From exercising and studying to cleaning the toilets and folding fitted sheets, we do hard things during our day. Well, while the actual task may not be hard, motivating yourself to do it is hard. For many people, myself included, we sometimes need a pep talk to get started. I often hear people say they don’t have the motivation to do xyz. They need something to not only get them going, but keep them going.
Motivation can only get you so far. Discipline is what keeps you going. Essentially, you need both for success. You know that saying we hear all the time but kind of dismiss? It’s spot on.
Great, now we are motivated and disciplined. We are heading straight for success. Right?
Here’s the problem, there’s such a thing as too much discipline. It’s what happens when you start doing things out of a compulsive habit instead of acting mindfully.
Some days I struggle to find the motivation to workout… or do homework… or do laundry… or whatever the task may be. But, for better or worse, I’ve always been disciplined. That’s the Type-A in me. I know what to do to feel better or make a change, so I do it. But sometimes, I have to focus that discipline on not being disciplined. Does that make sense?
It’s hard to imagine that something some people work so hard to get (discipline) can actually be a negative thing. “Too much of a good thing can be bad,” applies here. Whether it’s eating healthy, exercising, doing your homework or cleaning, what may start as motivation to change can lead to an obsession. One we don’t know we even have! It becomes so ingrained into our daily life that we become focused on reaching a certain mileage, steps, or reps.
My “plan” of having no plan has challenged me to loosen some of my disciplined tendencies and just let go. Easier said than done, for me at least, but it’s freeing to not always have a quantifiable goal. Sure, there are times when I’m a crazy list maker and need to accomplish everything, but I’m working to balance those with this relaxed approach.
Like most things, there is a season for everything. A season for setting goal, after goal, after goal and a season for just going with the flow. A season for eating super clean and a season for enjoying your all time favorite foods, whatever they may be. A season for working really hard in school/at work and a season for not always stressing and taking things so seriously. We can’t be “on” 24/7 and finding that balance seems to be the everlasting quest.
No questions. Just thoughts and opinions today.