virgin islands scene

The possession of knowledge does not kill the sense of wonder and mystery. There is always more mystery.
-- Anais Nin


Monday, March 18, 1996


One of the best ways to become disciplined is to indulge yourself on a regular basis. At first that might sound contradictory. When you think about it, though, indulgence can be a key tool in developing and maintaining discipline.

Discipline always requires denial. For example, if you want to discipline yourself to lose weight, you must deny yourself fattening foods. When you discipline yourself to work hard toward achieving goals you’ve set for yourself, you deny yourself some of the “fun” activities of life.

We’re only human, though, and we need incentives along the way. One powerful incentive is to keep yourself focused on your goals, on the objects of your discipline. Another good way is to schedule a regular indulgence. It’s better if your indulgence is something you do regularly -- every day, every week. It is important to be able to look forward to it. And when the time comes, enjoy it. Savor every minute without the least bit of guilt. Take time for yourself and reward yourself for your hard work and discipline. And remember that you’ll get the opportunity again and there’s no need to “binge.” (I use “binge” here in a generic sense, not just as it applies to food.)

One powerful way to take this concept to a higher level is to develop indulgences that actually enhance your discipline. A good example of this is physical exercise. If you can find an exercise that it also a true indulgence, then you can discipline and indulge at the same time. That is a powerful combination.

Try a little indulgence -- you deserve it and it will help to keep you on track.

— Ralph Marston

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Copyright ©1996 Ralph S. Marston, Jr. All Rights Reserved. The Daily Motivator is provided for your personal, non-commercial use only. Other than personal sharing, please do not re-distribute without permission.