I’m quick to admit that I was NOT a very disciplined child/teenager. I never cleaned my room and I barely did my homework. I don’t really know how I got through high school, so I guess that’s a miracle? I look back on that time and think wtf was wrong with me?
On top of all of this, I had learning disabilities (which probably caused some of this behavior).
I went off to college and really struggled my freshman year. But then, all of the sudden something clicked. I started to study harder, workout, eat better, and I became slightly more organized. I surrounded myself with motivated/successful people. It was like I became an adult overnight. This was a happy time for me. My life improved drastically.
When I was 5 years old, I started figure skating. I participated in the sport until I graduated high school. For someone who skated for that long, I don’t think I was all that talented. During competitions, I would be very disappointed if I didn’t place. But instead of taking ownership of the fact that I could have trained harder, I would blame the judges and/or my injuries. However, when I would win, I would take the credit. This attitude did not help me improve.
Skating was hard! I remember getting up at 4:45am on weekdays to go to practice. If you could choose between a cold ice rink or a warm bed at that hour, I’d bet my next paycheck you’d choose to be under the covers not thinking about landing axels or passing your next moves in the field test.
I would go to the rink, put my skates on, skate around a bit, and practice on the elements I that I had already mastered. The fun stuff. Not the hard sh*t that I actually needed to practice in order to improve.
I look back and often think about how much further I could have advanced if I took a different approach. What if I actually practiced the more difficult elements, worked out more, ate better, and ran through my routine more? I know I had it in me, I just didn’t give it my all.
I’ve changed a lot since then.
Today, at age 26, I woke up this morning and went to the gym. I truly hate lunges. However, because of this hatred, I knew that was one of the exercises I needed to do. I hate lunges because they are hard (same way I felt about axels). After I finished my workout, I felt pretty good about myself.
Today at work, I completed the more challenging task first instead of putting it off until the last minute. Felt pretty good about that one too.
At lunch, I asked for beans in my burrito bowl (even though I don’t really like them), because I needed the protein. Super proud of this one, you have no idea.
These little actions are leading me to my highest potential. These days, I choose to face challenges head-on and I find that sooner or later, they are no longer challenges. I am becoming stronger and smarter. I can’t wait to see where life takes me.
Some of you reading this may sarcastically think “wow you did lunges today! Would you like a sticker?!” My response is “YES, I would like a sticker.” I’m a late bloomer. It took until adulthood to figure this whole self-discipline thing out. I’m simply on my own scenic route, enjoying the ride.