What is discipline, really? And what can we infer about whether someone is "disciplined" from their behavior?

This page is a stub, created on 2020-07-02 (last updated on 2021-01-13). Its contents are notes on the issues and angles I want to address about this topic.

I've been wondering for a while now whether I'm actually "disciplined". A lot of people seem to think that I am, given my near-maniacal adherence to various routines, especially around exercise and diet. But I know that if I didn't have specific plans and regimens and if I weren't so motivated by consistency (since I find the idea of "cheating" psychologically torturous), I would not have the results I have, and nobody would describe me as "disciplined". This is why, for instance, I have a bright-line rule about added cane sugar in foods. It's not that I think it's nutritionally different from other carbs in any substantial way; it's that it affords me an easy mechanism by which to limit my carb intake that is consistent with my fitness goals. So if I didn't have this rule, it would be "Sugar is okay!", and I would go hog wild (especially because of my satiety issues)...because maybe I'm not really disciplined. Or maybe my creation of mechanisms and being rule-oriented is being disciplined.

A conversation with my friend Morgan (in which she made some really fantastic points) sparked my thinking a bit more about these issues.

Let's use the example of a person's scrupulously and regularly going to the gym. Is this "discipline"?

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