Now I want to talk to you about a little bit terrifying term, and its name is discipline. How would you describe it, what is it?
Discipline is a certain order of behavior, consistency.
In the world there are two types of it: external and internal discipline. Internal – kept by your own free will without control by third parties or coercive measures. In other words – self-control. As John Maxwell, one of the leading experts in the field of leadership, said,
"Discipline is the decision to do what you don't want to do in order to achieve what you really want to achieve."
Why am I telling you this? I have already written a lot about motivation, its sources, and told why it is so important.
Only there is one big BUT - you will never be equally motivated. Even after finding yourself, having decided on a goal, making a step-by-step plan to achieve it, you will not always find the strength to follow it. People tend to be lazy, and even more tend to overestimate the presence of time. It seems to you that by postponing the reading of a useful article/book or preparing a report from Tuesday to Saturday, you will not lose anything. In fact, all those minutes, hours and days on which you postpone the execution of certain cases, imperceptibly for you turn into weeks, and then into a month and a year. And then, a year later you are at the same point where you started, or rather was supposed to start, and wonder why time flies, how you managed to waste it.
And there's another great cognitive distortion of our creative lazy brain. It's "me today" and "me later." It manifests itself in the fact that we systematically cancel and transfer our plans for self-development or fulfillment of duties, because it seems to us that "I will do it on Saturday. I'll over-execute the plan. And in a month, I will have more resources, more strength, the weather promises to be warm".
The essence of the distortion is that for our brain man as a person exists now, at a particular time. And the same person tomorrow and a week later is someone else, it's not me, it's the future form of someone out there. A sort of Superman who is able to fulfill all the plans. He is never lazy, he is always in a good mood and well-being. This is a distortion, because the future you, as such, do not exist. You can pump your knowledge and skills, gain experience, learn to define yourself in a new way, thereby becoming the best version of the present you.
But when that day X comes, you will again find yourself alone, and the ghostly future you, who is never lazy, will again run forward. That's why we buy clothes for running, dumbbells, new books, tools for creativity, but do not use them. There comes a long-awaited Monday/new year/birthday, when we all start life from scratch. And our brain tells us again: maybe later? The weather is shit, we have to clean the house right now, walk the dog. But next Monday – we will start to lose weight, for sure.
What about motivation? Why is it not long enough, why we do not always have it? As an answer to this question, I love to quote Zig Ziglar, one of whose statements has been translated many times and in many ways, here one of the version:
"People complain that motivation doesn't last forever, but it is the same with hygiene. That’s why you take a bath regularly."
You can't stay in this tub forever and always be clean. The same with motivation. It is not infinite, it must be supported by your will and diligence.
And here comes to the aid a special ingredient of success, which provides a balance of elements of motivation, their activation, and fully pays off over time. This ingredient is discipline. The secret of many successful people is hidden not in a 12-hour working day without days off and vacations. But in a high level of self-discipline. Over time, through patience and perseverance, you will learn to use it to motivate yourself again and again every day, at times when it is necessary. These efforts always pay off. First you need to apply them.
The first step is always the most difficult. And on the way to the goal, whatever it may be, this step will always be the development of discipline. Its significance cannot be compared with the motivation itself, because they are part of each other in many aspects.
By disciplining yourself, you will learn regular self-motivation. And this is exactly the skill that allows you to perform all the planned things and achieve your goals.