Sounds like a stupid question, doesn't it? Especially since my book, How To Stop Smoking Without Killing Anyone, is a recipe for how to successfully stop smoking cold turkey.
Well, I wanted to dissect the word and look at it fully under the mental microscope if you will.
- a person or thing referred to with respect to complete individuality: one's own self.
- a person's nature, character, etc.: his better self.
- personal interest.
- Philosophy. a. the ego; that which knows, remembers, desires, suffers, etc., as contrasted with that known, remembered, etc. b. the uniting principle, as a soul, underlying all subjective experience.
1175–1225; Middle English < Anglo-French < Latin disciplīna instruction, tuition, equivalent to discipul ( us )
- Root word disciple
When you look at the word "self," it is safe to assume that self is, in addition to you, it is also a reflection of who you are and it is also who you believe you are.
Now the word discipline, comes from the word "disciple." This is an important thing to recognize here because discipline is so often thought of in terms of punishment. When you look at a dictionary, you'll see words for discipline like: behavior, order, regimen, and conduct. These connotations can all have negative undertones. Discipline usually falls under the category of "I've done something wrong and need to be punished." Have you ever heard someone say, "I need more discipline in my life."What are they really saying about themselves?
This is where we've been conditioned to look with a word like that. But what else does discipline mean?
- improvement of skill
- a branch of instruction or learning
Other people since have had disciples. Gandhi, for example had/had disciples. The Dali Lama has disciples. Bruce Lee has disciples.
What about you?
You need at least one disciple. You. You need to be your own disciple. You should be a student of you. That is the essence of your humanity. Self awareness is such a key component to being a human being. Look at a dog or a cat for example. They behave as a dog or cat would but lack the ability to truly see themselves through their own eyes. Have you aver seen a dog ponder their own existence? In between licking his butt and chasing a car have you ever seen a dog stop and recognize, "I think, therefor I am." Not going to happen.
The ability to become a disciple of our self is one of the great mysteries that separates from the rest of the animal kingdom.
It appears the Greeks are still debating who's getting credit for this but if I had to pick one personally, I'd like to give it to Socrates. If for no other reason then I am a fan of Dan Millman.
So for those looking to stop smoking or break any habit, self-discipline is a vital element in achieving the goals you are laying forth. Since this is a book on how to stop smoking, let's stay on this example.
Let's also stay on the idea that self discipline is more about being a student of yourself then the idea that you need to "discipline" yourself for smoking.
This is what you'll find through out my book. An opportunity to know yourself well enough to recognize that in your decision to not smoke you will not have to give up any part of who you are. Deciding to stop smoking is an evolutionary step in your own path of self awareness, self discovery and self actualization. All synonyms of self discipline.
Another good one, this time from Bill. Shakespeare, that is.
TO THINE OWN SELF BE TRUE.
Do you see the value in knowing yourself well enough to recognize that the habit (smoking in this case) is merely a reflection or an extension of yourself and not actually you? Now this doesn't mean you get to get away with saying, "But that's not me." That is irresponsible. What I am suggesting here is that in order to stop smoking once and for all, you must recognize that the behavior is a reflection (symptom) of your self image and not your actual self.
Once you have a handle on that concept, you then can truly see yourself. Then you can see yourself not smoking too. And then once you have that picture in your mind, of you not smoking, you can now wade into the waters of being a smoker who doesn't smoke. Taking that one day at a time. Understand you were you before you started smoking and will still be you after you stop.
Yes, there will be a great debate in your body and mind as they have all been tricked into believing that smoking is a part of who you are. But with real self discipline, you can press on. I saw an interesting quote while researching this blog and I find it an appropriate way to end this today... are you ready? Here you go: