I always knew I was a motivated and driven person. I had clear goals that were achievable in my mind and I had a game plan for how I’d make it all come to fruition. But sadly, I wasn’t able to achieve a lot of the goals I set for myself. There are a variety of reasons why I wasn’t able to but the biggest one was my lack of discipline.
Discipline is often perceived with negative connotations and something I’ve associated with control and a lack of freedom. But it’s a skill and a value that creates the road to success in a way that is unparalleled to any other value be it accountability, innovation, hard work or perseverance. And I’ll explain why. Discipline is the difference between being in control of your future and letting your environment dictate your destiny. In a time where immediate gratification is prized, we end up seeking our immediate pleasures sacrificing the depth and happiness that comes from working toward goals.
I’ve always been someone that was excited by fleeting ideas that range from wacky or extremely unlikely. They are also the reason I feel a lot of motivation to get things STARTED. While that’s great, it doesn’t serve me in a way that allows for success and productivity. It often does the exact opposite. I’m always excited by the idea of a new project, new business idea, a book, a website, new hobby (cupcake baking, rug weaving etc). I make a lot of time for planning and envisioning the final product and how wonderful it’ll be when I complete it. BUT I hardly ever get to that point and here’s why:
- The inspiration or spark of joy I get from starting a project is fleeting and doesn’t provide the motivation to complete the task
- Motivation is NOT enough to complete a task, let alone be successful and productive with it
- There wasn’t forethought into why I needed to do that project and how I would complete it with all the other demands of my life in a realistic way
- Lastly, there wasn’t an ounce of strategy that was used and it was all for FUN, rather than it serving a PURPOSE
What I’ve found is that I haven’t worked on disciplining myself. I have ALWAYS wanted things and wanted them right when I wanted them. However, as I got older, everything I valued and wanted to achieve became less tangible and more complicated. Medical School, being a runner, practicing yoga, painting and even becoming a better cook required consistent and deliberate work. I did not have the foundation to maintain a routine and I simply didn’t feel up to it. I just HOPED things would simply work out. Here’s my reality: I am not in medical school, I’m not a runner, I don’t practice yoga daily, I’m not any better at painting since I was in high school and I only cook rice and chicken and that’s all I eat.
I’m not ashamed or putting myself down, these are the realities and this is an area I’d like to work on. I do not have discipline and it’s the reason why I have more clothes and credit card debt than what is reasonable. So, let’s figure this out. How can I cultivate discipline into my life in health moderation to advance my personal, professional and financial goals?
I don’t actually have a plan at the moment but something I’m working on is keeping my word to myself and establishing a routine that I don’t compromise. Fighting again the comfort and instant pleasures because my body and mind will resist the change and growth. Feeling lazy is inherently being human, we want to find the easiest and quickest way to achieve all our goals. Saving energy and time is important, but not at the cost of undermining my own abilities. Shifting the focus to the process and the smaller steps rather than the outcome and the bigger steps. Success is all about persistence and discipline is the road to that success. It’s also not completely about success, because with discipline you see personal growth, results that came about directly from the work you put in and setting goals provides meaning to every day in a way that can’t be reduced to a word (ie success).