5.0 out of 5 stars
Want to live a life without regret and in alignment with your deepest values? This book is for you!
Reviewed in the United States on June 13, 2021
This book taught me that self discipline can be POSITIVE and EMPOWERING, rather than restrictive. I think one of the reasons I had such low self-discipline in the past is because I perceived it as a negative/harsh restriction one puts on themselves, rather than an empowering skill of alignment and focus as expertly taught by Dienstmann, a highly experienced and classically trained meditation teacher.
Which leads me to my other point. Mindful Self Discipline (MSD) has helped me to greatly increase my ability to sustain focus (in work, during exercise, conversations, unpleasant tasks, etc.) and to ENJOY the process and experience of focused effort even when it's temporarily painful (e.g., exercise).
In the past, my aversion to the anticipated pain of focused effort led to severe procrastination and distraction. MSD teachings shifted my perception to actually look forward to the painful/boring tasks because I know they are +1's toward my goals and strengthening my self-discipline for the future. MSD has freed me from negative patterns and thoughts more profoundly than any other approach (therapy, antidepressants, meditation alone, willpower alone, affirmations, other self-care).
One concrete example: I'm much faster and relaxed during my daily runs since I stopped using music as a crutch to distract me from the pain/challenge of exercise. MSD taught me to enjoy the practice of focusing on the positive sensations and growth/benefits of running and I no longer feel like I have to fight/force my way through the last lap. I went from a 10-minute mile to under 8 minutes in one week, without any extra effort.
The program is positively reinforcing, which is perhaps its most powerful feature. By starting with baby steps, I saw tangible benefits almost immediately, which continue to grow exponentially with increased practice. The more I practice MSD, the more benefits I experience, and the more I enjoy deepening my practice. MSD organically builds and fuels itself with less and less effort needed over time. A little effort is required initially as with learning anything new, but the more I practice the simple techniques, the more it comes naturally and effortlessly without feeling challenging at all. It truly is empowering!
I recommend taking your time to absorb and implement the concepts and methods gradually. It's hard to put the book down because it is filled to the brim with valuable insights and techniques, but trust me, you will have more success by incorporating the teachings into your life more slowly. Also recommend using a highlighter to capture things that speak to you for easy future reference.
I also love how the author seamlessly integrates the most effective techniques from ancient mindfulness wisdom and modern behavioral science. It's really for people of all backgrounds, beliefs, skillsets, ages.
If you struggle with letting time and/or opportunities pass you by or you're not quite sure which steps or goals to prioritize in your daily life, this book is for you!
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