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Is There a Method to Your Madness?

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Is There a Method to Your Madness?

Why Daily Disciplines Keep You Heading in the Right Direction

By Brent Flory

Relocating to Canada from the USA has been a huge adjustment for my family. Life was a whirlwind for us the last six months as we prepared to leave Ohio. We have enjoyed all the wonderful people we have met so far in Canada, but we have faced some challenges since we’ve arrived here.

In the midst of all the change, I’ve been seeking to understand what it means to ingrain myself into Canadian culture. This has led me to ask a variety of questions, such as:

  • Will I learn to truly love hockey like I do basketball and football?
  • What’s the value of a loonie and a toonie again?
  • Can I fit in if I never come to enjoy poutine?

All joking aside, as I have been working to figure out how to do life in our new home, a big question I have been wrestling with is: what are the day-to-day disciplines that empower me to be my best?

You can call them disciplines, activities, rituals, systems, routines, methods, or something else entirely. For our purposes, I am going to call them methods.

Merriam-Webster defines a method as: A systematic procedure, technique, or mode of inquiry employed by or proper to a particular discipline or art, and a way, technique, or process of or for doing something.

I believe there are systematic techniques (or methods) we can use to aid us in stimulating our growth.

Perhaps the idea of methods causes you to chafe, and you think that engaging in certain behaviours day in and day out will restrict your freedom.

However, with the incessant amount of information and advertising constantly being thrown at us, we will be overwhelmed and lose focus upon our priorities if we aren’t careful and intentional in how we spend our time. This is where the vital importance of methods come into play.

Six Reasons Why You Would Benefit from Using Methods

1. Methods make you consistent, and consistency leads to results.

Consistent investments in meaningful pursuits, whether you are talking finances, your health, or something else entirely, are what payoff substantially in the long run. The rewards aren’t quick, so it’s tempting to put off making these daily deposits.

“Success is nothing more than a few simple disciplines, practiced every day; while failure is simply a few errors in judgment, repeated every day. It is the accumulative weight of our disciplines and our judgments that leads us either to fortune or failure.”

-Jim Rohn

2. Methods are flexible and expendable.

What are the results you are hoping for? That will define the methods you employ.

For example, while I would argue that cardiovascular fitness is vital for everyone, how each of us choose to pursue it can look quite different. I like to play basketball, you may enjoy running, and a friend might prefer rowing.

When it comes to the methods we use, we are only held back by our imagination or the lack thereof.

If you try a method that doesn’t work for you, you can tweak it, or throw it out altogether. They aren’t something in which you have a personal stake.

For example, if you seek to dress in a manner to help you to win a date with a certain someone and they turn you down, you don’t have to take offence. But you may want to stop popping the collar on your polo shirt.

A better example might be in respect to writing. If I want to be a better writer, I may try to spend twenty minutes each morning writing. Or I could carve out a three-hour weekly block to practice my craft. I may be really creative typing, or find that I come up with better ideas writing on a paper tablet first.

Methods are a flexible means to an ends, and nothing more.

4. Methods enable you to build a stabile foundation.

The older you get, the faster life goes. And the greater the demands put upon you. In order to do life well, you need a method to your madness.

A house that is going to withstand the storms of life throughout the years needs a solid foundation. Methods can be an aid in laying a strong framework.

If you put daily deposits into the areas of life that strengthen you, you will find yourself having greater stability to take on challenges as they come your way.

5. Methods keep you connected with your highest priorities.

If you don’t take responsibility to pursue what you want out of life, you will be controlled by the priorities of others. Your boss, your friends, Facebook, everyone has their own agendas. If you don’t figure out what you want and commit time to doing what it will take to get there, you’ll never arrive.

Spending time daily in the methods most vital to your calling will keep you pointed in the right direction.

6. Methods will increase your longevity.

I am a huge proponent of integrated, holistic living. I don’t think you can cleanly separate your physical, emotional, psychological, social or spiritual health from each other. A neglect of one will eventually effect the other areas. Thankfully, the opposite holds true as well.

Consistent, day after day investments in each area will make you a healthier person.

Let me be clear: I don’t succeed in practicing all of my personal methods every day. I am ever trying to be more consistent, but I fall short all the time like everyone else. I have better discipline with certain methods (working out) and battle to establish discipline with others (journaling).

Thankfully I am becoming more consistent, and growing as a result. I hope this post inspires and challenges you to invest in methods that will transform you into the person you yearn to be.