Why a lifelong love affair with discipline and daily practice will get you to the other side
Someone asked me in an interview the following question
“How did you get to where you are now?”
It is a fascinating question, firstly, because I don’t know where I am now, except right here. Second, it brings me back to what I’ve done best to progress and grow: train, practice, train, practice, train, practice — discipline at its best. And third, it helps me see what will continue to allow me to continue dancing to the music that life plays, training, practising, teaching, and experimenting with whatever comes along the way.
Now my practice and training go through physical stillness, mental silence, emotional calm and spiritual tranquillity. Yes, but the dynamo motor remains the same, the discipline, but this time one that does not involve sacrifice. That is why I continue experimenting with different formulas to optimize this way of life mastery (through self-mastery and self-experimentation), be it emotions, the muscle that represents the brain, generating more vital energy through Tai Chi or Qi Gong, or physically stretching your body performance with new forms of training, such as the practice of Kung Fu. It doesn’t matter what it is; what matters is the mechanism used to optimize the practice more holistically. So that? To make discipline lead my life towards what matters most to me, peak performance, self-mastery, practical wisdom, developing human potential, further sharpening the ultra-productivity systems I put in place to live and work epically, and finding that much-needed harmony between what’s inside us and what’s around us.
Fourteen years ago, I left a textile factory heading to “I don’t know where” (here’s a Do Lectures talk with a part of my story if you are interested), today I arrived at a place where I’m at peace with everything and everybody, even with a massive war going on within (that’s where you find peace), even with my dark side popping up from time to time (we’re long life friends), even with my ego doing its job (we’re housemates after all), thanks to my staunchest companion, the blessed discipline, and its extension, the practice of everything I need to give the following Steps — risk, uncertainty, love, detachment, stoicism, Zen, Shaolin arts, Holistic High-Performance.
Maybe this story resonates with you. Perhaps you want to move like me (The fact is that I’m still gravitating towards this path, I have not accomplished anything, and yet, I don’t feel it is something I need to achieve, it’s already here) towards living the endless possibility that lies ahead. Perhaps you want to improve how you train and apply discipline in your daily routine. If so, it’s straightforward, not easy, though:
Create a daily routine with very small micro-habits that combine the work in the four human potential dimensions: physical, mental, emotional and spiritual — that’s what the Holistic High-Performance method is about. Inr To do so, I’ve published here on Medium a guide with 26 holistic techniques that may serve as inspiration to get you started.
Yesterday I realized that I woke up on the other side of the shore, and it’s nothing extraordinary about it, as it is said in Zen: “It’s going back to the original condition”, right before thoughts, concepts, or words can shape our reality. There is a phrase that stems from Zen Buddhism, emphasizing the need to commit to and thrive during any pursuit.
“Before enlightenment, chop wood, carry water. After enlightenment, chop wood, carry water.”
Fall in love with te practice itself, which will be your moment-by-moment realisation.
So, where are you at?
Let’s do this.
Ps. Check this story about what I learned about self-mastery living and training at The Shaolin Temple Europe. And only if it resonates, you might consider to listen my podcast The 1% — Disrupt Everything, where I interview the 1% world-class disruptors of all kind (with alternate episodes in English and Spanish too.)