It’s amazing the things that become realizations as you get older. I seem to just get things all of a sudden. I hear a different way of thinking about something and then, BOOM, I get it. This happened to me recently concerning discipline and motivation.

Motivation is awesome. An outside stimulant or experience builds up enough emotion to get you started in a direction in life, new idea, or in the heat of a moment.  I am a fast starter. I get motivated about something (business idea, gym, etc.), go a million miles an hour creating plans and ideas in my head, and start making things happen.  After a few weeks of riding high on emotion and excitement, and constantly looking ahead instead of looking right in front of me, I lose focus.  Once I lose focus, the motivation begins to drift away and I just stop all together.  After a while, I get excited about something else, and start the whole process over. Not a solid recipe for success. This has left me with halfway finished projects and ideas in a notebook just taking up space. It began to create a lot of clutter in my life, which led to me losing more focus and making excuses why I didn’t want to complete anything.  After my divorce, I had a house that needed work from the foundation, to the floors and windows.  I didn’t want to deal with any of it. I let it overwhelm me. I didn’t have the discipline to stay focused.

In the military, we are broken down and then built back up. We learn how to be disciplined so we may complete tasks and missions. Being disciplined is a foundation of performing at a high level.  When a young private/sailor goes back into the real world, the discipline begins to fade. Not completely, but as you integrate back into the real world, old habits may resurface; learned habits you didn’t agree with begin to be forgotten. Most of it stems to a loss in motivation. This is where the discipline you learn comes into focus.  Everyone is going to have a bad day, week, month, etc. Discipline will get you through it. Motivation comes and goes.  It’s discipline that keeps people eating healthy and working on their fitness. It’s what makes people successful.  Living off of motivation only brings you inconsistency and chaos.  The discipline gets you to work on time, focusing in the gym when you don’t want to be there, and keeps you involved with your family, work and friends.

The hardest part of this process has been redeveloping  dicipline, building the habit.  For example, I have been inconsistant in the time I devote to the gym.  The gym was a place I found focus, peace and competition (against myself). I fell out of the habit and discipline, procrastinating about when I would go and what I would do. One thing that has helped is planning. It has been a big part of being successful and disciplined. Acting on your plan is a whole other conversation (maybe even a post). At the end of the day, it’s discipline, not motivation that keeps you going. You just have to DO IT, that’s what discipline is. Motivated or not, DO IT!

 

Do work, be rad

Ben