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  • Writer's pictureD. Randall Faro

The Sunshine Life

For some unexplainable reason, I like hyphenated words. Also hyphenated phrases. They have a grab-you-by-both-the-eyes-and-heart feeling. Much can be said with hyphens that relieves the need to fashion more-wordy, complex sentences.

Here’s one of my favorites: self-discipline. It’s a fave not just because of the hyphen, but because of what its personal application does to one’s life.

Put “how to develop self-discipline” into any online search engine and a veritable plethora of websites will present themselves. A cursory exam reveals that most offer tips and steps that can possibly edge one toward that oftentimes elusive self-control . . . the latter, when exercised over a long period of time, becomes self-discipline. Some of these strategies can indeed be helpful, but before they can work their magic something has to happen at the gut level.

In the deepest inner core of the self, a transformation must take place that moves one from desire to decision to action. The Star Wars series calls it Center of Being. Name it what you will, but without that core conversion (from whatever life-orientation has prevented self-discipline), a boatload of tips and steps will likely not have staying power.

There are varieties of ways and means for examining and possibly altering one’s Center of Being: Christian contemplation; Zen or Islamic or transcendental meditation; reflective introspection; etcetera. To be sure, it is an intentional and determined act without which one can easily and unwittingly bounce around life in a decidedly know-not-thyself and un-self-disciplined manner.

We live as we think. If half of my brain tells me I would like to do something (get in better physical shape, for instance) while the other half says I’ll never do it, self-discipline will be as elusive as trying to bottle sunlight. But when I make contact with that Center and learn to continually focus on what I really want to be as a person, sunshine begins to be a way of life.

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