[success] No horse gets anywhere until he is harnessed. No stream or gas drives anything until it is confined. No Niagara is ever turned into light and power until it is tunneled. No life ever grows great until it is focused, dedicated, disciplined ~ Harry Emerson Fosdick[/success]

There’s an area in life that I find myself woefully lacking in and no it’s not exactly choosing celery over doughnuts, or should I say doughbutts?  But it could fall under that umbrella. It’s not even faffing hither and thither throughout my day, involved in not entirely worthwhile activities.  But it is sort of that.

It isn’t even that I’m willing to sit and stare.  I like that, it benefits me…and so it doesn’t count.

It’s not even in all areas.  What’s that mean?  Different areas of our life work differently for us, according to the beliefs we hold about those areas.  So I don’t include all areas of my life in the explanation of where I’m woefully lacking, because I have some lovely beliefs in certain areas of my life?

How do I know that?  Those are the areas where my life blossoms with fulfillment and joy.  Love those reflections of my consciousness.

What I love less and where my reflections indicate a self-concept that’s a bit out of whack is the lack of discipline I exhibit when I’m online.

Doesn’t matter if I’m writing a post and I’m on a roll.  Doesn’t matter if I’m researching something, and it’s really important to me.  Doesn’t matter.  Doesn’t matter.  Doesn’t matter. Pretty soon I’m distracted by something I see and I’m off on a tangent, taking me the lord knows where.

Believe it or not, as I wrote those words, I was thinking of leaving this post and checking something out that just crossed my mind.  I didn’t do it…truly I didn’t…but I really wanted to.  It’s time for some sort of intervention.

And for anyone else who, like me, is less than thrilled with their self-discipline, I think I’ve found some simple ways to undo a bad habit and this is what I’m going to focus on.  And I’ve decided, it doesn’t have to be an uphill battle.

Firstly and most importantly:


If nothing changes, then nothing changes.  Forcing discipline on myself will only work for a short time.  I can disconnect everything that distracts me and it’ll help for a while.  But the programming is still there.  The vibration of energy that sets me in motion is still there.  First things first, and the first thing is to create an imaginal act where I see myself being the disciplined one I’ve chosen to be and feeling the feeling I know I’ll feel.  And that dear ones is virtuous.  Yep, I’m going to feel really virtuous.

The same principle holds good for you if you’re less than disciplined in some areas.  Come on, be honest, aren’t you really?  Maybe you can’t get out of bed when the alarm goes off, maybe you can’t resist that extra piece of cake, maybe you find all the excuses in the world as to why you can’t make it to the gym, there must be something.  Right?

Whatever it is.  Change that concept of yourself first and choose how it will feel for you.  Virtuous probably isn’t it…that’s just me.


What is it you really want?  Who is it you truly want to be?  What is it that floats your boat?  Maybe we lack self-discipline because the particular yellow brick road we’re on isn’t the one.  Maybe we haven’t decided where our passions lie.  Maybe we’ve got conflicting beliefs…so there’s no fuel for our fires.

And maybe, we just need to give ourselves a certain amount of time in our day to faff (definition fiddling around on what’s not important).

Or maybe, as that old country saying goes we need to be eating the biggest frog first and do the very thing we least want to do first of all.

Despite all of this, if we haven’t truly decided, it’s pretty tricky to begin to practice self-discipline, especially if there’s an inner war going on.  We need to choose, to decide what our desires are right now.  It’s okay, we can tweak them as we go, and change them entirely if we want to, but choose we must, if we’re to get anywhere at all.

Conscious Awareness

Knowing when I’m operating from a more disciplined place and when I’m not is key.  How can we do anything differently if we can’t even notice what it is we’re up to?  I don’t want to be run by current habits, unless of course they’re amazingly fantastic ones.  I want to expand my life and myself and I’ve learned that repetition helps shift my consciousness.

I’ve decided that I don’t have to wait to be in it, before I’m aware of the lack of self-discipline, instead, I can feel beforehand exactly what I’m about to be/do.  Then I can choose.  To faff or not to faff?

And if I’m having the same old thoughts and the same old patterns keep popping up, it’s only because my new self-concept hasn’t quite taken hold in my sub-conscious yet.

That’s okay.  I’ll persist.  Currently I’m working from the consciousness I’ve got right now, as are you.  My actions stem from this consciousness, this energy that I’m in.  And all I’m choosing to do is set up a new vibration of energy…not because I have to, but because I want to…plus I love testing these laws to the max.

Got any thoughts on self-discipline?  What works for you?  Or what isn’t working for you?

Encourage one another.

Love Elle



Elle Sommer is the author of 4 books and a workbook. Her latest publications are a series called The Power of Consciousness, and you will find all three books in this trilogy now available on Kindle. She shares quotes, inspiration and positive vibes on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. And her greatest desire is to encourage and inspire others to create not just a good life, but a phenomenal life.


  1. Joseph Appaloosa

    Before I address today’s article, I suggest you share with your readers that you have been nominated for being one of the Top 50 Personal Development Blogs of 2012 and how we can help you secure that honour.
    Now then, today’s article is an excellent reminder that self-discipline allows us to winnow out the seductive distractions that do not serve us well and to place our focus/time/energy on what does. Thank you for this beautifully crafted piece.
    Write on, Elle !

