“It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.”
— Jiddu Krishnamurti
Here’s your midweek newsletter — a gentle nudge to make your week more interesting, thoughtful and productive.
Building Discipline First & Other Related Ideas
If I’ve had success at anything during the past few years, it is in becoming way more disciplined than I’d ever been before. In a conversation with a friend the other day, I told them about how activities I once saw as challenges are now things that I do on autopilot. I often call it the bare minimum, but it is much more than that from an outside perspective. I realise this often when someone commends me on consistency with anything.
An interesting thing I’ve noted over the years is that physical fitness is a sincere place to learn discipline. For example, no account describing someone’s experience with karate or MMA or a sport or even hitting the gym regularly goes without mentioning discipline as something they acquired during their journey. In my experience, I cannot remember a single instance where a person didn’t mention discipline or grit along with the rest.
One could also argue that it is the most cliché thing to say: you learned discipline in the gym or on the mat because everyone says it and every movie shows it and every song talks about it. Yet, that does not make it any less true. While majorities aren’t always right, clichés are clichés for a reason. All clichés originate from some truth.
In any case, discipline as a quality or virtue has helped me during the past few years too. I don’t have some epic 80-hour workweek or large-scale corporation to talk about it with authority, but I know that there is a sort of confidence that you start to feel when you realise you’ve been doing something for more days than you can actively remember.
For example, I often use a sentence, albeit elementary, in German because I’ve been doing a 10-15 minute lesson every day since the first of January 2020. If we look at it in a layman equation, discipline is a high multiplier for anything. It multiplies your willpower to stick with something exponentially. In fact, it also makes the activity a self-serving loop.
To wrap it up neatly, I’d say that discipline is a raw virtue. It doesn’t matter where you learn it or how you practice it. The truth is that once you do, it becomes an essential tool in your toolkit. You may then use it whenever you want for whichever pursuit you want.
Maybe that is why I couldn’t stop but think about it for the entire day when I saw a tweet the other day. The tweet was from a friend, Craig Burgess, and it went, “If you don’t build discipline, your enthusiasm will give out before your consistency kicks in.”
I think that says more than anything I can say about the idea.
To Read: The First and Last Freedom by Jiddu Krishnamurti
“A fact can never be denied. Opinion about fact can be denied.”
A colleague from my old job recommended this book to me back in 2019. I didn’t pay much attention to it until a conversation started around it and I realised that it was quite popular in my peer group then. It sat on my Kindle for long enough until I picked it up recently. I’m only halfway, but this might be the most highlighted book I’ve read on it so far. Krishnamurti’s philosophy is stark and unadorned.
He says what he means strongly but at the same time, offers discourse. A particular part in the early chapters made me smile where he says that he may be wrong and the reader may be right but that it is important that the reader read his words fully, understand them, and then reject them if they please.
I’m not done with this yet, but I know it is what I’ll definitely recommend once I finish it so I figured I might as well do that already.
What’s On My Mind?
The absurdly random nature of life and even days, sometimes. The fact that human experience keeps becoming considerably complex as you grow and build more relationships in life. It is fascinating how a single day can often capture the best and worst of your life, and how randomly that day arrives.
Quick Update on Nudge › How
For the blog post that coincided with Valentine’s Day, I wrote about my experience with staying away from the modern dating scene for a while along with how the ancient Greeks defined love. I also talk about this idea I have that if you consider all spheres of love that the ancient Greeks define and learn each individually, you may become better at romantic relationships overall.
I hope this added some value to your week. Stay safe, stay inspired, and I’ll talk to you next week.