Discipline Personal Training: How To Be Disciplined From Scratch

Hardly expressing any emotion, the sergeant commanded with his loud booming voice: “DOWN.

ONE!”  … we knew what was coming…

DOWN.

TWO!” … it’s only been two weeks in, but we already know the inevitable hardship…

DOWN.

THREE!!” … and it was all because one of our mates left a speck of mud on his rifle.

DOWN.

FOUR!!!” … in all of our minds we scream pain.

We continue the pushups until one of us breaks, after which we move on to monumental amounts of jumping jacks, chasing the rabbits, situps and running 100 meters out into the field to tap a tree and back within an unachievable timing set by the sergeant.

Only to do it all over again.

After breaking at least half of us, the sergeant resumes our normal training.

In some countries, National Service is a mandatory thing that all guys (and girls) have to go through.

Fortunately, I had to go to National Service when my time came. I only say ‘fortunately’ now, after I had done serving my mandatory time. During the training itself, it was hard to say I was ‘fortunate’ because I was honestly suffering too much to even think that.

I got sent into one of the toughest units, the Commando Unit, thanks to my ‘adventurous’ answers during my aptitude test that helps the Armed Forces decide where to put me.

During the aptitude test, I had the hopes to become a commando. I wanted to do what they did in the movies, because commandos are awesome!

Jumping out of planes, fire cool weapons and get to ride cool military vehicles!

Little did I know, Basic Military Training School was a massive mental and physical test on your abilities to emotionally endure all this pain.

It was 8 weeks of breaking every single one of us who enlisted, and ‘rebuilding’ us up mentally.

Before I joined the Commandos, I thought I had prepared myself, but was slapped in the face with a huge culture shock when I got in.

Head shaven, was called only by my last name, and had a total identity reset. It was a minimal expectation to have everything  neat, in line, and pristine.

I have to admit, I teared a little when after weeks, my family was finally allowed to visit the camp and I could have some real personal time. By the way, handphones were not allowed during basic military training so there was no outside contact at all.

It was very tough. Both physically and emotionally.

Here’s a clip that summarized it quite well.

Fast forward to a full year later, I had gone through Basic Military Training, the leadership course, multiple weapons courses, unarmed combat course, the rappelling course, the airborne course and many many many training sessions in the jungle rain or shine.

I had finally earned my Red Beret, and it was one of the proudest moments of my life. I had gone through so much hardship, simply to earn the honour of donning a red beret which symbolizes the specialized skills and willpower we have been trained to have.

And it all began with a thought that it would be ‘fun’, before I joined the commandos.

What I truly learned during that first year in the army was my mental ability to push through really extremely difficult situations that I normally would not put myself into.

It was the first time I had to discipline myself to keep doing the things I seriously didn’t want to do, in order to experience the things that I wanted.

It was extremely tough during training, but I had priceless fun jumping out of military planes, learning to fire many different real-life weapons, driving badass vehicles and got to be like it was in the movies!

I had a great time in the army, which was filled with lots of blood, sweat, tears, pain, failures, success and fulfillment. All done in 2 and a half years.

I can acknowledge that my discipline levels have gone up and down since then, and I have seen the difference between being disciplined and not.

Here’s what I think.

Know Why You Are Doing It

Without knowing why, there will be no reason to change what’s “real” in the mind, even if there is a strong compelling reason to change in actuality.

Ask yourself these questions if you’re considering to take on something that you think is going to take some discipline.

  • What is your reality? Which feelings and thoughts are very real to you, but not to others?
  • What is your actuality? Look at what is truly happening around you or to you, without your emotional involvement.
  • What is your environment? Are you comfortable, or do you feel that there is a need for change to the circumstances you are in?

The best way to summarize the points above is to align your mindset to be open to what is truly going on around you. Are you actually in a bad circumstance or situation, and are you doing anything about it?

Willpower, it is directly in correlation with your ‘Why’.

  • The less you FEEL for something, the less you find the drive/willpower to do it.
  • The more you know ‘Why’ you must do something, the more you will feel the willpower to do it.

Find your ‘Why’.

Why do you feel compelled? What brought you to this page? Could that be your ‘why’?

I would recommend writing a detailed list of your ‘whys’, because in this world it is so easy to be pulled away from what we truly want and be influenced by big companies strategically manipulating your ‘whys’. Be clear on the reason why you want something!

Understand What Habits Are

If there’s one book I would strongly recommend for you to pick up, it’s The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business.

After reading the book, it helped realize that we are all just simple creatures running on habits. Hundreds of habits if not thousands. Here’s the clincher – a huge number of them were picked up unknowingly, or imposed upon us by influencers!

Consider the habitual things you do everyday, and see if they are impacting your life negatively, positively or not at all.

Analyze, isolate and replace your bad habits with either neutral or positive ones, and you’re already a step ahead of most people.

