disciplined or laid back?

2 years, 2 months ago

Recently I’ve been weighing the pros and cons between becoming more self-disciplined (quitting smoking, meditating and exercising daily, eating better, generally living more mindfully) and simply going with the flow (not placing any rules on myself and simply doing what I want at that moment). Although I have been living much more heavily on the laid back side for the past year or two, I am not entirely happy and I think disciplining myself can help. I have fallen out of my daily meditations in the past few months, but I don’t at all doubt the power it can have to focus thoughts, control your mind, and genuinely improve quality of life. What I’m asking is, what do you guys think is more fulfilling? Disciplined or laid back?

November 6, 2012 at 8:22 am

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Profile photo of Chris Chris (@vulpes) 2 years, 2 months ago ago

I personally strive for self discipline, but it’s not for everyone. I’d say you allow yourself to go with the flow socially and not be too hard on yourself, but at the same time maintaining discipline when it comes to achieving your goals and maintaining your physical well being. It’s probably unhealthy to be entirely one or the other.

Profile photo of Sasho Stoyanov Anonymous (@) 2 years, 2 months ago ago

Nice. I’ve been doing the same, until I said fuck it, bought a beer and remembered what it’s like to enjoy myself. Although my organism couldn’t accept the beer because of my changed lifestyle again. If you form your question in disciplining yourself when you’re going to need to be laid back you might have a positive outcome. Don’t put drastic limitations on who you are as a person.

“Habit is habit, and not to be flung out of the window by any man, but coaxed down-stairs one step at a time.” -Mark Twain (Hey, don’t mind the quotes, there’s obviously I reason I like Mark Twain)

Profile photo of carson carson (@jamescarson) 2 years, 2 months ago ago

I think its all about finding your own personal equilibrium between the two!

Lately, I’ve made the transition from laid-back living in the moment lifestyle to a high disciplined routine. I’ve moved away from daily smoking, excessive eating habits and begun eating healthily, meditating, exercising, reading and writing daily.

So far I have learnt the difference between discipline and motivation;
-Discipline is the self control to be able to make yourself do something you do NOT want to do!
-Motivation is inspiring your inner drive to actualise your ambitions

Noticing this difference made it easier for me to transform my daily habits, because I realised I only needed a little discipline.. what I really needed was motivation!

A good way of motivating yourself is externalising and organising your objectives, eg where do you wanna be and when do you wanna get there! This way you can compare and priorities which habits are inhibiting you achieving your objectives and which ones can be moulded to work with your new/desired routine! @dkanowsky,

Profile photo of PRAKASH PRAKASH (@lesterxp) 2 years, 2 months ago ago

both and neither.
“When a snake becomes a dragon, it doesn’t change its scales. And when a mortal becomes a sage, he doesn’t change his face. He knows his mind through internal wisdom and takes care of his body through external discipline.” – Bodhidharma

Profile photo of GWK GWK (@gileswilliam) 2 years, 2 months ago ago

@lesterxp – That is an amazing quote!
I am self disciplined when it comes to things like keeping the house tidy, work and exercise but I am laid back in every other aspect of my life such as spending/saving money, being social and what I want to do in my spare time because I find those things are worth being relaxed about.
Like @vulpes said, don’t be too hard on yourself. Just enjoy the journey because it’s the best reward!

Profile photo of Egarim Egarim C (@egarim) 2 years, 2 months ago ago


Depends on what you want your life to be lived for. Whatever you do your life will be written as that in history.

I say a balance is needed. All work and no play is never a good thing, and all play and no work may be worse. It’s about moderation. To lean to much on either side is to let that side own you. My dad works so damn hard he really needs to lighten up sometimes.. and there’s those people that haven’t worked at anything for a day in their life and they need a taste of hard work and achievement. It’s that balance that keeps us sane and fulfilled.

Just a thought.

Profile photo of ELI var namnet ELI var namnet (@manimal) 2 years, 2 months ago ago

I think the problem is that people think self-discipline makes you less laid back.

It doesn’t. In the long run, it even makes it easier.

My life is very simple, very laidback. I do what I want, I’m always chill, I never get stressed out, I don’t have to do things that I don’t like doing. Hell, I could sit on my ass all day not lifting a finger if I wanted to, and not give a single fuck because I’ve already got everything handled.
And I owe it all to self-discipline, self-discipline is what brought me this laidback way of living.

“When you live life the ‘hard’ way, life becomes ridiculously easy.”

I honestly don’t have a single care, don’t feel like there’s anything I have to or should do, I’m not attached to what I have or what I do. And it’s all because of that self-discipline.
Knowing that whatever happens you’re gonna be alright, that’s very very relaxing, and self-discipline allows for that.

Profile photo of VIII VIII (@triplemind) 2 years, 2 months ago ago

it’s a balance! i started reading about alchemy and it talks about passive and active forces. do you mean smoking weed? if so, smoking while meditating and eating better (ive been doing the whole vegan thing for about a year) and exercising your mind and body seem to be skyrocketing my psychic abilities! plus i’m totally more able to resist the things i would regret. i smoke weed as meditation- i used to do it with friends and i sometimes do still- but, sitting down with just me and ‘the sage’ (the god in our minds, pure subconscious), meditating while deeply breathing in, holding in, breathing out, and staying breathless for a while whether there’s smoke in my lungs or not. nothing beats it, plus that’s how I’ve found the best way to use weed as the hallucinogen that it is. it makes meditating more appealing. the whole working out thing though, i used to be REALLY fat and my spirit is so much more free now that it can climb around trees or buildings and run if it needs to (still not for very long). plus learning new things as much as possible- a fun thing i do is pick some time in history i know little about, wikipediaing it, and clicking on the first link i don’t know about, and going on like that. its good to have an unstructured structure. good to be disciplined about sometimes being laid back. aww yeah!

Profile photo of  Anonymous (@) 2 years, 2 months ago ago

Discipline, definitely.

When you’re self-disciplined, it feels good to take control of your own life. It’s a skill.

I was way happier taking 5-7 martial arts classes a week than when I was slacking off and burning during my gap year. Got a lot more done, too.

Profile photo of Achilles Achilles (@aimperial) 2 years, 2 months ago ago

In my experience, it seems that disciplines eventually become habits with hyper-stimulating substances and behaviors tending to root quicker than whatever the opposite (or slower gained pleasures); for example, junk food opposed to whole food, exercise/being sedentary, reading/moving pictures, and so forth.

Eventually, with slower gained pleasures (whole foods, exercise, reading…), you discover the pleasure in them and they take root and become a part of your “going with the flow” (or habits).

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