Discipline, Drive, and Self-Motivation

“Discipline is the soul of an army. It makes small numbers formidable; procures success to the weak, and esteem to all.”

– George Washington


Discipline and Motivation

I was speaking with a new blogger friend of mine, TMP, whom I’ve only recently met and we were discussing the subject of discipline on a post of his. We discussed how we have both fallen out of discipline at times and that injuries, and other issues can hamper our own self-discipline. He made an interesting question to me and he asked me if I had any advice for him, as to how I am able to stay motivated when I make a goal.

I had to think about this for a moment, and here was my answer –

“If you would have asked me 7 months ago, I’d have a lot to say but, right now, I’m just getting back into it. I think the most important thing is you need to want it. Whatever it is. In my case it’s to lose weight. You need to look in that mirror and be so offended by what you see that the change it takes to get to where you want to go is less painful then looking at that fucking thing in the mirror.

I don’t know if that’s good advice but that’s what drives me. I have to hit a point that I hate.”

Mirror (2)

The same is true for me and anything else. Writing, Blogging, Love, Career Goals, Travel. What drives me to make changes for the better – is not only my want to make that change. When I finally do it, it’s often because the alternative brings me more pain and psychological grief then it would for me to light a fire under my ass and just fucking get to where I need to go. I just have to. It’s do or die. My fears of failure need to be out-shadowed by my fears of not changing and staying the same. My fear needs to swap sides.

My fear of sitting in stale waters, or even worse, sliding backwards can be so damn intense that I have no choice but to rush into the future head first. Running faster then my feet can take me, eyes closed at times and just trying not to think about it.

Life is scary and life can be hard. Making changes can be scary and hard, but it’s all scary and hard! Maybe we just need to ask ourselves, “What’s the scary-hard thing that will make our lives better?”, because it’s all hard and scary. You can’t run from life. You can’t run from danger. You can’t run from your health or your career goals or your relationships. You can only hide from them. You can only hide from life. You can only hide from danger, but life will never stop happening to you. You don’t have the option to push the pause button, or to avoid the consequences of living. All you can do is choose how you’re going to live your life, and how you’re going to face the ugliness when it presents itself to you.

Hiding

As humans, as living animals, as beings with consciousness, we are not privileged enough to be granted a reprieve from life’s consequences. We will all face them head on one day, whether we are facing them head on or hiding from them until we take it’s attack to the back. We can run towards or hide from our true ambitions too. It doesn’t really matter. You make the most of your opportunities or you die lying to yourself about your life and what you always wanted.

If you really want change. You need to hate the idea of not changing more than the effort it’s going to take to get there. You need to want to sprint to your goal as fast as your damn legs can take you just to get away from that goddamn spot that you’re in right now. You can love where you’re going, but you need to hate looking back.

Absolutely hate it! 

I say it’s not a bad thing to be a harsh critic of yourself. Sometimes we all need to look in the mirror and say, “What the hell am I doing and how the hell did I get here? This is not acceptable.”

That is discipline and that is going to be what ultimately lights a fire under your ass for change. You can begin to love yourself when you start to see progress and you can celebrate your victories along the way. Being complacent is the fastest way to completely fuck up all of your goals.

Anyways, I apologize for all of the profanity but this issue makes me feel raw, I suppose and I had to speak it from the heart. When passion boils over in me it can’t be contained.

43 thoughts on “Discipline, Drive, and Self-Motivation

  1. “As humans, as living animals, as beings with consciousness, we are not privileged enough to be granted a reprieve from life’s consequences. We will all face them head on one day, whether we are facing them head on or hiding from them until we take it’s attack to the back.”

    Wow Mat. This is such a powerful sentiment and *so* many humans are afraid to admit this to themselves. Both action and inaction have immense consequences. To me, this piece contends with many difficult realities. It’s passionate but well spoken respectful. Your gut level honesty is so… refreshing..

    I’m a fierce supporter of body positivity – even when there are health risks. Our bodies are our own. So if someone understands their diet or habits are shortening their life— but they are comfortable and happy with that? If they love themselves? Who am I to say they should handle it differently? I don’t get to dictate to another person that they should value having more theoretical “time” over comfort in their present tense.

    But I fully agree that when we look in the mirror at our naked selves, we inherently know if we aren’t happy with what we see reflecting back. Societal pressures aside, we have ideals and goals for ourselves (and as you so eloquently addressed, this overlaps multiple areas of our lives) and we can turn shrink from that or choose to improve.

    This gave me so many poignant things to consider this evening, about my own reflection. Thank you.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I wasn’t trying to give the impression that it was all about your body image either though.

      I just think it’s a good habit to at least be moderately critical of the effort you put into your goals in order to be honest with yourself.

      I’m a bit overly critical of myself probably though. Probably more than one needs to be happy! Like borderline problem 😋

      I’m glad you liked it and thank you for leaving such a great piece of feedback!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh, I know! That’s why I made sure to say (I think?) that you layered it brilliantly over multiple areas of peoples lives. Body image, mental health, career. Motivation takes on endless forms. I just spoke on the body image point specifically because it’s the easiest (or at least one of the most outwardly identifiable) area for people to pinpoint insecurity. And, ironically, it’s one of the hardest for people to get up and pull their boots on about.

        And I would say you are extremely overly critical of yourself. But most creatives are. I would be lying if I said I weren’t the same way.

        My larger point is that this piece is powerful and so important.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. It is an old saying, but you as a person are usually the biggest critic of your work. That was a great article! You get better by being hard on yourself because you hold yourself accountable!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Brilliant Mat! 👏👏👏👏👏 That’s one of your strongest suits ….. your raw candor. Love it! Yeah someone’s gotta have that boldness to put it out there. I’m with you on that ….. in my book, it’s a matter of pleasure or pain ….. others may want to view it with rose-colored glasses, but I love the authenticity of seeing it and saying it as it is. BRAVO! 👏👏👏👏👏

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Oh I was simply speaking from a point of expression haha! I may not have the physical book published yet ….. simply thoughts that stay strongly in my mind for now. 😀

        Liked by 1 person

      1. But then they fail automatically. I mean I understand, because if you never try you cant fail, but I see it the other way. If you never try you cant succeed.

        Thanks Jim for reading and your feedback. I think we all have more courage and capabilities in us than we give ourselves credit for!!!

        Like

  3. This is an excellent answer. Indeed, I am afraid but more than that, I hate the idea of not changing. So much! I will keep reminding myself of that and keep that balance in favour of getting what I really want out of life.
    You write and express incredibly well. Thank you for writing this.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I feel you! Sometimes it’s a nice reminder to imagine your life 5 years ahead no different then it is today, and to see how that makes you feel. Pretty good motivator for me!
      Thanks for your inspiration and your feedback 😊 I look forward to more interactions with you.

      Like

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