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The Power of Discipline by L. Michael Hall, Phd.

If you remember, I wrote briefly about discipline in the sixth article.  Yet there’s much more to be said about this thing that we call discipline.  First and foremost, we have to resuscitate the term because it has been so beaten up and despised, as a term it is gasping for breathe and unable to breath meaningful vitality into the minds of most people.  For most people, the term discipline conveys ideas of hardship, difficulty, work, effort, even punishment!  And if those are the connotations of discipline, no wonder so many people avoid it like the HIV virus!


So what is discipline?  The dictionary defines it first as instruction, then a field of study, then a training that corrects and molds and perfects.  So no wonder that the related term, disciple, is the person who follows a discipline and is committed to it.  What I wrote earlier in defining discipline was this:

Discipline is consistency of actions— consistency with values, with long-term goals, with performance standards, consistency of method, consistency over time.  True discipline requires the independence of mind to reject pressures, and long-term aspirations. …  And because the truest form of discipline is self-discipline, then discipline is having the inner will to do whatever it takes, no matter how difficultto create or reach a great outcome.


This describes the power of discipline.  When you develop a disciplined approach in your life, you set up the contexts so that you can function most effectively in doing and achieving the goals that you have set for yourself.  When I learned about this some years ago, I set up several disciplines for myself:

∙           I read a minimum of 30 minutes every day.

∙           I write a minimum of 30 minutes every day.

∙           I exercise a minimum of 30 minutes every day.


Today these structures of behavior simply describe my “way of being in the world.”  And due to the power of repetition, I no longer even think about these things, I just do them.  They make up my way of life.  Do I do these things regularly and consistently?  Yes, of course.  Does it feel like work, effort, or punishment?  No way!  It feels intuitively right to being who I am and what I’m about.  And it makes many of the things that I end up doing “a piece of cake.”


Habituated discipline is like that.  You can’t imagine life without your disciplines.  You are a disciple to your disciplines and what they stand for and mean to you.  So what are your disciplines?

∙           Do you save at least 10% of your income every week?

∙           Do you operate from your highest intentionality every day?

∙           Do you always “swish” to “the You” for whom the challenges of everyday life is “no problem?”

∙           Do you sacrilize the smallest things of everyday life so that you have peak experiences daily?

∙           Do you think strategically using the distinctions of the well-formed outcome?

∙           Do you always take some moments to create a well-formed problem so that you address real problems rather than pseudo-problems?

∙           Do you esteem yourself as valuable and worthwhile in an unconditional way so that you feel free inside to experiment and make mistakes as you keep learning?

∙           Do you access your “power zone” or power matrix every day to keep creating a robust self of self-efficacy?


These are just a few of the things we work on with ourselves and with clients in Neuro-Semantics.  These are things that you learn in APG Workshop and the Self-Actualization Workshops and if you practice them regularly and consistently until they become your discipline then they become your “way of being in the world.”  They become the frames that you have learned and incorporated within your meaning-matrix and now you are a disciple of them.


This is the power of discipline.  The power of discipline is not about effort, work, or punishment.  Actually, it is the very opposite.  The power of discipline is about making your learnings the structure of your life so that they become easy to act on.  By the way, that is the meaning of facilitation— to make whatever you are doing easy to achieve.  And when you do that, you reach a new level of freedom … free to step up to the next step, the next level of development.


How do you activate your power of discipline?

1) First, decide what you want as your “way of being in the world.”  What is your choice?  Now set your intention on it.  Set an intention high enough to be a strong motivational engine.

2) Develop the required skills inherent in the discipline.  What are the core competencies within the discipline?  How many core skills are absolutely necessary?  What do you need to know, understand, and believe to develop?

3) Deliberately practice the discipline.  Are you ready and willing to engage in the practice consistently and regularly?  What other resource do you need to make that happen?

4) Reward yourself until you experience the inherent pleasures of the discipline.  Is the discipline inherently rewarding for you?  If not, what external rewards can you add to it until you experience it as inherently pleasurable?




Still need help breaking the ice???  Check out this human overhead squat

Glute activation is so important prior to training, especially if you sit down a lot during the day.  I talked about this a lot during the last P90X Certification I taught.  Here are a few strategies to integrate into your program.  

This is one of my favorite dishes that Troy makes, Tom Kha Gai (Thai Coconut Soup).  

Here are some shoulder mobility and thoracic mobility strategies.  This is important if you are training hard, especially if you’re doing Crossfit, Olympic lifting and/or a lot of pull-ups.  

Seizing opportunity and getting a great workout is what it’s all about.



You don’t need a bunch of weights or a bench press to get a good chest workout.  Checkout how you can get a great chest, triceps and shoulder workout with the Valslides.  This will also work you core!

Hip and glute mobility



If you’re interested in some new outdoor workout ideas read about my Fitness Scavenger Hunt in this latest article from

If you’re interested in some new outdoor workout ideas read about my Fitness Scavenger Hunt in this latest article from



March 7, Training Log: Fitness Circuit

I left myself in a bit of a time crunch between clients last night and only had about 30 minutes to get a workout in so I decided to do a quick dynamic warmup followed about 6 minutes of core work and a timed fitness circuit.  Here’s what I did:

1A - Landmine (LM) Anti-Rotation - 35 lbs/30s/3 sets

1B - Ab Wheel - Bw/30s/3

1C - Sandbell (SB) Slams (180 degree rotation) - 30 lbs/30s/3

Fitness Circuit:

2A - Double KB Long Cycle - 20 kg/15 reps

2B - Double KB Snatch - 20 kg/15 reps

2C - Neutral Grip Pull-ups - Bw/15 reps

2D - Push-ups* - Bw/15 reps

2E - Jump Squats (w/ SB) - 40 lbs/15 reps

2F - Med Ball Wall Shot** - 20 lbs/15 reps

2G - Lunge Jumps (w/ SB) - 40 lbs/16 reps

2H - Viper Step-back Lunge & Press - 20 kg/16 reps

*feet elevated on 12” box, hands on KB’s to increase ROM

**Hold Med Ball on chest and below chin.  Squat elbows to knees and toss Med Ball up as you explode to the top of the squat.  Goal is to toss Med Ball to spot on wall about 10 to 12 feet in the air.

Circuit 1 Time: 6’07”

Circuit 2 Time: 6’01”