On being disciplined

img_02942016 was a lot for me. Long story short;  a series of successive events that forced me to grow three times my age in the space it should have taken one. Still, I decided to end it with a bang. Producing my first film, then, spending Christmas with my family, after a three year period of absence, was all the happiness that was needed.

My experience in Nigeria was a combination of different things. It was a direct confrontation with the truth of what I had lost, a close up visualization of the blessing that was marriage, a brutal experience of the sorry state of affairs in my country and a learning experience that motivated me to do more, do harder, do better.

When I returned to the US Jan 2017,  it was with this freshly minted mindset. I had never really been one to make the most of new year resolutions but I knew this time, the lot that needed to be done and the importance of tackling them. Come 2017, prioritizing was key and distractions were irrelevant. With this in mind, I began conquering personal milestones. I added a side job to the one I already had, moved from the school dorms into my apartment, then, took the next steps with the post production of my film. My one source of constant worry in 2016 became more or less a trivial issue. I was focusing on me and I was proud of myself for that-

-Until I began to sink.

You see, combining school, work, babysitting and film production may not have been a big deal if I had some sort of order but I didn’t and with time it all  became a jumbled up mess. My writing was the first to suffer, it took a back seat, as did, rest, and personal time. I began staying up  late to meet up with deadlines, but ended up catching up on sleep at embarrassingly odd hours like, during lectures or at my desk at work. Like a boomerang effect, school, work, babysitting and film production began to suffer as well. Stress took advantage of my confusion and in response, I began to spend frivolously until I had made a total ridicule of my paycheck.  In the midst of this, I did what I almost always do, sunk into a dark hole where I focused, not on what was important but on, my current state of singledom- the one source of constant worry in 2016.

One morning, as I leisurely scrolled down my computer, I stumbled on The Huffington post’s “Guide to enjoying a single life”. They had a couple pointers but the one thing that stood out to me was the importance of “rediscovering one’s self”. I realized then that in the past two years, because I had only myself to focus on, I had come to discover  new things about myself that I had no prior knowledge of, including but not limited to, my extreme love for dancing and my minute possession of discipline.

It’s easy for us to conclude that, we know ourselves to the fullest until we realize that we don’t. Surprisingly, discipline happened to be one of the core values my mum had tried to instill in us as kids, the one I was convinced I had enough of, but, in the process of reflection and seeing how disorderly my life had become, I began to understand that it wasn’t a question of “whether or not” but “how”. – How disciplined? How much was I willing to deny myself until I had achieved what I had set out to do. I began to imagine the different ways my year could have started out if I had been disciplined enough to follow through with my goals.

Weight loss goals: Denying myself that burger and going to the gym rather than watching TV and snacking on cheat meals may have gotten me that banging bod by now.

Productivity: Standing up immediately I hear the alarm ring, rather than hit snooze five more times would mean, waking when I’m supposed to,  getting to school on time, not sleeping through work, more rest, less stress, more time on the weekend to work on scripts and conceptualize new ideas.

Finance: According to my bank, I spend hundred percent of what I earn monthly, 20 percent of which are completely unnecessary. Denying myself unnecessary pleasures would simply mean a more presentable savings account.

We may not realize it, but even the tiniest, seemingly irrelevant, decisions could have  lasting effects on the turn out of our lives. In my journey to self rediscovery, I’ve  come to see how my every day actions counter balance the going-ons in my life. As a personal goal, I’ve decided to make discipline a defining factor in every of my endeavors. Dreams, after all, can only be achieved if you’re disciplined enough to pursue them.

Next Post up: “Hurray, I made a movie” – April 13th 2017


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