On Reaching Objectives

By Bastian Florian Rohr
December 24, 2022

In terms of self-discipline, people tend to be stuck with either/or type mentalities. That is why most throw all pleasures out the window whenever they attempt to control themselves. When trying to lose weight, for example, they impose all sorts of impossible restrictions on their diets, often making their lives hell. Another way to put this is that their minds become their goal.

This is as stupid as inefficient. Discipline does not require the death of all enjoyment. On the contrary, the only way to succeed in the long run is to fuse the rigor (necessary to keep going) and the pleasure (needed to avoid suffering) into one new mental attitude.

I discovered this method in my yoga practice. As my level increased, I realized that advanced poses demanded a much leaner body than I had. Keeping on training, I started to experiment with intermittent fasting. First six hours a day, then eight, and finally twenty. But I did not do this in an attempt to starve myself.

Instead, I did it by learning how to appreciate every last bite of food crossing my lips during the eating window periods. I also learned to take advantage of the clarity of mind that comes with fasting to inspect my inner self with honesty. There is no greater delight than to peer deep into your heart and be able to distinguish your needs with perfect accuracy. It is also the only way to make discipline genuinely become second nature.

Why? Because by doing so, you will discover that your goal, whatever it may be, is merely a byproduct of the road you walk to reach it. In truth, you are the road, and there is nothing but the road. That is also why, whenever you achieve that goal, nothing happens. All pleasures are found in the doing and none in the getting.

I lost 15 kilos and got much better at yoga. Yet, that is not the point. Because had I made it a point; I would never have been able to reach my objective.