The Focus 3 Blog

What is Discipline over Default?

Discipline over default means thinking and acting discipline-driven rather than default-driven, a core practice of our training. The unfortunate fact is that most people behave default-driven and don't even realize it. Choosing to be discipline-driven over default-driven isn't a one-time decision, it's an everyday decision.

More functionally, it's an every-moment decision as we encounter constant events that can trigger default over discipline.

It happens when you're lying in bed and your default negotiates with your discipline to go back to sleep rather than get up and workout. Or when you're trying to be disciplined with your budget but your Amazon shopping cart keeps accumulating things on default. How can you say no to free 2-day shipping?

Default is the enemy of discipline. It's the self-perpetuating chasm between you and your goals, and that should frustrate you.

Let's break this down

  • Intentional - The what. Make a conscious choice.
  • On-purpose - The why. Know the reason and objective for your choice.
  • Skillful - The how. Do it to the best of your ability.
  • Impulsive - undisciplined emotion.
  • On-autopilot - undisciplined habit.
  • Resistance - undisciplined comfort.

Discipline-Drive / Default-Driven

Discipline will take you somewhere. Default will take you somewhere too. When you are disciplined, you are in control of yourself and where you are going. When you are default, you are out of control.

Discipline gives you choice. Discipline, counter-intuitively, leads to options. Discipline is not the same thing as rigidity. Discipline is the source of all of options.

It is default that limits you, and it is default that leaves makes you rigid. When you are stuck on default, you are trapped in a situation you can’t get away from. When you are disciplined, you are able to choose anything.

You don’t need your emotion and impulses to go away. They'll never go away. What you need is the discipline to make the intentional choices in the midst of intense emotions and strong impulses. Use emotion and impulse as triggers to be more intentional through self-awareness. Think — what does this situation require of me?

In the fight of Discipline vs. Default and Intentional vs. Impulsive you already have what is required inside you. Don’t wait on external circumstances or you will be waiting for the rest of you life.

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