When we talk about a well disciplined and managed mind, what are we really talking about? Do we mean the tightly controlled and narrowly confined mind of the person consumed by fear? Or are we talking about a mind under the direction of a strong will being applied by conscious intention for a well defined goal? And what does this have to do with success?
One of the things that surprises many people who undertake the journey of self improvement through meditation is when they begin to realize that they are capable of achieving a level of awareness that is able to see and monitor the activities of our own mind without getting involved in those activities. At first, many just perceive this phenomenon as an interesting novelty, but they soon realize that this actually represents an enormous source of personal power.
It sets us free from the world of endless and nonstop impulsive and reactive behaviors. It frees us from the tyranny of our own mind in which we experience the conceptual reality that our mind creates and then tells us that it is the real world, and the person it tells us is the real us, the 'I' that constantly reacts to that conceptual reality which is built on lies and false assumptions.
You don't have to ask successful people if critical thinking and organized thinking skills are prerequisites for success, it's just too obvious. But talking about these skills and developing them are two entirely different issues. Both are highly compatible and symbiotic, but of the two, critical thinking is the more difficult to acquire and is usually a lifelong endeavor, while organized thinking skills are much less difficult. The development of these skills requires strong will, intention and self discipline.
Of these, I believe that intention is the first necessary element, then self discipline. Our intention is intimately associated with our desire, we must genuinely want to achieve our goal or we can be sure that we are just playing a game of self deception and denial. The self discipline part can be a real bear, depending on whether we have been raises by values that include this as a valuable asset. It is more than just valuable, self discipline is critical to all successful achievement!
In our hectic high octane lives, few of us ever consider the actual power of the abstract mind. While it is the engine behind our unlimited creative power, it is also the engine behind our minds ability to create the conceptual reality that we come to believe is the real world that we spend our lives in. All powers have two edges, and this is why self discipline is such a critical element in managing the resource we call the mind, because that self discipline allows us to manage and direct the power of our mind.
The unmonitored, unmanaged and undisciplined mind can and will produce unpredictable results. Even with our socially indoctrinated internal programming that allows us to put our lives on auto pilot and become obedient drones, we can never be sure when our mind will go off the rails when the environment presents us with an unanticipated and unexpected event, and certainly if life deals us a severe curve ball we may not be able to cope at all, because 'we' are usually not even present in the here and now, but rather lost somewhere in that convenient and comfortable conceptual reality that is constantly offered up for our enjoyment by our abstract mind.
Of course, we can go on living deep in our cultural trance and never try to penetrate the veils of self deception that we surround ourselves with, but then you will never know what it feels like to live life intensely, experience every passing second fully realizing that you are a living process constantly transforming energy from one form into another and that you are actually a spiritual being in physical form and that there is a reason for your existence. But also you will face the risks of personal responsibility and personal creative power. Such power doesn't come without a price. Power is a two edged blade and without a strong will and well developed self discipline, we can destroy as easily as we can create.
Even if you are only thinking about achieving a small success at an equally small goal, the characteristics of the tool are the same, and the dynamics of its use are the same and if you want to be the master of the tool of power rather than its slave or even victim, then you will take the time and make the effort to develop your self discipline enough to become the master of your own minds enormous capabilities, so you can use them wisely. There are many good tools and techniques out there to help you develop mental self discipline and while meditation is one of the best, it is also time intensive. You might want to consider some of the hypnosis programs out there or even yoga just to kick start your journey.
A good place to find yoga resources is right here.
Here is a good source of hypnosis downloads here.