Disciplining your mind

Part of practicing spirituality is letting go of expectations in your prayer routine, which can be found in self-judgments, concepts, and impatience. An individual may state that he or she had a wonderful experience with the Lord. When what they are really referring to is the level of euphoria and heightened sense of awareness experienced. The experience can begin one day and continue for many days. Why did it happen in that moment and not another? Individuals will state an anticipation of picking up where the last experience ended or that the next experience will be better than the previous one. This is a delusion of expectations based on a false notion of progress. Such an expectation assumes that the individual knows what it is that he or she is seeking, when in actuality, the opposite is true. It is not serenity that is needed by an individual but the ability to stay present when the mind is caught in a storm. It was because the individual let go of expectations, relaxed, and started from where he or she was rather than staying stuck in ideas about prayer. It is easy to be resounding when things are calm. But, if the individual works diligently with prayer and compassion when things are difficult, then the individual is engaged in the vital training for a tumultuous daily life.

Sometimes individuals confuse expectation with self-discipline. Discipline and will-power are often equated with deprivation. Self-discipline means self-control, which is a sign of inner strength and control of one’s self, actions, and reactions. Self-discipline is one of the most important and useful skills a person can possess. This skill is essential in every area of one’s life. Although, most individuals acknowledge its importance, yet very few do something to strengthen it. Contrary to common belief, self-discipline does not mean being harsh toward yourself, or living a limited and restricted lifestyle. Some studies show that self-control contributes to happiness and the positive correlation between willpower and goal attainment. Willpower and discipline can be learned. Here are some suggestions:

  1. avoid temptation
  2. rise to the occasion
  3. practice self-care
  4. break goals into smaller parts
  5. follow through


Self-discipline can give you the power to stick to your decisions and follow them through. Therefore, one of the important requirements for achieving goals. Having the ability to obtain this skill enables an individual to persevere with his or her plans until fulfilled. Additionally, it displays as inner strength, helping an individual to overcome addictions, procrastination, laziness, and to follow through with whatever he or she chooses to do.