Discipline Sucks

Are there days you wake up in a funk? Getting out of bed is a chore, the coffee doesn't get you jazzed up, and you really don't feel like doing your work. On days like these, I pray and wish for motivation. What do you do to overcome this? I've heard some say that they take the cue and get some rest or they take the day off to get recharged. What if you are trying to develop a new habit or routine, and you know that taking a break would derail your efforts?

After writing my first book, I realized that to be successful at writing and speaking, I had to commit to a daily routine that would keep me growing, learning and writing. I had just ended a 3 year period of being in a leadership position at 2 organizations, and was looking forward to the change of pace. I soon realized that I got a change all right, but my pace and the amount of work required was more than what I was doing in my just concluded positions. I was initially excited at my new challenge, but this faded after about 2 weeks. I woke up one morning and I was in a funk. Nothing seemed to shake me out of this  funk, and I was getting used to my new schedule. I could take the day off and lay in bed (not sure my wife would appreciate that,) or I could just work through the motions. What would you do?

I had started reading Daniel Pinks book Drive, and maybe this was a test. The premise of his book is that inner and value-based motivation will take you further than external, carrot and stick motivation. In essence, my purpose would take me farther than a desire to get rich. I enjoyed his book and agree with his theory, but my inner motivation was not working that day. It was on vacation. I had a choice to make; I could go on vacation with it, or I could pretend like I was motivated.

I goofed around a bit on Facebook, and eventually got myself off my work chair and into my study. I sat around waiting for motivation to hit me; it didn't. I looked at my list of things that had to get done, and started on my first task; reading. I didn't feel like reading, but I did. Next, I worked on my marketing plan. I didn't feel like planning, but I did. And finally, I worked on my vocal exercises. I most certainly didn't feel like doing any vocal exercises, but i did. I read, planned for the next few days, did my vocal exercises and put together a new work schedule, without feeling motivated. I got most of my work done without feeling motivated.

I'm not the most disciplined person, but acting disciplined sure worked for me that day. Here's the lesson, if something needs to be done, and you are waiting to be motivated before you do it, it will never get done. Get off your behind and just go do it; whether you feel like or not. Too many people use "feelings" as an excuse for not getting things done. Like Nike said, "Just Do It".



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