  2. ahhh girlfriend, I had this same issue for a long time. I’s get distracted easily, off to something else that popped into my head. I’ve changed that by keeping multiple lists of what i need to do during specific times. For example, when I sit here during a client block, and I’m working on the client’s project, I have a list of things I need to do within that time in the order i need to do it. the moment somethings pops in my head that i should check out, i add it to the list and wait until i complete everything before that before i act on it. It’s been working really well for me these past few months and i finally feel happily productive and less harried. 😀

    • Elle

      That’s a cool idea Vanita…and I definitely like feeling happily productive. It gives me that ‘virtuous’ feeling that I like so much! 🙂

  3. Elle,

    I like the concept of imagination, desire, and conscious awareness. I would say being present helps me out a lot. I don’t know if that falls into your category of “conscious awareness,” but anyway, it helps me out.

    Nice post. Thank you!

    • Elle

      Hello Victor, I like the phrase ‘being present’ and imho that’s totally about conscious awareness. I’m adding it to my own conscious awareness. Thank you. 🙂

  4. Hi Elle,

    Wonderful post on self-discipline. I can get distracted at the drop of a hat, especially online where my intention is to write, and I can find myself off in a different direction. But I have tools that seem to work for me, such as a timer. Write for about 30 minutes and then take a break. Turn off all internet when writing. In other areas of my life, I feel focused and disciplined. “To faff or not to faff?” – excellent question! Take care.

    • Elle

      Hello Cathy and thanks for sharing your thoughts. I too do the timer thing…it’s the only way I’d get anything done at all. Love all the messages of hope here…its very encouraging to see how everyone manages this i-faffing, as my friend likes to call it. 🙂

  5. I like what you say about forcing yourself to work not being effective. What I find is more effective is noticing the sensation or pattern of thinking that comes up right before I’m about to put off my work, and seeing if I can allow that sensation simply to be, rather than trying to distract myself from it by messing around on Facebook or whatever.

    • Elle

      Hello Chris, I think it’s cool that you are able to notice the pattern of thinking that occurs just before you go whooshing off into the realm of faffing. And just allowing it to be and not reacting is a great idea. Thanks for this. 🙂

      • I agree with Chris and I have a method to suggest. When you become aware that you would like to head off affaffing (you started this, Elle, don’t blame me 😉 ), tell yourself, “Ok, you can go but wait just five minutes.” I promise you that 90% of the time after 5 minutes you will have forgotten all about it. If you haven’t forgotten, give yourself permission to go. This is an important step, because it is now no longer an unauthorized distraction. So the result is either the interruption is averted or the guilt trip is.

        • Elle

          Funny you should mention this tip Kenneth…it was exactly how I gave up smoking when I was twenty. Except I would say I’ll just do xyz and then I’ll have a cigarette and I’d continue that throughout the day. It took a while, but that, of course was before I understood that having an awareness of the tools and techniques is just the beginning…and before putting any of them into action…I must impress my subconscious with this new picture of who I am – a limited faffer.

          But now I have tons of techniques that I can picture myself doing.

          Thanks for your helpful input. 🙂

  6. Those doughbutts need some kneading! I know I tried to be funny there! But seriously, it seems like you just read my mind in this post. Do you have a secret way to tap into it? Digital overwhelm is something I suffer from – slightly less frequently now. Here’s what I did to sort my life out: I used a timer. To check email. To spend on Facebook. I signed out of chat. (arrgh!) Then realized how terrible that was, since I work from home, and just chose to be invisible. That gave me the option to talk only when my time allowed. I also have an ongoing list of things to do around the house – so I get up and go. Finally I realized that weaning my eyeballs away from the screen was the best way. So I drank lots of water. Which mean I just had to get up and go to the loo. Sigh. It is all working. I make a priority list and stick. to. it. Still, there are days like today when I’ve been on the phone all morning (my right ear is red and I am seriously considering a speaker phone). But I allowed myself to be happy as they are all people I love – and it is Vidur’s birthday today.

    Hugs – always enjoy how you put it. I love this “If nothing changes, nothing changes”

    Love Vidya

    P.S. (love your spammer msg!)

    • Elle

      I think your kneading comment was just perfect Vidya…the doughbutts came about because first time round I misspelled doughnuts and I thought that was funny too. We are definitely two birds of a feather kiddo.

      Your methods for non-i-faffing are great. We can all get caught up in this stuff, it would seem…it does become addictive, and there are other things I’d prefer to become addicted to…spiritual growth for one. Now If I were faffing around studying and reading high vibrational stuff, I’d be content. Your choices to break the habits are so healthy Vidya…good for you kiddo.

      And now I’ve got more things to add to my arsenal, I’m very grateful. 🙂

      As for the spammer msg, we can thank our mututal friend for that! I can claim no credit.

      • I am now obsessed with the word “doughbutts” You know, in my mother tongue, Tamil, we call sluggish people, slow on the uptake “dough” because it settles – know what I mean?

        As for the mutual friend…now there’s a princess. I confess I wondered whether the msg came from tither.


        • Elle

          Vidya, I’m feeling less than wonderful this morning. I woke up with the lurgy, or is it lergy…but you get the picture…and your comment made me laugh out loud. What a great visual. 🙂 You perked me right up.

  7. “If nothing changes, then nothing changes.” I totally agree with that. Visualize yourself on what you want to become then act on it. Imagining the result will surely motivate you to act.

    • Elle

      You put it so well Patricia. Thanks for sharing your words of wisdom. 🙂

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