Saturday, April 26, 2008

discipline + passion = ?

Recently a dear friend expressed a desire that I too have been encircling: how to become disciplined in keeping commitments? I identify myself in certain ways, but I act in ways that contradict them. What does this do to the self I am creating?

Concretely. I claim to value:
- steadfastness
- hard work
- perseverance
- thriftiness
- simplicity
but I am lazy, I give up easily, I complicate my life, spend too much money, time, energy on foolish trivialities, etc.

I claim to want to:
- begin recycling
- exercise to become strong and healthy
- cut out sugar and white flour (well, significantly)
- send out conference papers and journal articles regularly and often
- read a new book/article a week
but I keep throwing away yogurt containers and milk cartons, I eat donuts and cake, I haven't gotten my bike tuned and I sleep in rather than read or write.

So my projected self, though developing, does not have enough in common with my practiced/practical self. I do not, as Beauvoir might say, 'coincide exactly with myself'

If passion is not channeled, then it is like a destructive flood - powerful but murderous. And if discipline is not filled with passion, then all that remains is a desert. neither can sustain life.

hmmm. accountability anyone?

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