January 06, 2015

Discipline vs. Motivation

I read an article once that explained why people should not wait for motivation, but use discipline to move forward when they are not motivated. I've never had a lot of self-discipline, but I'm working on that. I'm seldom motivated to work very hard, but I like the money when I do. Still, money isn't a good motivator to most people. Happiness is a good motivator, and to be happy, I need money, so I need to discipline myself to get it. Motivation is nothing without discipline.

I've started setting goals -- small goals, but goals nonetheless. I never set goals before. I just sort of wandered through life and handled whatever came up. I made a lot of excuses about what I couldn't do, and never really tried to do much more.

Poverty is a great motivator, and I am nothing if not poor. I have defined myself as "poor" for so long and used it as an excuse for not doing a lot of things. "I can't afford it," has become my mantra. The truth is that if I had disciplined myself to work harder, learn more and do more, I wouldn't be poor and I wouldn't have half the problems I've had. 

Learning discipline is extremely difficult for a lazy person such as myself. I had a plan to set the alarm and get up at 6 a.m. every morning and get to work by 8 a.m., work straight through until 5 p.m. and keep doing that five days a week -- six if I really needed to. Well, here it is six days into the new year, and I haven't done that yet. I did manage to get up at 6:30 this morning, but that was just a fluke, and I haven't done any work yet. 

I obviously need to work harder on this discipline thing. I need a strict schedule and I need to stick to it. Easier said than done, but I'm really going to try, because what I want most is to be able to spend more time with my sons, and I can't do that without money. Nothing else is as important to me. I've spent years saying I could not afford to visit them, when the truth was that it was easier to just stay stuck in my rut. I'm tired of taking the easy way out and missing out on life. It's time to start living, and that starts with discipline.

Are you confusing motivation with discipline? Do you use lack of motivation as an excuse not to do something you should discipline yourself to do? What do you plan to do in the future to overcome this?


susan hemann said...

Please do not be so hard on yourself. I hope you don't mind, but you have used a lot of negative words to describe yourself. Would you talk to a friend of yours like that if they told you it was hard to get motivated? Also, a long time ago I made a list of things that are free to do with my children. Check out free days at museums, picnics are free> I love to do research, so I check everything out there in the community. It is time to start living and that means enjoying life too.

Deborah Aldridge said...

Well, Susan, there are a lot of negative things about me right now. I'm trying to change that. It's a long, hard process, which is what this blog is about -- changing from someone you wouldn't want as a friend to someone you would just want to be around all the time. I love research too. My main problem right now is transportation, but once it gets warmer, I will definitely be riding my bike more and getting around to some places I've been wanting to go. It's all a process.

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