As I played the game one last time (for the tenth time in a row), I thought over the list of things I should be doing, the list of things that I wanted to do, and how those two lists were not even mutually exclusive. Later, when I clicked the StumbleUpon button one more time I remembered that I wanted to be doing something else instead of wasting my time. It hurts to say it in such a public forum, but nobody reads the site right now anyway so here it is - I need more self discipline. Hopefully if you're my boss or a cute girl reading this in the future you don't hold this confession against me.
How does one go about teaching oneself discipline anyway? It's strongly related with several of my other problems. I've called it by various names in the past - laziness, lack of energy, depression. So many of them come back to the same lack of discipline. The depression is a very real thing that I have to watch out for, but I don't want to cower in a corner and hope that it leaves me alone this year. I want to take control and work my way through it. I want to make myself productive even on days when I can't think straight.
I think my parents did a great job of teaching me not to spend money that I don't have. It helped me get through school with only a very small loan from my sister. What I don't think I learned (even though they may have tried to teach me) was how to save money I don't need to spend. I've known for the last 2 years that this was going to be a problem because all I had to do throughout school was ask whether I could afford it. The answer was almost always "no," and so I didn't spend any money. What happens, though, when the answer becomes "yes"? I think I do reasonably well on the big purchases - I didn't buy an extravagant car when I had the chance. But that was a case where I didn't have the money in my account and I was able to very carefully weigh out the debt that I was signing for and fairly objectively make a decision.
I chatted with the bank for a few minutes today. The end of that discussion was that I don't have enough of a down payment to be able to get a house loan from that bank. I still need to talk with a bank that does FHA loans (this bank doesn't) to see if that will make a difference, but it looks like I need to save a bigger wad of cash before I can get a loan. Okay, that's fine, really. I'm not sure why I've had such an itch to buy a house the last few months. I think that the worst part is that most of the houses I've been considering would actually be a cheaper monthly mortgage payment than what I'm currently paying in rent. Once again we see that you have to have money to make money. What worries me, though, is that I don't know how to save for the medium-term. I've been doing fine at throwing money in retirement accounts, and I've always been good at saving a buck if I need that dollar later. But I don't know how to build reserves of cash on hand.
How do you teach yourself discpline?