What do all successful people have in common?
They don’t have amazing luck or anything magical pushing them along, they have discipline.
Discipline is different than motivation though. Motivation makes you feel like you can accomplish anything but discipline is what lets you accomplish it. Discipline is what keeps you going when motivation is gone. This is what you need to build to reach your goals and to keep pushing every day.
Nobody enjoys waking up at 5am, but discipline gets you out of bed early and in the gym, or working when you don’t feel like it. It’s a combination of habit and a strong work ethic that will push you to do what you need to do and not just what you want to do.
But how do you develop this? How do we overcome the laziness or lack of motivation or overwhelming procrastination that keeps us from doing the hard work we know we need to do?
Know that you want it.
It’s unpleasant waking up early when the bed is so comfortable. It’s tough to get off the couch and get to the gym. It’s hard to beat procrastination and get work done, because we think that we don’t want to do the difficult things and would rather be comfortable and happy right now. But deep down we want to go to the gym or be more productive or push ourselves. If you didn’t you wouldn’t be beating yourself up about it.
It’s not that we don’t want to do the right thing; we just want it to be easy. It is so easy to stay comfortable right now, so when we think about it we talk ourselves out of doing what we need to do. So we just need to reframe how we think about it.
When the alarm goes off, don’t think that you don’t want to get up; think about how much you want to get up and improve and tackle the day. Think about how you want to be fit or how you want to finish your work. These desires are more important than the fleeting feelings we have to be comfortable in the moment. Think of these as opportunities to develop discipline, and get excited about that.
So next time you have this opportunity, make the right choice and do it. And do it again. And do it every day. And it will get easier.
Do it until it gets easy, until it is habit, routine, where you don’t have to think about it. Build discipline, so that you don’t need discipline. Do it enough and soon you will make the right choice as easy as you decide to sleep in or stay on the couch.