If you’re like me, you like to set goals for yourself, and once they’re set, you like to stay on top of them, almost constantly working your way towards them. And if you’re like me, you sometimes need a little motivation to kickstart the process. I can spend hours on YouTube just watching motivational videos like this one by Prince Ea. Videos like this are great; they dig up ideas and dreams that have been buried inside of us, wrap us up in a whirlwind of excitement. They make you feel on top of the world, as if nothing anyone says or does can bring you back to Earth.
But that feeling is often temporary.
It might last for a few hours, maybe a few days, but eventually that work ethic we conjured up slowly fades away, and those bad habits we thought we got rid of creep their way back into our daily lives. It happens to everyone. You can watch as many motivational videos as you want, read as many books as you can, but eventually that drive dies out and we find ourselves back to searching “motivational videos” in the YouTube search bar and buying more books.
Now I’ll be the first to admit that motivation is an important step in reaching your goals. But the challenge lies in keeping yourself motivated long after the video ends.
So how do we do that? Well it’s not motivation that will keep you going. What you need is discipline.
I see it like this. Discipline is the ability to force yourself to do things you don’t necessarily want to do at that very moment. And the way to go about doing this is to remind yourself that if you do it right then and there, you’ll thank yourself later. And if you don’t and instead put off whatever it is you know you should be doing, you’ll kick yourself later. And I don’t think any of us want to kick ourselves.
So in order to discipline yourself, you have to develop a habit of doing unpleasant tasks the moment they pop up. You need to cut off all distractions, push back any other plans you might have had, and see to it that the task is completed in its entirety. Simple, yes, but never as easy as I make it sound. Everything always looks better on paper, after all. However, once you begin incorporating the methods I’ll explain in the next post into your daily life, such as resisting temptations and setting small deadlines for yourself, you’ll start to see drastic changes in the way you view obstacles and consequently, how much closer you’ll be to reaching your goals. Self-discipline breeds a good work ethic, which more often than not leads to success. And I think that’s something we’re all striving for.