Develop Good Habits One By One, And Know Why You Do Them

Start by building new easy good habits.

Simple stuff, in order to create the consistency of success.

The idea is to start the flow of dopamine attached to small wins and keep it going.

Here’s a list of things you could do first thing in the morning to get the momentum rolling:

  • Cleaning the home in the morning
  • Making your bed
  • Clearing the plates from the drying rack
  • Neatening furniture
  • Sweeping the house
  • Light exercise, breaking a sweat

In this video, Admiral McRaven covers this better than anybody else.

Counter Intuitive Habits

“You have to be out of your mind!” is the ironic first thing that pops up in my brain as I take on counter intuitive habits. These habits are things that force you to do something that you naturally wouldn’t want, but are actually beneficial to you.

Our primal instincts get activated when we’re under a threat. There are two modes that we will be in, and that’s the “Fight or Flight” response. Right before these habits your body is literally blasting at you to go on ‘flight mode’, because that way you would be ‘safe’ and there will be no more threat.

If you were to be the kind of person to “only listen” to your body, it may be possible you’re stunting your growth in life and may be losing out in the long term.

Are you actually allowing your body from holding you back from your true potential? Think about it.

Here are some easier counter intuitive habits that you could pick up:

So, how do you get over the counter intuition to even start on these habits?!

Knowing your Why will give you the mental drive to get over that physical-mental barrier that is holding you back.

Physical-mental because in reality, what you feel is completely biological and on a hormonal level.

What you KNOW, is not what you FEEL.

Read that last line again.

Once you’ve proven to yourself that what your body feels is not the same thing as what your brain knows, it will get easier the next time, and easier the next, and easier the next.

Another piece of good news is that once you’ve passed that initial hurdle and is in the habit, it takes much less willpower to get it done over and over again.

Don’t confuse what your body wants, with what it needs.

Understand that intuition isn’t always right, and you will innately know the meaning of mastering your body.

Counter intuitive habits are all about training your mind to take on the Fight instead of taking Flight.

So take on the fight!!

How To Take On Counter Intuitive Habits, aka Be Disciplined

Here are some things I’ve learnt along the way trying to help me be more disciplined:

  • Breath Control
    • Fill up your body with oxygen to help clear thinking.
    • Clear your mind with the meditation of breath.
  • Mindful Envisaging
    • Have a clear image, feeling, and sense of what you are trying to accomplish.
    • Visualize that not only is the task/habit done, but you feel fulfilled doing it.
  • The “Will I die? ” Test
    • One of the ways that I convince myself to get difficult things done is to ask myself “Will I Die?”.
    • If the answer is no, then I know it is my body telling to take flight.
    • F#%* the flight and take on the fight!

Every time you complete a counter intuitive habit, you will feel the sense of accomplishment, the sense of fulfillment.

The harder the task, the deeper the sense of accomplishment.

If you have a powerful morning routine, you will feel successful by the time you leave your home.

Self confidence will start to radiate out of you because you know you have physically and mentally primed yourself for a very effective day.

Consistent Day To Day Execution Of Good Habits Means A Successful Lifestyle

Mastery of your Fight or Flight Response takes effort and time, but be consistent with it and the puzzle pieces will begin to fall in place. Life will seem a little nicer, because you’re hard on yourself for the best results.

Success is not an end result. A lot of people have that mistaken. They see the result and forget the thousands of hours of effort put into it.

Success is the result of very consistent (sometimes counter intuitive) habits.

It is a lifestyle.

Be aware of bad habits

Which of your intuitive habits are holding you back from your full potential?

What bad habits can you completely do without, and know that you will will be fine? With each bad habit you eliminate and replace, you free up that much more time to build a good one.

Know Your Limits, then push them.

Once you have developed the good habits of success, you will find yourself more self confident, physically energized, mentally strong and know what is driving you in life.

People will start saying “Wow you are so disciplined, I’ll never be able to do that.”, when you actually know that it is doable with the right mindset and strategy. It just takes one small positive successful habit at time.

Don’t Be To Hard On Yourself At The Start, But You Must Start.

Start easy, build on easy success habits one at a time, train your Fight response, and know why these habits help you ultimately.

If you start too hard, you will squelch your motivational spark and you may not even consider trying the habit again because in your ‘reality’ it was hard.

Remember to feel fulfilled completing your habitual tasks.

Remember that although goals are the reason why we work towards a certain target, it is really the process oriented goals and habits that will eventually manifest the realities around us.

Tell Me What You Think!

What’s the difference between being disciplined and not, to you?

How have you tried to be more disciplined and why has it worked, or not?

Please comment below and share this if there’s somebody that might benefit from it!

Love You Long Time: 1 Simple Tip To Keep The Love Alive.

