that control is incredibly difficult to relinquish. Time and time again, the deeply ingrained habit of planning, directing and scheduling my life, ambitions and goals would sneak it’s way into the picture.

More importantly, I learnt that control and discipline are not necessary for leading a good life. Trusting your own interests and desires, as they arise in each moment is also a path to success.

So next time you’d rather read a book than write 15 pages of one, listen to that inclination and you may be surprised where it’ll lead you.

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