Let’s examine how to develop this fifth mountain in our own lives. As mentioned, living Kokoro is to live toward and with integration. Integration means to be whole and is achieved by training and developing your five mountains. This fifth Kokoro mountain is both a practice, and a way of being when integrated. A Yogi does not give up practicing the Yamas and Niyamas when they are enlightened, nor does a martial arts master stop doing kicks and punches, or sitting on the Zen bench. Practice IS the way of life! This requires a new level and appreciation for the concept of discipline.
Discipline is to be a disciple to something important, omnipresent, and way bigger than ourselves. So a spiritual seeker will discipline their mind, body, and actions in service to God. A warrior will discipline his or her Body-mind in service to mastery and protection. A Mother will discipline their own needs, i.e. subordinate them, in service to her children. Discipline is also a practice.
Most people conjure images of SEALs or stern-faced CrossFitters when they think about discipline. It is supposed to be hard right? Well, sort of. Kokoro discipline should be joyful, lead to peace of mind and true happiness that comes from inside, not some achievement or financial freedom. That doesn’t “feel” hard to me… in fact, it feels soft. So Kokoro discipline is a blend of the hard and soft, the yin and yang. You need both in a discipline. The hard will be found in your physical training, austerity, and habituating new things after a life of being common. But once you have that flywheel going of the “hard” things, then they become easy to maintain. Then you dial in the soft skills, of breath, meditation and mindfulness, focusing on the right things, having crucial conversations, aligning with purpose, etc. These are not “hard” at all… we just avoid them because they are uncomfortable. BUT, since one of your primary practices with Unbeatable Mind is to make the uncomfortable comfortable, then these shouldn’t be hard either.
Let’s look at the differences between discipline, drive, and determination.
The daily grind of showing up to train, practice and do the important work. As mentioned, discipline literally means to be a disciple to a higher purpose. Developing the discipline to train hard every day means we are a disciple to the higher purpose of training, which is to develop ourselves fully as human beings. We do this not so we look good, or to stoke our egos, but so that we can be more useful in life and align with our purpose for being here.
Discipline starts with training the mind to reject discomfort, embrace pain if we must, to avoid distractions, and to eject negativity from our lives. Forging the discipline of the mind requires that you tame the looping thoughts and learn to concentrate. Then you can focus on the right strategies and tactics for accomplishing your purpose in life. And, you will waver or quit.
This is the original motivation that caused us to commit to disciplined action. Drive is fueled by the desire, belief, and expectation that we can achieve a certain outcome important to us. We have this deep-seated feeling that we are capable of this because we are meant for it. It is our Dharma, our calling, or our Stand.
The drive comes from deep within. It is that powerful “why” propelling you forward relentlessly. You will habituate drive by contemplating your purpose every day in your morning ritual. Then you will connect back to it throughout the day and week, especially when you are fatigued or confused. You will journal every day to reflect upon your alignment, and lessons learned- to further stoke your drive. Drive has you always asking: “Does this action move me closer to, or farther from, my purpose, my main aim in life? We should be “driven” to stay on purpose and not allow ourselves to get pulled off.
It is easy to get pulled off track, and we need to be on guard for this to happen. The Driven do not let others take them off track, they protect their time, energy and other resourced relentlessly. In early 2006 my company was hired by the Navy to mentor SEAL and SWCC (fast boat drivers) for the Navy Recruiting Command. This program was a huge endeavor, and we did an amazing job. We succeeded in moving the pass rate on the SEAL screening test (the PST) from 33% to over 85%. Over time this effort was credited with reducing attrition at BUDs by 5%… a pretty big deal.
But, that contract was a distraction to my main purpose, though I didn’t see it at the time. The universe took care of that for me though! The entire contract was stolen by a private military contracting behemoth named Blackwater (google them if you don’t know of this one). At first, it seemed like such injustice and financial calamity. It was one of several of my “I had millions and lost it all stories.” A few years later, as SEALFIT took off, I could see clearly how I had allowed myself to get off track. The prestige of being hired by the SEALs, and the money Government contracting offered, was too alluring for my less disciplined mind. Yet, It was clearly not my calling to be a Government contractor. I lacked the drive for it.
Do you have the willpower to keep going after everyone else has gone home? The SEAL trainees who succeed are the ones who go the extra mile on every evolution, including the evolutions not graded or observed by the training cadre. When everyone else is done for the day, the determined will stay for an extra hour honing a skill, working on their gear or studying. Similarly, the best athletes, actors, doctors, and warriors are not always the most talented. Rather they are the ones who work the hardest. They are determined to be on the team, determined to be the best, and they go after it through relentless hard work. The only real work is hard work. Don’t fall for easy, and cultivate the determination to finish what you start… that includes a lifetime of Unbeatable Mind Kokoro training!