Do you remember the old movie “First 50 dates”? The events of the movie tell the story of Lucy, who suffers from amnesia after a car accident, which means that every new day she completely forgets all the events of the day before that as if they never happened.
One day, Lucy meets a young man named Henry Roth, who spends an enjoyable time together, and they agree to meet on the next day.
The next day comes and Henry discovers that Lucy does not remember him and does not remember any dialogue between them because of the problem of amnesia This is, which compels Henry to do the impossible every day…Every day! .. to make Lucy get to know him and admire him with his prior knowledge that once you wake up the next morning you will forget that he is already in life.
If you think that I tell you the story “Lucy and Henry” because I am in a romantic mood, you are mistaken, dear reader, (Hmmm well, maybe I am not 100% wrong), but what requires the contemplation of the film’s story is the discipline of “Henry” to reach his goal, which is to make “ Lucy gets to know him and love him every day again.
Discipline is one of the topics that have become my thinking recently, because, despite the axiom of the idea that it is a pivotal factor in building anything of real value and tangible impact, it is one of the most things that we fail as human beings.
When I say discipline, I mean the ability to control oneself to commit to certain changes in order to reach a goal. Discipline requires continuity and repetition, otherwise, there will be no commitment, and therefore there will be no changes, and therefore we will not reach the goal that we want to achieve. This concept applies to most aspects of life – if not all of them – but in this post, I will focus on the idea of discipline in order to learn/develop skills or knowledge.
Discipline in learning a new skill/knowledge
Although I have been writing and writing for several years, this year I decided to build a serious relationship with writing in an unprecedented way, and when I say “serious”, I mean that I continue to write periodically without interruption.
What led me to this decision is that I understood that randomness and dispersion, or in other words, lack of discipline, would not take me anywhere … I really love writing and I have many motivations for writing, but without discipline, this love will not materialize into a value that contributes to my development and me and others.
If you also want to build a strong relationship with a particular skill/knowledge, perhaps the “first 50 dates” mentality will help you with these four suggestions:
1) One goal at a time
In the story of “Henry and Lucy”, “Henry” had one goal, which is to make “Lucy” get to know him and remember him, only, this was what he focused on throughout his day.
I am a big believer in the saying, “Whoever wants everything will not get anything.” And if you are like me, dear continent, then you most likely have a long, broad list of many things you want to acquire, learn, and practice before you die, but what usually happens is that we do not achieve most of the list.
I think one of the reasons behind this is that we do not focus or create priorities but rather we want to do everything at the same time! Thus our efforts and resources (such as time, money) are dispersed.
For example, if you want to become a writer, you want to master a basketball, you want to master the German language, and become a skilled cook at the same time, you will most likely not succeed in this unless you give each of these matters its time and right to care and focus, and dealt with all Skill as a priority project for a specific time period.
2) Supportive group
One of the things that helped me in writing discipline is that a year ago from now I started with two of my friends what I call a “Weekly writing date” or a weekly date with writing with the goal of encouraging each other to commit to writing periodically.
This December we completed about 50 meetings/appointments (yes, from here came the idea of this post).
In these weekly encounters, we usually devote half the time to writing, the other half to discussing what we write or other topics, and sometimes the encounters turn into a psychological support session! If one of us is going through specific challenges, whatever the way the meeting is going, the most important thing is that we have a supportive companionship that will help us in our chosen journey.
I am inspired a lot by the verse “and be patient with those who call on their Lord for lunches and dinners.” I think that we sometimes think that we are strong enough to overcome the difficulties on our own, but we really grow in a journey that sustains us, but in fact, we grow in every way.
In the story of “Henry and Lucy”, there is no cure for “Lucy”, so every day she receives a psychological trauma when she discovers that she does not remember anything from her life after the accident, but that this pain is relieved by the presence of a group with her (her father, her brother Her mother’s friend Henry is a support group that helps her cope with the disease.
But this idea of a supportive group/companions goes beyond the family and close friends, you can now – more than ever – easily find those who share the same interests and goals to start a periodic communication that helps you grow and develop together.
If you do not find people from your surroundings, you can search online, there are various different platforms like meetup.com or platform application which facilitate the task of finding people who share your interest/goals in addition to facilitating the process of arranging periodic meetings with them.
3) “Automatic” task
Postponing decisions creates tension. When your mind is full of many different options – from what to eat for lunch to whatever candidate to employ – it’s almost impossible to have a productive working day. Now, imagine that your mind is a white board. Every time you make a decision, you wipe more scribbles off this plate. Thus, [your mind] becomes clear and ready for creative thinking.
Do you know what “Henry” did to make the task of reminding “Lucy” an automatic task that did not require effort and planning? He recorded a video that explains the whole story to her, and he puts it beside her bed with a message telling her “Watch the video”, so she watches it every day when she wakes up, gets shocked, absorbs, and then completes the rest of her day.
Well, let’s be honest with each other. Learning any new skill or field appears at first an exciting and fun adventure, but once we get into “seriously,” we discover that there is a lot of trouble associated with this adventure, and this trouble is the real price we pay for our acquisition of the new skill/knowledge. What usually happens with us is that after the excitement that accompanies the beginnings goes away, we understand that we are not ready to pay the price of the experience – that is, to bear hardship and hardship. So you find us pausing in the middle of the road and not continuing. Understanding our motivations before we start experiencing it will help us a lot. Why do we want to really learn/develop this skill or knowledge? The impulse must be strong enough to be able to withstand the hassle associated with the experience. Or we may discover that the right thing is not to complete!
I often receive questions from readers of “How did I manage to commit to writing and publishing every Saturday?” I have a lot to say here, perhaps I will devote a separate post one day. But what many people don’t know is that I always find myself on the verge of stopping and not going, until this moment when I write these words. I just wish I turn off the laptop now and go for breakfast with my girlfriends at the sea. However, my motivations for writing always make me expel the idea of stopping, and maybe I will stop in the future if these drivers change .. I don’t know what can happen in the future, but now I share “Henry” the love motive that made him do everything he does daily for “Lucy”.
Frankly, the story/idea of the movie “First 50 Grammy” is not logical (It just doesn’t make sense!), But the idea that discipline is one of the secrets of this life and human experience, in general, is a very logical idea for me. “The ability to self-control is essentially a process of self-growth” – says psychiatrist M. Scott Beck – so what kind of life do we live without seeking to develop in ourselves?