The Importance of Discipline

7:00 AM

Hello, lovely writers! 

If you follow my blog, you might have noticed that I've been absent the past two weeks. Neither of those absences was intended or planned, yet they happened and I don't have much excuse.

But I have been reflecting on it, and thus comes a post :) Bear with me. It's a good message (I hope).



See, life is only getting crazier. I'm graduating. I had classes to finish up, deadlines on a number of things. I have a job, and not to mention being one of seven children, oldest of four younger siblings. Unread books sit in piles on my dresser and desk, and my younger brothers are pulling at my sleeve every other minute begging me to come play with them.

My hands are filled to bursting, and it's nearly impossible to keep things from slipping through my fingers. I've been wondering for a while what would happen here at the blog after I left for college. It's my hope to keep posting weekly, but it might not happen. I don't know yet.

But I do know one thing. The past few weeks have taught me that if you want to do something, you have to make a decision to do that thing. (Yes, I know. I could have used better wording but you get the meaning.)

Another word for that would be discipline. It takes discipline to do things you don't necessarily want to do in the moment. But you have to decide beforehand that you're going to do those specific things. Otherwise, your motivation will be like coffee brewed through already used week-old grounds. You're left staring at brown tinted, mold flaked hot water and expecting yourself to drink it.

That's not fair for anyone.

I want to note really quickly that discipline is done out of love. Discipline does not equal beating yourself up when you make a mistake or bashing yourself and treating yourself horridly. That's punishment, and that's quite a different matter. Discipline is self control. It's commitment.

Discipline has a partner, and that would be called motivation. It's that warm gooey feeling in your bones that helps you get stuff done, come up with ideas, and be generally productive.

But while we can discipline ourselves with relative ease, such is not the case with motivation. So how do we get motivation? How do we fix the lack of motivation syndrome? This is something people have been wondering for ages, and since no one else has come up with a solid answer, I think it's a somewhat safe assumption to make that there is no fixed cure. But if we look at what motivation is, that might give us some ideas.


#1: Motivation is a feeling.


This is key. Feelings cannot be forced. They come and go as they please. Motivation is as tricky as any.

#2: Motivation can be jump-started. 

Just like seeing your best friend fills you with happiness, or watching March of the Penguins makes you cry, motivation can be triggered in you. You just have to find the right materials to produce that response. Some people make to-do lists. Others use a reward system. Some use both. Find what works for you, what gets you fired up to write or blog or edit or study or whatever it is. Find what helps get your motivation churning and use that to help you out in low spots.

#3: Discipline can operate solo. 

When none of your tactics are working to create motivation, when nothing seems to fill you up and make you want to do the thing you're faced with, discipline comes to the rescue. You've decided to write that chapter, and by golly you're going to do it. It doesn't matter if your eyes are drooping and you really want to pick up that new book that just came in the mail. You made a choice to write a chapter. And what's more, you said you were going to do it. On paper, out loud, to a friend, whatever it was. You are committed. It takes discipline to keep to commitments, but if you do keep to them, you'll find that it's not just your writing that improves. Your attitude will. You will. You as a person will develop a stronger character and a good dependable backbone.

But you want to know a secret? Sometimes, if you simply do the Thing, if you feel like you really don't want to do it and can barely manage to work up the willpower, holding yourself accountable and doing it often brings that feeling of motivation back. It's not always the case, but you never know when simply doing the Thing instead of stalling will stir your love for it again.

I'm making a commitment to post when I can, and even though this week is going to be just as crazy as the last, I'm not going to chicken out. I'll see you guys next week :)

Do you struggle to motivate yourself? What are some methods you use to inspire motivation in yourself?

<3

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12 comments

  1. I know how you feel with the full hands, life just seems to keep getting busier and busier. Discipline is such a big part of completing your goals. Great post!

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    1. Yes! Discipline is key. Thank you for reading! <3

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  2. This is a timely post. I've been struggling with motivation and discipline a lot lately. (And by lately I mean for this entire month, and for two months before April.) I'm trying to still get things done, but things I used to love all the time just feel like a ton of work now and I don't know how to fix it. :/
    Accountability does help with discipline a LOT, though. I only influenced myself to edit a chapter of someone else's novel tonight because I'd told her I'd get to it before the end of the week and I panicked. (I do not suggest waiting until the absolute last minute like I did, but... at least it got done?) I need to find a good accountability partner to keep doing that with, I think, so I can keep working on it and get back into doing things.
    Thanks for the post!

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    1. Aww <3 That's a really great point about accountability though! And I think I said this above, but if you do settle into a routine, you'll do those actions enough that motivation and love for your story just might begin to grow again :) Don't give up!

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  3. Oh yes I really agree with this!! I get asked how I stay motivated a lot and I just don't really have an answer 😂 apart from "I just DO IT" because sometimes waiting to be fully inspired just never happens?! Plus I find if I'm struggling to get motivated for a project, I'll get more into it the more I go. Sometimes I put up self-blocks because I know it's going to be hard. But once you just say "nope doing this today" and work at manageable chunks, then it you get into a groove and it works!. But it's so hard to find tiiime to do everything, I totally get that! I hope you don't have to give up blogging completely!

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    1. "waiting to be fully inspired never happens" YES. And I feel like being full of motivation and inspiration is really promoted in today's society? And thank you for your encouragement! I hope I don't have to either :) Worst comes to worst, I might have to set it aside for a while.

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  4. Recently I've been lacking in motivation to get started on things, but I find once I start, I get a rush from making progress on a goal, and can keep on working. Starting is the hardest for me. xD I hope you can find time to relax and rest! <3 Great post!

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    1. Thank you, friend! <3 I'm glad you can get going once you start! I'm kind of the opposite :P You rock!

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  5. This was a great post! Thank you for this reminder!
    I think we all struggle with motivation for one thing or another. Two words I thought of when reading this was dedication and perseverance. If you are dedicated to something, then there's no turning back, and you half to keep going. And perseverance is sticking too something no matter what. :)
    Thanks for posting this!
    -Brooklyne

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    1. Ah, that's a beautiful thought. Thank you for sharing! <3

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  6. I seriously love that you posted this, because I think as we approach graduation it can be easy to blame a lack of motivation on senioritis. But it's always super important to stay motivated...it's always a choice we make. Thanks for this reminder! xoxo

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  7. All this is true. Especially the part where you mentioned that motivation is a feeling.

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