“We are what we repeatedly do, excellence then is not an act, but a habit.” -Aristotle
This wisdom has been spoken since the beginnings of recorded human history. The lesson that has been known and passed down by every great leader in history is that it is through the disciplined devotion, work and practice of mastering oneself that we meet our greatest achievements. It is an evolutionary track that takes decades to fully appreciate the power that comes from disciplined spiritual practice of becoming oneself.
It is the ego driven self that seeks mastery over others. Even the highest levels of victory in war or scaling the heights of financial achievement do not feed and nourish one’s sense of self like listening to the small quiet voice within that urges you to always do the thing you are afraid of. So many of us believe that overcoming our fears is something that we demonstrate out in the world. We work to bend reality to our aspirations even as we refuse to look inside and see what is keeping us from it.
The meditation practice that I hold as the center of my life, one part eastern metaphysics, one part Buddhist dharma and one part dynamic stillness has given me a glimpse of what heaven on earth feels like. I can easily elicit deep gratitude, I can locate and bathe my interior with golden stillness at will, I can witness and release repetitive thought processes and see them for what they are. This is discipline that gives me the skills and daily work that gives me a sense of mastery. My circumstances are a reflection of the emotional equanimity that I am able to maintain.
I have never seen the link so solid and clear before, although I have only ever practiced this level of spiritual discipline one other time, when I memorized the 50 principles of miracles from the Course in Miracles. It is the same work, and actually the type of practice matters less than the devoted discipline to anything that keeps you in your center.
“Self-discipline is a form of freedom. Freedom from laziness and lethargy, freedom from the expectations and demands of others, freedom from weakness and fear—and doubt…” This reflection came from the book The Mental ABC’s of Pitching, but it could be talking about anything that you aspire to. This positivity quest has shown me that by tapping into myself, my life can find me. Spirit and Discipline are the cross roads of clarity and success.