Written by: John Glass
As a child, I loved to play sports. Football was my favorite. I recall many times playing in the neighborhood bouncing off cars or trees. One of my fondest memories was that it would take four of the guys to bring me down when I had the ball.
I did not excel in organized sports and there were a number of reasons why such as, not being committed to the practicing, learning, and mastering of the sport.
I am sure that many of us recall being a part of some sport’s team when we were younger or maybe it was another discipline like karate. Some men excelled, some were average, and some just wanted to quit and leave.
For me I had little interest in sticking to an organized sport. I loved being active with friends by: playing football, baseball, basketball, going fishing, bowling, and many other things.
When it came to organized sports I just could not commit to the time and energy. As well as, the fact that my father was not around, so I had no male guidance or encouragement to help me understand why it is important to commit to mastering a discipline.
A part of me desired to learn, practice, and master a discipline. I found it to be difficult as a teenage going at it alone.
Maybe you relate to this feeling. I found other ways to get that good feeling I craved, that did not require me to practice or train or master. I found stimulation in an easier way through drugs, alcohol, sex, and other things.
As I have grown old, I came to the realization that being active physically, mentally, and spiritually is a huge need in our lives.
With my age, my mindset has changed. I now understand why learning, training, and mastering what I call “disciplines” are so important. As a child I never worked hard at mastering any of the things I did except maybe pushing the right buttons at a video game.
Back to my shift in mindset. Because of this new shift I have taken up a few different disciplines that I am currently working to master. They are currently Muay Thai kickboxing, darts, disc golf, and bowling. I learn and I train each of these disciplines weekly now. As I progress I am continuously learning new things about myself.
Below are 5 traits that I have learned and am continuing to learn.
In the beginning of a new discipline, it may take some time before you start to feel a huge sense of confidence about what you are doing. Here is the thing, by taking the time and energy to get out and enjoy a discipline you are already steps ahead of other men. Men who sit at home watching TV living through others that are experiencing their self-confidence from engaging in their discipline.
For me as I trained in Muay Thai kickboxing I was apprehensive to join in on the group sessions because I thought I did not have the skill level I would want before I showed others. This self-limiting belief took away my confidence in myself. It is a belief that I was telling myself that I doubted my abilities.
As I came to the realization that this is what I was telling myself I countered it by telling myself, “I am here for me and me alone. I do not care what others are thinking because honestly they are in their own heads just as I am in mine. So, just do it.”
If you are allowing your self-doubt to hold you, back because you think your level of experience is not good enough. You are dead wrong! You have everything you need within yourself to practice and master the discipline you choose.
Every time you do practice and get better at your discipline your self-confidence will become stronger. You will walk out with pride as you return to your life.
Patience comes from being put in a situation that is out of your comfort zone or not what you want to happen.
Typically, in our society we have very short spans for patience. We want everything instantly. We want shorter lines at the grocery store, less traffic, and get angry when we have to wait.
Yet, patience is such an important part of being human and being a man. Patience is needed with our spouses, our children, our employees/co-workers, our extended family, and in just about every aspect of our lives. Yet, we have so little of this “virtue”. As men it is important to set an example for our children, for young men coming up, and for anyone that looks up to us as leaders or mentors.
A great way to learn patience is through taking action and learning a new discipline.
I know when I first started bowling I sucked. I had been throwing the ball the wrong way for years. I had to unlearn and then learn the correct way for holding and throwing the ball. As my coach repeatedly kept telling me what I was doing it wrong and how I needed to fix it. He just kept saying (in a very hippie kind of way), “You got to let go, man.”
I thought man I am trying to let go, I really am. During this lesson, my coach and I had to practice patience or one of us was going to walk out.
Now I am able to bowl semi-decent but I still catch myself resorting back to my old ways. As I catch myself, I have to show myself patience and self-compassion.
This new skill will help you greatly in other areas of your life. You may just find yourself choosing that long grocery line just to practice patience.
This is a challenge for me.
