Not a lot of fun. It has very few attractive qualities and they are all quite indirect. I dare say that the positive form of discipline is obsession. To be driven by a need or hunger in such a way that preoccupation diminishes is really preferable. I can sit with my Xbox360 for hours. I used to be able to do the same with WoW. Both activities have taken up less an less time recently due to simple lack of interest. I find a vacuum however where I spin irrationally to different potentially distracting activities that don't yield much satisfaction. It's like repeatedly going to the fridge knowing there's nothing to eat.
Information being readily available, my new areas of focus are centering around the same story I've been selling myself since I was ten. I'm going to be an author and a film maker. I've got the books and the time and I'm actually finding myself with nothing better to do than to sit and read and study. The mind still wanders however and without deadlines of serious consequence, the only urgency I can generate stems from a vision of myself in ten years. Somewhere along the way I want to own property, a Bentley, a business. I've got all this time to plan and research and the days are zooming by . . . wow, I used to think time just flew when you were having fun. To think you can sense its rapidity from anxiety or speculation. It feels closer to waiting for a package to arrive that you've invested in, or crossing your fingers before they announce the lottery. The closer you get to committing yourself to a life goal, the more dreadful it seems. That fear might have been what's kept me diverted for so long. Courage being a virtue and defined in its spite of fear, would make the term "fearless" an inhuman quality. The lack of any emotion suggests a coldness that does not bend to the ego's wavering response to the dangers of the moment. Of course it's just one example I'm using to generalize the conditions, like doubt, that stamp out consistently progressive behavior. But I wonder if the distribution of monetary wealth isn't some indication of a play on the disconnect from our relative vulnerabilities. If you're sharp enough to make life a chess board, one you can see clearly and move with purpose, then what does that make you?
The important moments string together and make something as yet imperceivable. We can speculate and come no closer to realizing the balancing act of our potential weighing itself upon our decisions of courage and passion and fear. I've started to feel a guilt that grows around the hours that pass. Sometimes living starts to feel like being a part of a system you have no say in, when you get down to figuring out where the unhappiness comes from. And it's ludicrous that you'd have no say. But the alternative truth makes one pause. It's the pause that gets you, kills you if it can. I have to remember not to pause. It's OK to let the world know I got a clue and I'm using it. Maybe discipline comes down to not pausing. It comes down to faulting the argument for hesitation or moderation. I see people all around working so hard and digging themselves deeper into all forms of debt; to bad relationships, to jobs, to places they don't want to be in. It's hard to accept you can put that same effort into change, and it be OK with the world you've come to know. The paradox is it's not OK with your world and what you've accepted of yourself. Light can shine in from the outside and all it causes is trepidation at first and for a while after. If the only thing to put faith in is consequence, the despair can be strenuous if not fatal. But it's this pragmatic view that becomes evidence you're accepting control of what happens. If you can get rid of that buffer of pretext and misconception, the anxiety about the "what ifs," then the information they yield become relevant and strategically necessary to navigate your way out. Everyday yields opportunity to practice this control, no matter where you are.
"Discipline" has a bad connotation because to the average person it means forcibly doing something you don't want to do over and over again cause you have to. It doesn't portray favorable commitment, constitution, or desire because the word is beaten over the heads of individuals that can't relate: parents to children, bosses to subordinates, teachers to students. Discipline is demanded by the institution upon its dependents. There is no one word of equivalent describing when the dependent demands it upon the institution, or when the soul provides the imperative upon the body. No I'll strike discipline from my mind and see what I can do with desperation, obsession, rage and love and my own imagination to light the way. It sounds chaotic, but doing things for the sake of practicing a sterile behavior; being disciplined as an end in itself, is still submitting myself to a laborious use of my will as deemed beneficial by the standards of authority I forgot to recognize. Life should be an adventure, not a daunting practice. I can play video games religious. I escape everyday to the terms I prefer. Evidence exists that I can be dedicated to something. I just need to bring those terms home to me, and own them in the things that matter. Then discipline won't seem like a lash. It'll be a banner. And my faith in consequence will yield the spoil of production.
In the end, I as a young man with an open future, just want to declare myself something positive and forceful. Nothing is trivial.