Importance of discipline and a daily routine

We must not underestimate the importance of discipline and a daily routine; it is the only way to a happy and successful life

I have mostly been an admirer of spontaneity, and found excitement in walking into my day looking forward to surprises. So my mornings are not necessarily well structured. One day upon waking I could reach for a book to read, while another morning I may be mooning around, reflecting and dreaming. Yet another morning could see me thinking and planning frenetically for an official project that has me excited.

Most of us tend to underestimate the power of routine and life structures. Routine gives a structure to life, and it is this structure that ensures life makes sense to you. You wake up with a sense of purpose and ownership and an organised day. You sleep well, you eat well and you look after your health better. Mornings are the best time to set to routine with least external disturbance.

Most high achievers, when asked for the secret of their success, put daily routines high on their list. 

They wake up early, using the morning hours to look after their health proactively, keeping themselves informed, and organising their activities for the day. In short, they remain faithful to routines they have found useful over time. Meditating, exercising, and reading the daily papers, checking up on email and having a healthy, set breakfast are some of the morning routines shared by the world’s most successful CEOs in articles across media.

These successful young men and women generously share other routines they fit somehow into the rest of their day – little things that refresh their spirit, help keep them grounded and re-energise and re-inspire them. One CEO says he stops five minutes every day to find some humour in the day, or recount a funny story. Another finds the time to be grateful for something every day. Yet another admits that every morning he writes out his intention for the day. This helps him concentrate on what’s important that day and push aside the rest. In a variation of the same, another CEO says she visualises every morning what she wants to happen that day, and then stays true to her vision, focused on overcoming hurdles in the way.

These may just be various known ways of energising ourselves and staying positive, but what is important here is that these people have built in these mantras into their daily routine. Come what may, they ensure that they make time for these activities till they become a daily habit and are done without conscious effort.

School and office enforce a routine, but we must find ways to stitch together the fabric of our daily life in other areas too. Registering at a gym is part of the life structure to ensure our wellbeing. To plan your weekly meals is a habit that ensures you eat healthy. Planning to meet friends every Saturday night is a routine that helps keep you connected and social. Dinner with family every night is a discipline that helps hold the family together. You could add your own to these… Indeed, when you intentionally decide to organise your days, you are making a commitment to do positive, useful things with your time and lead a more organised, meaningful life.

I plan to discipline my mornings soon… with some leeway for spontaneity still though. How about you?

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