The Art of Discipline

The last great emperor of Rome, Marcus Aurelius. His exposé of Stoicism in Meditations is a valuable source for teachings in discipline.

At dawn, when you have trouble getting out of bed, tell yourself: “I have to go to work — as a human being. What do I have to complain of, if I’m going to do what I was born for — the things I was brought into the world to do? Or is this what I was created for? To huddle under the blankets and stay warm?” — Marcus Aurelius in Meditations

Although sometimes we learn about discipline from the people we admire and try to emulate, it has been defiled by motivational coaching, inspirational social media posts, and an abundance self-help books that have inundated our lives.

Over time, the output of discipline far outweighs that of motivation

Taking a pragmatic and utilitarian approach, because discipline is much less volatile and builds incrementally over time, it is far more effective as a mechanism to achieve one’s goals.

Discipline vs Motivation as drivers of output over time.

Discipline is a detachment from the self

Odysseus self-attached to the mast of his own ship to avoid the temptation of the sirens, on his way back to his homeland of Ithaca.



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A simple student. The spectrum of the topics I write about is wide, and so are my interests.