Meditation for Discipline: Do You Want the Pain of Discipline or of Regret?

January 23, 2021

minute READ 

In this guided meditation for discipline, you get to reflect on the areas of your life that feel out of whack. You are then given a choice between two paths: the path of discipline or the one of regret. 

You will also discover where discipline comes from and how you can start to bring it more fully into your life. If you want to be more disciplined, this meditation can help get you started! 

Make sure that you're in a safe, comfortable place while listening to this. Don't listen to this guided meditation while driving or doing anything that requires your attention. 

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References to discipline in the meditation

In the meditation, I refer to a quote by the late motivational speaker Jim Rohn. The full quote goes like this: 

“We must all suffer from one of two pains: the pain of discipline or the pain of regret. The difference is discipline weighs ounces while regret weighs tons.”

Jim Rohn

I also talked about the origin of the word discipline and how it comes from the Latin word for student. Here's the full description from Online Etymology Dictionary

"directly from Latin disciplina 'instruction given, teaching, learning, knowledge,' also "object of instruction, knowledge, science, military discipline," from discipulus 'pupil, student, follower' (see disciple (n.))."

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Transcript of this meditation for discipline

Welcome to this guided meditation for discipline. As we begin, take a couple of deep breaths in. And out. Focusing on the out breath. And allow yourself to sink into a deeper and deeper and deeper relaxation. And as you find yourself relaxing, take a moment to notice the areas in your life where you are currently lacking discipline? And notice how that may be feeling out of whack. How it might create challenges.

And now imagine yourself standing in the middle of the forest on a clearing. And there, in front of you, you notice a scale. And this scale is here to measure two things. You see, as Jim Rohn so succinctly, put it:  "In life, we all face two pains. The pain of discipline or the pain of regret." Now, let us take a moment and let us measure how much pain whatever lack of discipline you're experiencing is currently causing you in your life.

And to do that, get clear on the negative thoughts you might might have towards yourself. Or the negative emotions that might be coming up. And just noticing what the lack of discipline is costing you, without being overly critical, doing it from a compassionate perspective. And now place all that weight, place it on that scale. And see what happens. And you might notice a number coming up for you. Or you might just get a sense of, wow, that's a lot or, you know, that's quite a bit.

And now imagine bringing discipline into the area of your life where it is lacking. And imagine what that would cost you. What would it cost you to be doing the things you're currently not doing or to stop doing the things that you're doing but maybe should shouldn't do. And just notice how that might feel, how it might be challenging at times, and then when you get a good sense of that, just place all that weight on the scale and see what comes up?

And as you do that, you might notice that regret is weighing so much more than discipline. That the negative feelings and thoughts and experiences associated with a lack of discipline are actually way, way worse than the discipline itself. And as you're standing there, take a moment to reflect on what that means for you and if there are changes you would like to make as a result of that realization.

You now have the choice to choose the path of discipline. What you now see behind the scales, is that there are two paths, one leading down the path of regret and the other one, the path of discipline. Having done the weighing exercise, you now have a good sense of what each path will cost you. And so take a moment to make a choice, decide which path you're going to choose going forward. 

And if you find yourself thinking, well, I don't want to choose than that is the path of indecision and it quickly merges with the path of regret, so choose wisely. And as you're taking your first steps down the path (and I'm going to assume that you've chosen the path of discipline), let me tell you a bit about discipline and where it comes from.

You see, discipline comes from the Latin word for student. Pupil. You are now a student of something. Maybe a method, maybe a practice. Something that you've committed to. Now, the question is, what school did you just enroll in? And what is on the curriculum? What is the most important subject you need to master? Who are your teachers?

Now, the thing about a school is that it is a journey. And to some extent, the school that you're enrolling in when you choose the path of discipline, it's for life. And the topics might change. You might change courses as your interests in life change. But if you're serious about avoiding the path of regrets, then decide what it is going to be like for you going forward, and that can actually be a very positive thing. So you might find yourself getting excited about all the different subjects that you can study and more importantly, that you can apply.

Maybe you'll only pick a few and you'll specialize in them, or maybe you want to go all out and learn everything. But for now, you get to pick one subject, one change you're going to make in your life. If you had to guess what is the most important change in your life related to the area of discipline that would make the biggest difference?

Maybe it's about going to bed at an earlier time. Maybe it is about meditating regularly. Maybe it's about eating differently. Maybe it's about reading. Whatever it is, find that one change and you know what it is. And now that you know, that general change, what would it look like to start applying it right now, or perhaps tomorrow, depending on what it is?

Can you make this change so small that it would be practically impossible to fail? In other words, if your goal is to write every day, make it just five minutes and start today or tomorrow so that there's no way that you can fail.

So I'll give you a moment to adjust your schedule accordingly. To make this a class that you can't fail. And that's not cheating. That's being a good student, good disciple. All right, and as you've gotten clear on that, you might notice how your fellow students are coming closer and closer to the path. They're on their own path of discipline, but you're all in the same school and they're now cheering you on.

And as you listen to them clapping and cheering, you gradually drift out of this visualization, this meditation, this day dream, and you notice the room around you once more, coming back into your body, wiggling your toes and your feet. Gradually coming back to this reality. And then when you're ready, open your eyes and write down what you've committed to. And then go ahead and do it. And I look forward to seeing you in the next video. Please subscribe and like, if you want to see more of these.

Have a wonderful day.

Would you like more help with change?

If you'd like to get more help with navigating change check out my mini-course "Future You: Flourish in 2021 (and Beyond) With the Help of Your Future Self."

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About the author

Bere is the founder of Leader for Good. She's a former lawyer and academic who moved from Germany to the United States where she started her own business. Today, Bere loves helping her coaching clients and students connect with their passion and purpose. You can find out more about her coaching business at www.workyoulovecoach.com.

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