Monday, February 25, 2013

Forced Discipline and Regimen Month

Most of you know the story, but if you don't I'll give you the very brief version.

My single largest achievement in my life, still to this day is college.  Specifically I:
  • financed and paid for EVERYTHING (tuition, books, gas, housing, food, insurance, etc.)  EVERYTHING
  • I worked full time
  • I went to school slightly higher than full time (usually taking an extra class over a full credit load)
  • graduated 6 months early (and my last semester had only 2 classes)
  • with $6,000 cash in the bank
  • no debt
  • and a 3.96 GPA (lousy Marketing class and their "A-'s")
To achieve this it required a very young, 18 year old Captain to exercise an EXTREME amount of self-control and discipline.  Every minute was scheduled in my day and I was literally coming into class with 2 minutes to spare at times, eating bagels as I was walking from my apartment to work, every single second of the day was utilized and consumed.  Above all else, this was self-inflicted.

Capable of a monstrous amount of work, production, and dedication, it would take me 7 years to realize there was no employer in the US that would use me to my full potential.  Everybody wanted to go home when the clock struck 5PM, no middle aged boss would entrust a 22 year old (no matter what his CV said) with any kind of responsibility or challenge, and so, at most, I operated at about 40% my full capacity, though usually I would say averaging around 15-20%.  This caused a certainly level of dismay and depression in that no matter how much I could or wanted to work, the limiting factor in my career would be the limitations of employers.  My success was outside my control.  I would not become that corporate executive at 30 with a house paid off and a nice car.  I would jump from job to job scaring the hell out of every employer and HR director.

The situation worsened with two additional events - the housing crash and the two elections of Barack Obama.  The housing bubble showed me just how corrupt and dysfunctional the finance, and in general, corporate/employment world is.  Ass kissing, brown nosing, rent seeking, networking and lobbying is how you get ahead, not hard work and innovating thinking.  Something I just plain couldn't stomach.  However, even if you were to hold your nose and engage the art of ass kissing, it would be pointless in that it became very apparent with the elections of Obama any amount of production and work (whether of the ass-kissing or ass-kicking variety) would simply be confiscated. 

I was enraged, gave up on my dreams, accepted reality, stopped feeling sorry for myself, replaced them with new ones, and now am enjoying the decline.

However, there is one regret I have - a lack or decrease in discipline, self-control and regimen.

Over the years of operating at a fraction of my 22 year old self's potential, I've had neither the incentive or reason to "give it my all."  This has resulted in a slacking off in my personal estimation, knowing I am not achieving all that I could.  Yes, admitted, there has been no opportunity to "achieve all that I could," but where idleness exists, other things creep in.

For example, while used to being engaged the second I woke up to the second I went to bed, my brain needed something to fill the down time after college.  Working out and running only covers so much, but soon, with the demise of the finance industry, the country in general, not to mention your college buddies all get married and have children, alcohol now plays a large role in my life. When the chores are done, the book sales are tabulated and the budget confirmed, it's off to the bar because it will knock my brain out until my friends come home.

Another example is teh interwebz.  While this one is a good thing (who knew blogging, a podcast and a youtube channel was a way to make money), checking e-mail, approving comments, and spending 3-4 hours a day on the internet is just not good in the long run. 

And video games?  Love them!  But I get that sick feeling in my stomach that you normally got as a kid watching too much daytime TV when you faked being sick so you could stay at home and not go to school.  And heck, I don't even play them that much. 

What it is, is something I believe most industrious men of our generation face - a lack of purpose and a lack of challenge.  And it is a problem that needs to be addressed.

Not that we have been sitting here, saying "woe is me."  Nor have we just been asking people "what do we do???" as there is no shortage of self-improvement and life-guidance on The Manosphere.  But industrious, adventuresome and capable as we are, we men (and women too) need to fully realize our potential, and COMMIT to doing so, not merely get by.  And while we may not wish to return to our 100% full-throttle selves ALL THE TIME, I believe revisiting such a regimen in life would be useful, helpful and healthy. 

Therefore I am declaring this "Forced Discipline and Regimen Month."  I am going to go back to my 22 year old self-capacity and operate at that level.  Even though there is no day time job, I am going to:

work out everyday (running one day, weights the other)
abide STRICTLY by the no carb diet no matter how hard it is to find food without carbs
not consume alcohol
work on every project that needs to be done, putting off and procrastinating nothing
work from the time I wake up to the time I go to bed
schedule work/projects to ensure there is no shortage of work and time is efficiently used

To bring the element of "Forced" discipline I am also posting this picture here, not out of arrogance or ego, but for all to judge and ensure I abide.  If there is no improvement in a month you will mock, ridicule, and deride me...just like you schmoes do anyway.

Everybody else is welcome to participate in "Forced Discipline and Regimen Month."  By the end of late March I believe people will be not only physically improved, but mentally improved as well.  If you are so bold and wish to "force" yourself to do it, the ole Captain will post your pre-FDRM pic here.

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