I had a wonderful insight about discipline and playfulness. About how they fit into my life and how both secretly support and benefit from each other.
I enjoy discipline.
I enjoy getting up early every morning and move my body. I enjoy training hard, pushing my body to its limits. I enjoy sitting down to work and get things done. These things require a certain amount of discipline, because while I do enjoy them, I certainly do not always feel like doing them. There are mornings when I get up, tired, rigid and cranky and I absolutely do not feel like doing yoga or stretching. Or moving at all.
This is where feelings often get in the way of the things that I know are good for me. In such moments, discipline is like a strict but loving parent. It has an almost “fatherly” quality to it and I have learned to trust in discipline in such moments.
So even when I do not feel like it, I simply start moving and afterwards I always feel that it was a good descision.
But I also enjoy playfulness.
I do not want to be strict with myself all the time. I do not want to work or train endlessly. I do not want to eat healthy all the time. I am not a robot and such a life feels very machine-like after a while.
I want to do foolish things. I want to eat unhealthy stuff once in a while. I want to drink alcohol, play video games, waste time, be bored and lay on the couch reading comics from time to time.
I have also learned to trust in this playfulness because it makes my life colourful. And by doing so, opens the door to creativity and joy and ultimately turns me into a healthy human being.
If I’m always disciplined, I become a machine and I don’t enjoy my life.
If I’m always playful, I get lost and end up in a place I don’t want to be in.
So I want to both:
Discipline and Playfulness.
It seems like they work against each other.
But I realised that they actually go hand-in-hand.
Like a parent provides a safe space for a child to grow up and play, my discipline creates a safe container for my playfulness. And at the same time my playfulness unlocks a joyful approach to life that creates the energy I need to keep up a certain discipline.
Realising this feels quite wonderful to me.
I invite you to experiment with this.
Include them both.
Be disciplined. Be the best version of yourself. Eat healthy, train hard, work hard, get things done, build monuments, climb mountains, be clever, push your limits and enjoy it.
But also be playful. Dance foolishly, drink alcohol, eat unhealthy, read comics, talk nonsense, giggle randomly, waste time, achieve nothing and enjoy it.
Why is this worth trying?
Because I think together they make you play a beautiful game.
And that’s all you really need for a good life.