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More generally, self-discipline can be less a sign of health than of vulnerability.  It may reflect a fear of being overwhelmed by external forces, or by one’s own desires, that must be suppressed through continual effort.

In effect, such individuals suffer from a fear of being out of control.  In his classic work Neurotic Styles, David Shapiro described how someone might function as “his own overseer, issuing commands, directives, reminders, warnings, and admonitions concerning not only what is to be done and what is not to be done, but also what is to be wanted, felt, and even thought.”[11] 

Secure, healthy people can be playful, flexible, open to new experiences and self-discovery, deriving satisfaction from the process rather than always focused on the product.
An extremely self-disciplined student, by contrast, may see reading or problem-solving purely as a means to the end of a good test score or a high grade.  In Shapiro’s more general formulation, such people “do not feel comfortable with any activity that lacks an aim or a purpose beyond its own pleasure, and usually they do not recognize the possibility of finding life satisfying without a continuous sense of purpose and effort.”[12]
— Alfie Kohn: Why Self-Discipline Is Overrated. (http://www.alfiekohn.org/article/self-discipline-overrated/)
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