I am that one person who needs motivation every now and then, to pump myself to accomplish my set of goals. That explains why I have this blog – to level-up to my commitments and inspire others through my progress, of becoming better.
In high-school, I would carry several inspirational books with me on the opening day (because it was boarding school), just to keep my spirits high. And on several occasions, I stood to give motivational speeches.
To date, my shelf of books are mostly on motivation and personal development.
Motivation has been my “straw” at drowning times. I held up when everything else fell apart.
It was my binoculars to see the light at the end of the tunnel.
At my break-points, motivation gave the inner strength to stand-up, pat my back and walk shoulders high.
Have you ever woken up feeling extremely unmotivated? Yeah, you are not alone. The days I woke up feeling unmotivated, rarely would anything be accomplished, unless there was choice.
Assignments, important meetings, personal goals…everything will be put at bay, simply because “I don’t feel like it today”. The worst part is when that motivation disappears for up-to a week or more and you keep waiting for it’s return, procrastinating everything.
I was trapped in the endless cycle of doing things only when I am motivated.
It was quite devastating.
I badly wanted a solution, something that would untie me from depending on this emotional state that was necessary for me to get things done – motivation.
I wanted excellence, success, growth – to be the best version of me. Motivation didn’t give me that.
Till I came across the #1 New York Times bestselling book – Discipline Equals Freedom. A book written by Jocko Willink, the coauthor of Extreme Ownership (A leadership oriented book which has become a required reading for most successful organizations). You can watch his amazing commencement address at University of Texas.
Willink says, “Without discipline, there will be no real progress.”
Since then, I am an advocate for discipline!
You need discipline to keep going
Motivation is good, but it only gets you started.
Discipline, on the other hand, separates you from your inner feeling and puts you in a position to get things done without necessarily “feeling like it”.
It is what cuts that link between your actions and your feelings. Bring in your feelings after you have completed what you ought to do, before that, get up and grind!
In real life, you will find yourself required to do things you will rarely be motivated to do. So, be real, you won’t be pumped everyday to go through spreadsheets balancing accounts, monitoring systems or attending endless meetings.
It is catastrophic for your personal goals or even for your employer, if you can only work when you feel motivated.
So how do we cultivate discipline?
“People ask me all the time, ‘How do you get up so early?’ or ‘How can I wake up earlier in the morning?’” says Jocko. “And I say, ‘Okay. Here’s what you’ve got to do. Set your alarm clock. When it goes off in the morning, get out of bed and go do your stuff.’ That’s what I do. I don’t have some mystical ritual that I go through that prepares me mentally for the morning rise! No. When the freaking alarm clock goes off, I get up and get out of bed and start doing what I’m supposed to do. That’s the difference.” – Jocko Willink
Discipline is a learned skill, just like any other.
It is up-to you to take that stand and cultivate self-discipline in your daily activities.
The motivational books I read, gave me the power to make personal development plans like waking up early, getting fit, eating healthy, reading etc. but after few weeks of starting my new goals, I found myself not going after them as aggressively as I needed to, for lack of motivation.
I learned the hard truth; “You have do a lot more than motivate yourself to success.”
You can never trust motivation! Stop betting on it, and I you will see tremendous results in transforming from “motivation-oriented” to “discipline oriented”.
My Final Take?
Start committing to your plans, your work…show up, wake up, even when it feels like walking on thorns. But remember, take baby steps. Great things come with patience and slow progress. Take your time and remember, obstacles will come your way, that is where the real battle begins.
It will be difficult, that I promise you, because you have to train your conscious mind to overcome your emotions. That ain’t a bed of roses.
But if you want to become better, as bad as you want to breathe, then you have to, you have to instill discipline, there is no shorter path.
But, you will appreciate the results, and you will love who you become.
Ditch motivation (just use it to pump yourself, not your everyday need to get things done).
Get up and Grind! Be disciplined!
Until next time, Chao!