Do you lack time? or lack discipline?

Do you lack time? or lack discipline?
Right or wrong? I’m betting this meme is 100% wrong.

I saw this post on Facebook today, and let me start by saying – this is such bull crap. If only things were that black and white. I see one of the following happen after some one reads this…

  1. They’ll have a moment of motivation that probably lasts them a few seconds to a few minutes
  2. They’ll scroll right past the drivel
  3. They’ll beat them selves up thinking that they’re not a disciplined individual

Number three is probably the most dangerous. Number two is ideal for the reader- but then it’s a wasted opportunity by the author to impact someone’s life. Finally, number one doesn’t actually help you achieve the right outcome anyway.

Why do you lack discipline?

… Or do you? First of all, no one ‘lacks’ time. We all have 24 hours. What people don’t work on is creating meaning, vision, and priority for the time they have.

If you want to come out of this healthier, you have to have a vision, you have to have meaning behind it and you need to prioritize it. If you want to learn a new skill you need to have a vision for using that skill, meaning behind it and you need to prioritize it.

Building discipline doesn’t happen overnight. Nor does it happen because someone just put a meme up on line and you get a sudden burst of motivation by reading the meme. In fact I’d argue, it’s probably harder to build discipline right now, in the current circumstance if you never had any.

These are extreme circumstances that we face today. Peoples emotions and feelings are in turmoil right now. These are a cause of stress – not a breeding ground for discipline.

People aren’t used to being isolated. We are social creatures by nature and have an innate desire to interact with people. Add to that the extreme uncertainty that we are facing as individuals or groups. We might be facing job loss, reduced income, loss off a close one – we’re hearing negative news about doom and gloom. These aren’t light hearted factors and they definitely don’t create a desire to learn new things, start businesses or gain new knowledge.

1. Start with asking ‘why’

So if you do want to walk away with a new skill, new knowledge, or a side hustle started, you need to start with asking ‘why‘. Why do you want to do it?

Not having a ‘why‘ gives you no significant reason on doing what you want to do. Having one, gives you meaning and purpose.

2. Create your vision

Once you understand your ‘why‘. You need to create a vision of where you want to be.

How will you use the skill sets, what can it help you do? How can new knowledge be used to help you accelerate your career? What will a side hustle mean for your financially over the long term? You can answer these (or imagine) them in your vision.

3. Start with tiny, little actions

Once you’ve framed your vision. The third step is then taking action. Action doesn’t have to be big, giant steps. You shouldn’t aim to get everything done instantly. Instead, (especially if you lack motivation or if you want to build discipline) it needs to be the opposite. Action needs to happen in tiny little steps – well at least it needs to start with that.

Start with tiny actionable steps. In fact think about what is the smallest thing you can do right now?

Building discipline happens when you stop thinking and just act. This is naturally formed from taking small, daily and actionable steps. Steps that you can persist with indefinitely. When you continue to be persistent with these, habits starts forming. From there you’ll be able to take on more bolder, bigger steps. And once you’re in the habit of doing something, then that in itself is discipline.

Once a habit is formed you’ll have a feeling of ‘missing something’, if you don’t act on something on the day. Your mind and body start to crave your daily little actions. It almost becomes cyclical. Where your ‘why’ creates a strong emotional reaction. Combining with your ‘vision’, it multiplies emotions with feelings to to something. Both lead you to taking action. Once you start taking action. You develop an emotional response and more feelings to continue taking further action.

So yeah, if you don’t come out of this quarantine with a new skill, new knowledge, or new side hustle, that will last a lifetime… then don’t beat yourself up over it. Just focus on what you want to do, why you want to do it, create a vision and start chipping away at it.

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