When men and women join the military, they must go through an intensive training process known as boot camp. The purpose of boot camp is to transform an individual in a physical, emotional, and mental way. This transformation process begins as soon as the recruits step from the bus onto the grounds of the boot camp. The training seems almost cruel at times as people are pushed to their limits and then pushed further.
One of the underlying objectives is to force the recruits to develop discipline. Initially, the discipline is external in the form of a drill sergeant, or instructor, who barks out orders, dishes out discipline for the non-compliant recruit, and pushes all of the men and women to go further than they thought it was possible to go.
At the end of several intense weeks, previously undisciplined people have been changed into disciplined teams (troops). The intensity of the training is designed to break old habits and thought patterns and instill new ones. Many times, the change in the young men and women is astonishing as they appear more confident, mature, and disciplined.
What if there was a civilian or personal boot camp that would challenge and change our patterns of behavior, thoughts, and actions? Imagine getting into mental, physical, and emotional shape in six weeks. But then, would we want someone yelling at us to break down our defense mechanisms, to push us further than we would push ourselves?
Would it be necessary to have someone yell at us to force us to make changes? Do we have the strength to make those changes on our own? What is lacking? It is the discipline to just do it! The word discipline carries with it a negative connotation, as it is usually associated with the word “punishment” as in, “she must be disciplined for her actions.”
Discipline implies control and it can come from outside of us, through others such as parents, bosses, authority figures, or drill sergeants. It can also come from within, as we make a commitment to ourselves to take a certain action or to refrain from engaging in non-productive behaviors. The results from internally imposed discipline can be so power-filled as we enjoy our successes.
I challenge you to decide what you would like to be, have, or do and establish your own boot camp routine. Upon successful completion of your program, invite me to your graduation.
Affirmation for the Week:
“I am in charge of my body, mind, and emotions. Through my internal discipline, I achieve the success that I desire.”
Have a disciplined week!
Mary “Motivator” Rau-Foster