After spending more than 13 years with my partner in life, I’ve learnt that there are many ways to help stay in love. If there’s one simple thing that really helps keep the flame alive, this is it.

Only say “I love you” when you mean it.

Forget about waiting for the perfect moments to say “I love you”. Perfect moments happen rarely, and with planned dates, saying “I love you” to your partner some time during the date can be pretty much expected. Don’t just say “I love you” because your partner said “I love you” first. Don’t just say “I love you” because you say it every time you leave the house. Don’t just say “I love you” because of  routine.

What is more important is the recognition that every moment spent with your partner of love is a chance to be grateful that you are in love, that you are in a position to give love.

When you want to say “I love you”, ask yourself why, and tell her at least one simple thing you appreciate about her. It could be because of her lovely skin, it could be because she’s consoling her friend over the phone, it could be because of how she smells when she didn’t bathe, or simply because she’s a klutz.

Do it randomly. While you’re watching TV together. While you’re in the heading to the supermarket. While you’re sweeping the floor. The small element of surprise will make your declaration of love even more meaningful, and tie you in onto your next random “I love you”.

What’s important here is that you appreciate the smallest simple things, and communicate your gratitude clearly. If she becomes suspicious and asks you “Why do you suddenly say that?! Did you do something wrong?!”, just give her the truth, that you love her because of the small (or big) thing you appreciate her for.

All this may somewhat sound silly. But the truth of love never fails, especially when it comes straight from the heart.

Go show some love to your partner today.

Sleep: 3 Crucial Reasons Why We Sleep and How To Do It Right

Do you snooze for an entire hour before you actually wake up?

Do you feel lethargic during the day while at work?

Do you watch television on your comfy couch until you are unable to stay awake?

Does the scrolling of the Facebook and Twitter feeds keep you up till 3:00am at night?

 

Normalized Daily Sleep Deprivation

Long term inadequate and proper sleep can wreck havoc to both your mental and physical health. It directly affects the quality of your waking day, productivity levels, creativity levels, appetite, moods, immune system, and even your ability to control your weight.

You can work as much or as hard as you want, but without proper sleep, it may all be considered ineffective. (read: not awesome!)

Every living breathing creature of this Earth needs sleep, even if it means possibly being eaten by other animals who are on the hunt at night. So, there must be very good logical reasons why we need to sleep up to a third of our lives.

When your body goes to sleep, it does not mean you have “shut down your computer” and you just lie there unconscious.

During sleep, your brain is as active as it is while it’s awake. It is busy overseeing biological maintenance within your brain and body to keep everything running in tip top condition, preparing you for the following day.

I’m going to go over 3 very strong reasons why you should check your sleep habits and make sure you spend adequate time in slumberland tonight.

Physical Healing

During sleep your muscles and cells literally heal themselves. Atheletes can attest to it. Doctors in hospitals always say “The best thing to do now is rest.”

The human growth hormone begins to be released into the blood after about 3 hours after falling asleep and during REM sleep. Proper bedtime has a strong profound effect on muscle growth and physical well being. Poor quality rest can negatively impact human growth hormone levels, and in turn, affect your recovery rate. In fact, it would also be important to keep in mind that the difference between 6 hours of sleep to 8 hours can be astounding. The body needs enough time to repair the body from the 3 hour mark. Chronic sleep deprivation can compound the negative effects over the long term to the point of diseases even.

Brain Health

Another good reason to sleep well is memory consolidation. During sleep your brain takes everything you have seen and done during the day. It goes through the experiences, looks for patterns and connects the subconscious dots to turn them into memories.

You may find that if you don’t sleep well, your memory is foggy and recalling things make take way more effort than you expected. This is especially evident if you have the bad habit of sleeping late every night for a longer term.

Having good sleeping habits could mean the fine line between making or breaking it in our knowledge based world. Prioritize your sleep for a clear mind to tackle all those daily mental challenges.

Emotional Balance

Inadequate sleep leave people feeling irritable, short tempered, and easily stressed.

Cortisol, commonly called the “stress hormone” is secreted during times of fear or stress. Unfortunately, sleep loss also results in an increase of cortisol levels the following day.

This means that without enough sleep, insignificant things that normally isn’t a big deal can cause you to lose it. The whole day could snowball into one huge mental breakdown. All because you haven’t been having enough shuteye.

Being well-rested, on the other hand, will help to maintain your composure.

You’ll naturally feel more optimistic, patient, and relaxed even if nothing around you changed. Which means you’ll have an easier time coping with all of life’s little setbacks.

The mental clarity will allow you to get back up with enough expendable willpower to spare to continue on pursuing awesomeness.

 

Sleep better tonight

Parents always ensure their kids get enough sleep. They put them to bed by 9:30pm, dimming out the lights, and reading them bedtime stories.

