I'm a Christian, a designer, and a gadget fan who lives in Cheltenham, UK.

This is my blog, a creative outlet to mess around and play with as well as a place that logs my thoughts and inspirations.

Thoughts On Just Turning Up

I’ve been think­ing a little more about the link I pos­ted to Aus­tin Kleon’s blog the oth­er day. I fin­ished it with the line

Instead there should just be turn­ing up to write down a thought and see­ing where it takes you.
It’s a sen­ti­ment that you hear quite reg­u­larly around the Inter­net these days. Just keep turn­ing up every day and do the thing—whatever your thing is. 

The phrase turn­ing up is just a less intim­id­at­ing way of say­ing be dis­cip­lined. Turn­ing up to write a blog post every­day is a dis­cip­line, just as read­ing your bible every day is or get­ting up without press­ing the snooze button.
As I get older I’m under­stand­ing more and more that learn­ing to be dis­cip­lined is one of the most import­ant things you can do. It can effect every area of your life and it’s easy to assume that dis­cip­line is some­thing that you have or you don’t. That you’re either able to be dis­cip­lined or you’re not, but that’s not the case. Dis­cip­line, I’m learn­ing, is some­thing you can devel­op. It’s like a muscle, the more you work it the stronger it gets.
The hard part, I believe, is not get­ting star­ted but main­tain­ing and devel­op­ing. Every­one can start some­thing, doing it for a couple of days before they get dis­trac­ted or it begins to feel like work, and then stop­ping because it requires effort to con­tin­ue. But that’s where you need to begin exer­cising that muscle of dis­cip­line, when things feel too hard keep going regard­less, over time how hard it feels will dis­ap­pear and instead it will become some­thing you do each and every day.
So join me in learn­ing to be dis­cip­lined. Start­ing tomor­row morn­ing decide what time you’re going to get up, set your alarm and then get up when it goes off. No snooz­ing, no rolling over, just turn off that alarm and get up. Then do it the next day, and the next, until it becomes some­thing you just do.

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  • Phil
  • Phil