All of us have rules to follow. Some of them are created by others like our parents, teachers, bosses, legislators and these could be refered to as external rules. We follow these rules because for the most part they make things safe, fair or are just good manners in the society that we grow up in.
A second kind of rule though is rules that we make ourselves follow. These might be called internal or “self rules”. There is no one there that makes us do them – we choose to do so because, it is the right thing to do.
For instance, there is no rule that says that you cannot be lazy. However we have have that rule inside of us. It may say to us that we should work hard at school, work, personal development, physical activity etc…
That is discipline, to be able to follow the rules that we create for ourselves or follow the rules set by others and do so even when no one is looking. Having this type of discipline shows that we have respect for ourselves and for others. In fact the great thing about this is that this type of discipline and respect for ourselves will give us the opportunity to succeed.
So here is an assignment to think about. List some of the rules that are important to you to follow. They may be self imposed or those from external sources. Then rate yourself on a scale of 1 – 10 on your tendency to show discipline by following those rules – even when no one is looking.
Have you ever known someone who is constantly complaining? I have and depending on our own relationship with them it may have various immediate impact on us. If it someone we are in love with, then we have a tendency to overlook it for a great deal of time. If it is someone that we are neutral about then it may wear on us to the point that we do not enjoy being around them.
But we are influenced by the people we hang out with and when we have someone around us who always dwells on the negative side of things we can lose our appreciation for what is good. As we live in this country we are indeed very fortunate. The families we have, the schools we attend, the cultural events around us, all of these add to the quality of our life.
But focus is a very funny thing. If you are an adult, have you ever been driving down the road and started to look at something in a field to your right or left and found yourself drifting in that direction, only to have to pull yourself back quickly?
This can happen to us in how we think too. If we show appreciation and focus on the good in our lives we will feel better emotionally and we will accomplish more in our daily life. Here is one way to do this with your family. When you come home and ask everyone in your family what they are thankful for about themselves, others, things, whatever and how do they show appreciation for that gift. You may be surprised by what they say and it may be silly at first, but the habit of speaking the words out loud will affect the evening and your personal feelings.
Try this and let me know how it affects you. As an individual you may want to keep a gratitude journal. Write down 5 things everyday that you appreciate – then review it if you are feeling a bit down.