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Disciplinary Hare-ing

You could have all the passion, drive and Viagra in the world, but you're not going to get anything done without a dash of discipline, as Sally Sampson woke up in the middle of the night to find out...

I don’t know about you but I miss being a kid and just being able to ask for random shit. You know what I mean? That feeling of being able to ask for all the stuff you want, knowing for certain that if everything goes pear-shaped, (if your parents put you up for adoption or if there’s a nuclear war that results in the North Pole exploding like an Angry Bird) at least there’s a store you can go to, from which you can buy all the little things that your little heart and dirty little fingers so obsessively desire.  

When I was younger, I would sit there for hours and write letters to Santa Claus asking for things like a Polly Pocket (remember those?), an Operation board-game and a new Barbie doll (which I always decapitated accidentally  about three days into owning)! It’s not that I got everything I wished for like a spoilt little BITCH, but my list of demands was really never too complicated and I was usually satisfied with the next best thing (“We couldn’t’ find Operation, but here’s another Monopoly game to replace the one that ‘accidentally’ fell out of your hands and into the street from the balcony…”)! It was truly a simpler time.

Nowadays, you should see my wish list: discover who you are, experience life fully, change the world…I’m not sure if you know this, but the last time I checked, Toy R Us wasn’t really stocking up on any of those items. It’s not that I wish I was more materialistic; I just wish that in our Egyptian pharmacies, next to the ridiculous quantities of Viagra ready to take on every case of sexual dysfunction out there, there would be a small section (even more petite than the diet foods division) where you could get a little something for self-fulfilment or world peace. I’ve looked for that section many times, but sadly, it seems that they still haven’t gotten round to implementing my suggestion!

At the moment, the big item on my wish-list is discipline. And no, I don’t mean that in the S&M sense…

As the remarkable Katharine Hepburn once said, “Without discipline, there is no life at all!” and as it turns out, I don’t have a whole lot of it. I have a sporadic discipline, which I suppose is a contradiction in itself, since discipline is meant to be habitual and constant. Nevertheless, my form, if you can call it that, of discipline is anything but constant. Like many, I usually start really strong, lose momentum in the middle and then never really cross that finish line. Kind of like the hare in the children’s story The Tortoise and the Hare! Now that would all be very well if owning a Barbie doll was still the most I hoped to accomplish with my life; but as you and I both know, that is not the case. 

For years, I couldn’t’ understand where the problem lay! From the get-go, I always knew that I had the passion and the tenacity that I needed (in spades for that matter) to go the distance, but, even though it is as clear as day now, it took me quite a while to realise that a lack of discipline was the missing piece to my puzzle. I mean I always knew I was undisciplined when it came to doing things like exercise or when it came to my eating habits (my pudgy cheeks and fat ass growing up were enough of an indication of that…), but I never understood that the same poison that was keeping me from being in optimum physical shape was going to spread through my being and affect me in every single area of my life, from my professional aspirations to my personal relationships.

As it turns out, I have always been the hare instead of the fucking tortoise, even though I always thought that it was the other way round. That’s why I’ve always started diets that I couldn’t finish, took on exercise routines that I gave up on, began writing scripts that I never finalised, bought books that I never read, had no real relationships to speak of, procrastinated whenever I could…etc. I set off quickly towards my goals, without allowing myself to develop long-lasting habits!

I have, since my revelation, however, been trying to work against my bad, counterproductive habits, in an effort to refocus and reprogram my mind and thrust myself into a different and more ordered regimen so that physically, mentally and spiritually, I am in an overall better state to pursue my objectives. However, seeing as I’ve spent most of my life being more than a little bit prone to laziness (and potato chips), needless to say, the process hasn’t been unproblematic!

A couple of nights ago, I kept waking up in the middle of the night. And violently waking up too! I still don’t know what was happening to me, but I kept flinging my arms and legs out in my sleep, hitting the posts of my bed loudly and sitting up alert, like a weirdo in the dark. It must’ve happened like three times and I don’t know what came first: me waking up or the sound of my flailing body parts hitting the frame of my bed. All I remember was the feeling of being jolted awake and of being overpowered by a feeling of terror. I kept waking up thinking that I was missing out or that I was wasting time while I was meant to be doing something…  

And even though I know that it was probably just a nightmare, (possibly because I’m still traumatised by the news that the Jonas Brothers have broken up!) looking back and remembering the alarm and fear that I felt in the pit of my stomach, I know that in the last moments of my life, I really don’t want to feel like I have unfinished business! As author and motivational speaker, Jim Rohn, once said “We all must suffer one of two things: the pain of discipline or the pain of regret or disappointment.”

Yeah, yeah, I know it’s fucking cheesy…you don’t have to tell me that! I’m rolling my eyes at myself as I write this…but being cheesy doesn’t stop it from being true!!! My insomnia doesn’t lie!

So I’m shaking things up! For over two weeks now, I’ve been changing things around in my life. I now wake up at 3:45 am to have some more time to myself in the mornings (which isn’t too bad, because I used to wake up at 4 am anyway), I have three meals a day, I exercise (irregularly but the fact that I’m exercising is a miracle in itself!), I spend more time with God, I do more reading, I write every day, I do vocal exercises and, ultimately, I am committed to pushing myself out of my comfort  zone daily.

My goal is to get back my spark and marry the ambition and drive I’ve always had naturally, with a discipline that I hope will one day come effortlessly too!

Ultimately, I don’t want to feel like I could’ve potentially been the tortoise that won the race and know that I failed because I refused to learn a lesson that the world has been trying to teach me since I was a toddler.  No, I really, really, frantically, desperately want to be that tortoise! In fact, I don’t just want to be the tortoise; I want to shoot, skin, eat the hare and then wear his carcass as a hat, just so I can make sure that I never go back to being like him!!! 

So there you go. I’ll just leave things there with that lovely image.
And if you haven’t learned anything at all from this piece, then remember this:

Egyptian pharmacies are way too overstocked with Viagra!

Thank you. 


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