I’ve had a love hate relationship with discipline, primarily because I have been using third party ideas about and methods of discipline to inform my own. A quick google search on discipline yields books like “Willpower”, “No Excuses” and “Eat that Frog”. As I have tried to cultivate “discipline”, I’ve set myself up with this strange ideas about it, an ever moving target. I could always do better. The day before yesterday I was having one of those days where I had not done “enough” and just as I was about to spiral into negative self talk, I changed the tape.Whatever discipline is, it certainly isn’t some other person’s idea. That’s the main thing I want to bring forward today. I believe that even as we work on discipline, whatever we do must be tempered with the reality of who we are. Teaching 7 tells us “Jedi understand their limitations. We recognise, and take responsibility, for our failures and develop a level of modesty about them. We respect the right for others to disagree and understand that they themselves are not perfect.” I believe also that understanding limitations means not putting ourselves unnecessarily into a place to fail.
In preparation for this sermon, I did a little reading. I found this article to be interesting: https://markmanson.net/self-discipline I don’t know if I agree whole heartedly with it, but their main points about the links between self discipline and will power and self discipline and shame are well articulated. One of the things that I found helpful for me in creating self discipline goals is the Whole Health Action Management classes I have taken. One of the hallmarks of this approach is that its strengths based goal setting for whole health, which is to say one uses one strength to build another.
Even as I say all of this and share all of these resources, I want you to know that you are valued. That you are a unique expression of the Force and you have your own way of cultivating discipline that is just as valid as the tool that I have shared and that is fine. One of the great things about Jediism is that we are not a one size fits all religion/philosophy/way of life. Steps on the path, no matter the pace are still worth taking
May the Force be with you all