Men, I am sure there have been a number of times that when you start learning something new and it gets really hard that you just throw your hands up in the air and say “Forget it. I am done.” Then those golf clubs sit in the corner collecting dust for years. Eventually being sold at your yard sale.
Yet, if you persevered past the difficult part, you would have the chance to gain a mastery level of the discipline. One valuable lesson learned is follow through.
We need to do what we say and say what we mean. Learning follow through will aid in ensuring this occurs in our lives.
Follow through also applies to the discipline itself.
For example when throwing darts, lack of follow through will create a loss in accuracy. Your dart goes where ever it wants.
Not having follow through in your life creates a similar reaction. Lacking follow through you may end up going from job to job or relationship to relationship or you may be seen as not accountable or reliable because you do not do what you say or say what you mean.
Yet, in darts when you follow through with your throw your accuracy increases greatly.
This is the same in life making sure you follow through with what you say and you follow through with your true intentions or saying what you mean. It shows that you are honest, trustworthy, accountable, and determined.
Take up a discipline and learn to follow through it will help you greatly in all aspects of your life.
I cannot stress this enough men. By you learning, practicing, and mastering a discipline, it makes you more attractive to others.
I am going to be talking specifically about women (in a romantic sense) but this idea also applies to other men and women (you are not interested in). It applies to potential employers, investors, and many other individuals.
The reason being is that it shows that you have a life of your own. Women are typically not fond of a man that makes the woman the center of their life.
Women want to join you in life not be your life. They want to be taken on an adventure not become your adventure.
I mean honestly, which sounds more fun backpacking together through Europe or constantly striving to keep her happy all the time to the point you have no hobbies or desires of your own. I pick Europe!
You need to want a life and want a really great woman to join you in your life. This does not mean that you use your disciplines to get women. Understand this is not a pick up routine. This is you creating a life that will be attractive to women; one of those things in your life is having disciplines.
Sadly, some of you may be thinking, “If I go out and learn a new discipline my wife is going to be mad at me.” The reality is you are not in charge of her emotions, thoughts, or feelings. If she is going to get mad at you for bettering your life once a week by engaging in a discipline that you really enjoy, then let her get made.
After some time and seeing that, you are following through, gaining self-confidence, and developing patience your spouse will find you sexier than you were before.
It goes without saying that having disciplines does not consume your life to the point that there is no room for your really great woman.
This idea goes for single men, dating men, and married men. Having disciplines in your life that add to your life will make you more attractive to women you want and some you may not want.
In all, that you do you must stay present and focus on the task at hand.
Staying present is important! An example would be if you are playing baseball as right fielder, which can be a boring position.
The bat cracks and a pop fly is heading your way, but you are too busy thinking about how to ask the cutie at the snack stand out.
In this example three things may happen. Get hit on the head by the ball (concussion time), the ball hits the ground and the other team scores, and/or you lose out on asking that cutie at the concession stand after she sees you are unable to stay present in the game. The last one is a little over the top, but you get my point.
Being present in your life is going to increase your ability to stay in the moment. It reduces daydreaming, worrying, stressing, and anxiousness.
I have also found that by being present during my discipline requires a lot of concentration. When I focus and concentrate at a higher level I find that I am able to excel at my discipline.
So, get out of your head and into your discipline. Practicing this will aid in many other areas of your life.
Men, I call you to action! Grab those golf clubs collecting dust, grab that football that has lost its air, that mountain bike that sits in the garage, sign up for those martial arts classes, and get to practicing, training, and mastering your discipline.
Through this process, you will grow and build wonderful qualities within yourself that will help you in all aspects of your life.
Stop, living through someone else’s passions and desires and get your own. Stop, using “junk food” activates like binging on TV, playing video games hours on end, smoking weed, or going out with your drinking buddies. It is time to gain fulfillment within your life and stretch yourself to your furthest limits.
You will find a renewed sense of enjoyment about life, I promise.
originally posted on The Good Men Project