Consciously Disciplining Yourself

Consciously disciplining your life is always beneficial. Without discipline, you
are ruled by your habits and your limbic brain emotions. Exhibiting no control over
such emotions places you on the same level as the beasts of the world. The phrase,
"I'm only human," is usually used to excuse irrational behavior. Are you less than
'human' when you consciously exhibit control over your primitive urges? Hardly.
Then practice using your will power, and show yourself you have discipline.
It has been found that electrical stimulation of parts of the limbic system in the
brain produces a wide range of basic emotional responses like fear, lust, anger and
pleasure. Brain experiments in the 60's with monkeys and human mental patients
uncovered this fact very well. Fear, lust, anger and pleasure are the same emotions
we share in common with all animals that have a limbic system.
When fear sweeps through a crowd in a burning building, it can turn into blind
panic with all those that are present. When anger sweeps over a lynch mob, everyone
can get caught up with the mood and quickly turn ugly. On a teenage, rock and roll
dance floor, teenagers easily get caught up with the pleasure of dancing to a famous
rock star’s music. Walking into a room filled with 50 fornicating and willing people
can quickly sweep a person into similar behavior. Why are these examples true?
When someone expresses anger towards you, you can get angry back at that
person OR you can choose to get conscious and not respond with anger. If you
consciously examine the emotions of the limbic system (anger, sex, fear, and
pleasure) as they occur in you, instead of experiencing them automatically like a knee
jerk, their dominance over you is minimized. By directing your conscious awareness
into the subconsciously directed urge, the lower regions of the brain no longer dictate
to you what you need. Who normally thinks about fear, sex, anger or pleasure?
They simply occur and direct your life like a gut impulse without the tedium of
conscious, directed thought, right? The limbic system requires 1/5 the energy that the
higher frontal brain centers require to operate, so without practice using the cerebral
cortex, it is just easier for people to use the limbic system.
As an exercise (as long as there is no medical problem), do without eating for 24
hours. Simple enough, isn't it? Actually fasting for one day of the week is still
practiced by many religious groups. It helps to purify the body. On the practical
side, its costs nothing and there are no dishes to wash. Also, do without something
else for 24 hours or longer that normally gives you pleasure. If necessary, visualize
that you already had it, and the need for it should dissipate.
While in your home with family or friends, don't talk for one hour, unless you're
responding to a specific question. Do it for longer periods or at a party. After being
silent for a while, you'll find that you appreciate and understand the importance of
words in a more meaningful way. You'll also be amazed at how much more
information you'll pick up this way. It's good discipline and it's good listening
power too. The next time you meet someone, find out as much as possible about the
person without talking about yourself. If he asks about your life, turn the questions
tactfully around to him again. Do this without him suspecting what you're doing.
As a drill in discipline, do something you normally don't like to do, but you know
that you should do. If you are prone to putting certain things off, do them right away
instead. If you say you're going to do something, DO IT. Don't confuse yourself
with false promises. For positive reinforcement, remind yourself of your previous
successes in exerting discipline over your emotional mind. Next, write a letter to a
friend or relative without using the words: ME, I, MY or MINE. Stay up and work
at some project all through the night, or create some other way to exert discipline for
yourself. Discipline takes practice, so don't neglect yourself. Improve yourself.
Think what it would be like to be without eyes, a tongue or your legs. Leg
amputees have learned to climb mountains and play basketball. The dumb and blind
have also overcome their handicaps through mental discipline in order to survive and
cope in the world. Can you do less?
After practicing discipline for a while, an attitude change occurs that allows your
thinking to be modified. You begin structuring your life into NOT being led by your
gut impulses. Doing what you want to do becomes a cognitive process, not a primal
urge. Becoming conscious becomes enjoyable and you begin experiencing life on a
higher rather than a lower level. You do things because you know they are good for
your physical and mental health. You begin consciously choosing your thoughts,
emotions and actions rather than allowing them to just happen randomly. It is not a
forced process, but a natural one.