Motivation is a launching force, not a sustaining force. It's designed to start momentum, not keep momentum. The launching fuel of motivation runs out quickly. So how do you continue on in your endeavor until you're successful? Discipline picks up where motivation leaves off. Do you want to reach your full potential in any area of your life, better yet, in every area of your life? Then desire, embrace, and develop healthy self discipline. Don't naively treat discipline like a genetic predisposition that a small percentage of people are born with. Instead, embrace it more like the skeletal muscular system that everyone is endowed with but relies on your intentional usage to develop. Discipline isn't a natural ability; it's a developed skill. It isn't naively thinking you're going to wake up each morning and naturally want to (AKA: be motivated) to do what you should do. It's soberly realizing that you will rarely wake up naturally motivated to do anything you know you should do. And that's the point of discipline. It's this amazing invention God created and prepackaged into human beings. It doesn't rely on emotions for movement. It doesn't depend on your feelings to operate. It doesn't care about weather you want to do what you know you should do. It's bigger and so much better than emotions. It's so much higher than fair-weather motivation. Discipline is an all-weather all-terrain decision to take action... regardless of how you feel... and even in spite of how you feel. It's absolutely amazing! Discipline bridges the distance between your dreams and the fulfillment of those dreams. It takes you from being out of shape to great health, from debt to prosperity, from bondage to breakthrough. If your dreams have any value at all then they won't be easy to accomplish. Your going to have to move on days you don't want to move. Your emotions will persuade you to relax, but discipline needs to throat punch your emotions and say,
"Not today. Not on my watch. We don't make progress when we listen to you. You create regrets. You rob me of my future. You steal my dreams. You destroy my potential. You make me look back at the end of my day and see nothing but wasted time and unused energy. You set me up for failure. The devil doesn't even need to torment me because you're doing his work for him. We're not listening to you anymore. I'm listening to my discipline. I'm developing my discipline. And you no longer rule my life. I get up weather I feel like it or not. I workout weather I feel like it or not. I read weather I feel like it or not. I eat healthy weather I feel like it or not. I pray weather I feel like it or not. I do what I should do when I should do it and how I should do it weather I feel like it or not. I'm taking back the God-given self control I was given and using it the way it was designed to be used. Get out of my way emotions! This life is under new management!"
Discipline isn't something that keeps you from living life fully. It's something that God gave us to keep us from squandering our life foolishly. Discipline leads to a fuller richer life. Discipline isn't the enemy. It's actually our greatest endowed ally.
If you're underdeveloped in healthy self discipline then right now is the best time to start developing those discipline muscles. Pick something simple you should be doing and start doing it consistently as often as you should be doing it regardless of how you feel (ex: drinking the right amount of water each day while stopping drinking sodas). Develop a strategy and gameplan (ex: Use a checklist & checkmark to track your daily water intake. Get a cool looking favorite water bottle. Give yourself 1 cheat day each week to drink soda. Give yourself some kind of achievement award for sticking to it for 1 month. Etc, etc). Part of the fun of discipline is strategizing and formulating a gameplan to beat your self destructive tendencies.
"Go to the ant, you sluggard;
consider its ways and be wise!
... How long will you lie there, you sluggard?
When will you get up from your sleep?
A little sleep, a little slumber,
a little folding of the hands to rest—
and poverty will come on you like a thief
and scarcity like an armed man.
... the reproofs of discipline are the way to life..."
- Excerpts from Proverbs 6 (NIV & ESV)
STRiVE to THRiVE!