The loop of delight

Tuesday Thought - 01

Welcome to Eneni’s Newsletter; where I share my thoughts from observing life unfold.

The road to delight is seldom fun: frequently sparked by desire, duty and discipline bedeck the pathway.

2021 began with my daughter setting her sights on getting her weight down by four dress sizes in nine months. Three months in, she is 3 dress sizes down. The progression of her exercise habit, the sheer tenacity, and the pleasure she derives from the process intrigues me. The joy of profound delight best describes her transformation.

To get to delight, though, you require three elements: Desire, Duty, and Discipline.

Desire is the trigger

When we want something enough, we tend to imagine how the outcome will improve us. It could be the imagined satisfaction of running a marathon, writing a book, or losing weight. Without a strong desire to propel us to the starting line, we remain in a state of inertia, continuously hoping yet unable to start.

Our imagination reinforces our desire, prompting us to start; until we quickly realize that what we thought was a cinch is a disguise for duty.

Duty begins with a commitment but is sustained by accountability.

When my daughter began her fitness journey, she announced her target: 20,000 steps, six days a week, starting 4th Jan 2021. It seemed an ambitious target, yet three months down the road, she has been consistent and not missed a day. A commitment goes beyond desire.

Duty is commitment in action and requires a stated intention, a time frame, and an activity to perform. B.J. Foggs simplifies this further in Tiny Habits as,

Tiny is Mighty

Commitment often starts with a tiny habit.

A fitness aspirant? Start with wearing your exercise clothes.

A writer? Open your laptop or notebook

A reader? Read that first line.

And as B.J. Foggs recommends, incorporating this into your existing routine provides a place to plant a new habit.

Do this repeatedly, and it compounds into a discipline.

Discipline demands practice

Where duty lays the foundation, discipline is assembling the building blocks of consistent practice and persistent routine. Discipline produces internal development eschewing external consumption.

Learn the rules, test them, make mistakes, and learn from your mistakes. Lather, rinse, repeat. Don’t just show up; put in the work.

Immerse yourself in this phase long enough, and building memory muscle is an outcome. understand the fundamental rules; subject yourself to the rigour of guidelines and standards. Keep at this long enough, and you will be surprised by the unexpected rays from the sunlight of profound delight

Profound Delight results in growth

Like the sun gives life to the plant and the flowers bear testimony to work done in the dark, deep delight is growth in motion. The reward for all the hard work is spontaneous pleasure.

The prize of mastering the rudiments is the freedom to take the rules and make them yours. The symphony of duty, discipline, growth, and creativity resonate in the orchestra of deep delight—the joy of discovering new depths and delectable heights. The process is a sufficient reward, with an added layer of pleasure provided by an audience that shares your delight. And as you bask in the euphoria, a new desire is birthed with the pull of new growth.

On the other side of drudgery is the reward of deep delight.

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