Discipline and the Outdoors


As a kid, my parents involved me in a lot of sports ranging from gymnastics to baseball. Every sport I played or extracurricular activity I was involved in taught me something new about teamwork or myself. Staying focused on sports, school, guitar lessons, etc. can be a mentally challenging game, but it rewards those who put in hard work. Hard work always seems to be the weighing factor between success and failure and in order to put in hard work, you need one specific trait: disciplineDiscipline is exactly what my childhood sports and extracurricular activities taught me.

Almost every aspect of our lives requires some form of discipline whether its sports, music, work, or relationships. Don’t get me wrong, you can go through life with relatively low discipline, but you will most likely struggle through the parts that shouldn’t be difficult. Discipline is rarely mastered but can always be improved upon through practice and everyday routines. This brings me to my main point, how can traveling and getting outdoors help us discipline ourselves?

The easiest example is any form of outdoor action sport such as skiing, surfing, paddle boarding, mountain biking etc. These activities all take a strong level of discipline to persevere through the frustrating times when you are first learning. Other activities like backpacking often requires a disciplined mindset in order to keep one foot in front of the other and to keep trekking though the difficult parts of the trail.

A major factor for traveling is money, plain and simple. It is expensive to take vacations and even more expensive if that vacation requires a flight overseas. Because of that, I have had to discipline myself in the ways I spend my money. We work so that we can buy things we want and do things that we love, however, it is hard to defeat that instant gratification side of us that wants to spend money on frivolous items. As I mentioned in a previous blog, creating separate travel account where money from each paycheck gets automatically deposited is a great way to help with this problem.

Getting outside and participating in activities such as snowboarding, hiking, and traveling has helped me tremendously. Lately I have been seeing my discipline pay off while I work full-time and attend grad school for my MBA. It is clear to me that learning discipline at a young age gave me the mindset to continue practicing it into my adult life, and I will continue to practice it as I grow older. So go out there, find a new skill to practice, and stick with it!

Have any ideas about improving discipline?  Comment below!

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