Isn’t it interesting as we all become adults, we tend to gradually move proper recovery to the bottom of our priority list? Before we know it, we are habitually are trying to catch up with daytime naps, and going to work with a brain that can’t even do simple math.

Here are some tips on how to get a great night’s rest besides the obvious 8 hours. Allow yourself to maintain the most important vehicle on the planet, your body!

Develop a bedtime ritual

Decide in advance what your bed time ritual will be like, and give yourself about an hour to “shut down”. Dim the lights, set up some aromatherapy and put away all the gadgets.

Some activities I would recommend doing during that hour would be:

  • reading
  • meditating
  • stretching
  • reflecting on the day that passed
  • planning the following day
  • focusing on the clarity of your goals

Pull away from your screens

Blue light emitted from your television and gadgets slow or even halt the production of melatonin (the sleeping hormone) and literally hardwires your brain into thinking that it is still day time.

You will always believe that you are not sleepy when you are stuck in front of a screen. Constantly push it to 3:00am in the morning, and you can be sure your brain and body will be suffering from the effects of sleep deprivation.

Don’t drink alcohol or eat junk before going to sleep

When we sleep our bodies go into repair mode, and uses whatever nutrients we have supplied it with for the night.

If you dump alcohol and junk food into your body before you sleep, your body will not have the proper nutrients to fix up your body with! You’ll wake up the next day still feeling tired, hungry and wanting to sleep even more.

Make sure you go to sleep properly eaten and at a good early time, ready take on the following day with a body full of energy.

Know WHY you’re compulsively hooked to the screen, and courageously break the bad habit

It’s late at night and you’re in front of your social media feeds, scrolling down for the next post that only might be interesting.

Stop and imagine clearly to yourself the following morning, waking up with a heavy head and foggy brain, dragging yourself out of bed.

Ask yourself then: “Is my habit of clicking and scrolling causing me to suffer every morning?”, “Am I clicking compulsively because of the addictive design of Facebook/Twitter/Internet?”, “Is the blue light from my screen hypnotizing me to stay awake?”, “How nice would it be if I felt great first thing in the morning?”.

Be truthful with your answers, harness the willpower from within and pull yourself away from the addiction of late nights.

Give your body a break from the limitless amount of ‘infotainment’ and ‘auto-playing videos’.

Tonight, allow your body to do what it was meant to do at night – sleep.

 

If you had to sleep early regularly, what would your reasons be?

What techniques do you use to ensure you get a good night’s rest?

Comment below, and share it with somebody who you think might benefit from it!

 

The Beginning of The Pursuit of Awesomeness

beginning, journey, path

I woke up this morning – exactly the same as every other morning. The alarm went off, snoozed it twice, rolled out of bed and did my morning routine.

Is it going to be another day of thinking about doing this?” I thought to myself.

Standing there in the home office, I took some deep morning breaths, looked at my glorious glass board of life principles and lessons I’ve picked up over the years on personal development, and glared at the possible path I laid to becoming awesome.

I have been contemplating over this blog for some time now, but fear and limiting beliefs have been holding me back from pushing my boundaries towards contributing to the world through the power of the Internet.

I didn’t almost die yesterday or have some kind of epiphany which may have somehow pushed my mind over the edge into doing it. (albeit it has happened more times than I’d like in the past, another story for a future blog) I feel it’s more of a smoother learning curve, and it’s finally about time to do it.

Today is the day to take some massive killer action!” I screamed at myself (in my head), as I my mind went blank on what and how to even begin writing a blog.

I actually do have a long list of topics I’d love to write about and share with everyone, but as I sit down in front of my laptop, it all just goes blank. I get lost in the paralysis of overwhelming information on how to do it, and how to even begin.

So, I figured the best thing I could do for now is to just apply something I’ve picked up from my very first self-help mentor:

“Begin with the end in mind.” – Stephen Covey

This blog is dedicated to track my journey towards becoming as awesome as possible, but more importantly, to hopefully inspire others to pursue their own way of being awesome. Being awesome can mean many different things to a lot of people, but we can all agree that being in awe would mean feeling a great sense of wonder and inspiration.

If we are not living our lives towards being in awe of ourselves and those around us, then mediocrity will slowly and silently take over. Life will very quickly feel like a routine on a random physical/biological autopilot that has been programmed into our minds through a vast world of limitless distractions, secretly holding you back from your dreams of greatness.

 

So, I have decided that I will post blogs and articles on anything that will inspire the sense of awe, and importantly –  the lessons I’ve learnt and am learning from this journey of life. It is through these life lessons, that we discover and find the very essence of our own awesomeness. I will try to put them in my own words in the hope to help everyone pursue their own way of leading an amazing life.

I hope this blog will serve you well, and that it will be a door to your own pursuit of awesomeness.

[kkstarratings]