My first experience with self discipline and self learning came from when i was an apprentice mechanic. My first 2 years were hell; i got treated like shit. At that time it was very difficult to get an apprenticeship, i had just finished yr 12.
My dad even tried to bribe someone with money to get me in..but it was rejected. It came down to a local garage that my dad knew of.
I had completed a pre apprenticeship course through yr 11 and 12. To my surprise he did not want to even look at my resume and said i could start the next day; I was so excited. (little did i know what i would go through).
My first day was a 12 hr shift (6 days a week) with one 30min break..and to realise it would be an everyday thing. I worked around 70 hrs a week for $160. My mum would sometimes wait 1-2 hrs for me to finish.
I was the only apprentice/ mechanic there and he would have mechanics come and go throughout my time. We never really spoke; there was no relationship, only a worker/boss relationship.
I was really keen on learning and wanted to learn; only to learn that he wasn’t interested in teaching me, and only worried about getting the work out and making money.
He never spent any time showing or teaching me, regardless of how many times i would ask him to show me things and explain how something worked. He would say to me ” Don’t worry, you don’t need to no that now”. I really hated him.
After around 6 months i was miserable, he would not let me have lunch at the same time as everyone else and would isolate me like a slave. I had not been signed up either to start my apprenticeship, so i was not getting any schooling.
I then decided to take into my own hands and study at home. I saved up and bought all the books i could find on everything mechanics and would study at home every night.
When i would come to a problem at work or didn’t know something, i went home and studied it, so the next day i knew what i was doing.
I would catch a bus in the morning and had to go in 30 mins earlier than everyone else and clean all the tools and would read on the way there. I became so hooked on learning that i eventually started picking up things quite quickly. I would read and study relentlessly. I eventually found this ‘discipline’ and ‘will’ to learn and teach myself. I hated everyday i went there..but i wanted to learn and i did. After 12 months i pretty much knew how to rebuild an engine and had learned a lot about how the engine worked to the point of being able to diagnose problems. My boss was happy because i was smashing out the work on my own and making him a killing. After the 12 months i had taken one day off, which i was really sick and when my next payday came he had deducted my pay for that day; I was furious, it was the only day i had taken off in 12 months and he didn’t want to pay me for it…I had enough and argued with him in front of my father and told him i wasn’t coming back.
After that experience i had vowed to myself never to rely on anyone else for my learning and realised that i could teach myself….Though that was not the end of my experience and another story.
If you really want something and are serious in learning it, you will find the ‘discipline’ and ‘will’ ( with a sense of passion) to learn, no matter the circumstances. Sometimes we have no choice and sometimes we have to eat dirt..But it’s upon yourself and your responsibility for your learning.
To this day that discipline and will has taken me – together with my passion through all areas of life. To top it off it also helped develop me as a martial artist. I still don’t give any credit to most of my employees and to even some instructors. I proudly take credit for my learning.
Self discipline equals self learning!