Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Self discipline for what? And, how do I get it?

Self discipline for what? And, how do I get it?

Before one starts talking about self discipline, you have to look at the opposite of self-discipline. What is like living without a discipline? Why would anyone want to get up early every morning to do meditation or nitnem paath or other things? It is so tempting to stay in bed? What happens if one misses it one day or two days or month or a year and so on? Given the same logic, why does one have to get up to go to work everyday? This “have to” instead of “want to” is a problem. Some things in life one does want to do but one doesn’t always get to do so she or he “has to” do things. But if one finds the answer to has to then these things almost become “want to”. What does it mean? It means you kind of learn to love things that you have to do instead of want to do. Since I am thinking as I am writing so I am not sure where I am going with this. But so many thoughts come and go about what is it that one does out of “duty” and what is it that one does out of “love” or is it out of “fear” or all or none? I go to work to make money so family can live, so am I doing this out of love for my family or out of duty towards the family or both or out of fear that we won’t be able to survive or may be none of these? Or am I just doing this without even thinking about it because that is what one does and has historically done as a tradition? Did Mother Teresa or Bhagat Pooran Singh and many others like them who do seva and service to humanity do it out of love for people or love or fear of God or they thought of it as their duty and responsibility towards humanity or a good karma? Now some do things happily and others moan, groan and get angry about doing the same things. What clicks? A typical farmer in Punjab gets up early morning without a clock, goes to tend his fields and his wife even wakes up earlier than him to milk the buffaloes and make him breakfast before he goes out. What makes them get going and what keeps them going? Is it the love for God, love for work, love for family, understanding their responsibility and duty or just the habit of doing it since it has been done for centuries? Could it be the lessons learned from past failures if they don’t do it then they can’t really survive? What about people that get up in the morning, cook, clean, and do all kinds of seva or simran at Gurdwaras or at homes? Many inventors, scientists, saints, yogis, sidhs, bhagats, peers, many soldiers, many engineers, nurses, doctors, sevadaars, farmers, cooks, janitors and others in general; it seems like people that are generally happy, peaceful and spiritually successfull in life all have some sort of discipline that wakes them up in the morning, keeps them going, and not for just one day, but over their entire lives. I could be wrong, but I think it is a combination of love, duty, fear, and faith be it Sikh, Christian, Hindu, Jew, Buddhist, Muslim or others. It seems so easy to say or write, yet personally, I haven’t mastered it myself. I still struggle to get up on many mornings to do simran, to work, to focus to meditate and other things. But one thing for sure, Gurbani or just closing eyes in mediation even for a minute, is like a magnet that always takes me back after a few days of missing it, helps keep things in focus, understand my roles and responsibilities and sort of stay disciplined. Without that relating, it is a feeling of emptiness, laziness, nothingness inside. If not in the early morning, then during walking, driving, eating, working, and subconsciously doing all other things. I guess that is what Sikhs mean when they say “In God We Dwell”. And, may be that is what is gives self-discipline, love, duty, fear to do things in life, even though how zombie or robotic like they may seem. Thank God for all this, because this is coming from a man who always hated getting up in the mornings, hated people for just who they were, thought that a drink was needed to have fun, be happy, be macho and feel more depressed, emotional, angry and all other feelings inside. Realization has come that I just hated myself and blamed others for everything. Now the peace of mind only comes thru Guru’s words and I am thankful. The days of waking up fresh, showered in early mornings are the best days. There seems to be so many in same condition of anger, hatred and depressed states just living their zombie lives everyday, yet I stop short of telling them, hey “may be Gurbani can help you!” Why? I don’t know. I am not a preacher, granthi, giani or anything. Hey, may be they will get defensive, mad and think who is this guy telling me how to live my life. I guess it is best to leave it up to higher things. Who knows may be they will stumble upon Guru’s words one day, and realization and peace will come to them. Who knows, may be it is karmic, may be it is destiny, may be it is fate.


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