Gandhi is an icon appreciated by many - across nations, cultures, and religions. We remember him for his struggle for Indian independence from British rule.
But, his main aim was beyond national independence. Swaraj (self-rule) did not just mean the nation and her people will rule themselves. It was about being able to rule one's own self.
We don't have evil dictators, tyrants, or a monarchy lording over us today. (Don't get me started on democracy, we'll save that for another day). Though our personal civil liberties are rarely if ever endangered, most of us are no closer to self-rule.
Our greatest ability as humans is not to change the world, but to change ourselves. - Gandhi
Young children in schools are debating ways and means to change the world. I am curious to know how people are changing themselves. If charity begins at home, then change begins with self.
Large scale change is the focus of great personal attention, be it electing officials or campaigning for world peace, climate change, and social reforms. What amuses me though, is how personal change is outsourced to educational institutions from an early age, relieving the child of self-responsibility. And the opportunity for self-rule.
These are a couple of key attributes I developed to be capable of self-rule.
The most capable and independent individuals alive are living examples of discipline. But as a child, I wasn’t taught to be disciplined. I was disciplined! In fact, the word’s use as a verb far outweighs its use as a noun.
Discipline is seen as enforcement by an authority figure - parent, tutor, boss, priest, police, etc. It is experienced as punishment and the reward for good discipline is often relief from it. This totally sends the wrong signal to the learning brain. It took me a decade to undo the conditioning of 30 years.
The only way to develop self-discipline is by understanding its value and cherishing its benefits as a reward. Regardless of the manner of discipline, I think it is super necessary to act every single day.
As a child, I day-dreamed. All-day. Every day. Spinning elaborate fantasies of wondrous adventures to live, as I stared out of my classroom window. I don't even remember any of them now. What's scary though is that I can't come up with a gazillion dreams today. My ability to dream has considerably atrophied and I'm left with a reality-based dream rendering engine. Nothing unreal about this engine.
Discipline will take anywhere you wanna go, but where do you want to go? Dreams are the answer to that question. They're also the questions you need to answer with your actions.
🕹️ Let's Play a Game
Select one dream.
Identify the discipline you need to make it happen.
Reward the discipline, not the dream.
Want an example? This daily newsletter you're reading is a reward of the discipline I've set to reach the goal of being a prolific writer.
There are two days in the year that we can not do anything, yesterday and tomorrow. - Gandhi
If you need help coming up with a dream or with establishing the discipline needed, hit reply and we'll start with the reward :) That said, getting started with self-rule is something you need to do yourself. Today.