E009. Motivation vs Self-discipline - Sensibly Happy Podcast

This episode is about some ingredients of success. What is more important, self-discipline, or motivation? How to train your self-discipline as a muscle? And how all of this related to happiness? 

What you’ll discover

  • Differense between motivation and self-discipline
  • What are one of the most important ingredients of success
  • For whom self-discipline is?
  • Self-discipline in personal life, art and busines
  • How I’m using self-discipline in my life
  • How to develop self-discipline

Quotes, keynotes

  • I’m convinced that there are some reusable ingredients of success. And you can develop and use those as well
  • I believe that our happiness is tightly tied with our goals as well as with our progress in achieving them. And when you have some goals in your life but you are constantly failing – you become less self-confident as well as less happy. Also in case of failure you don’t get full reward for your effort.
  • Why do we fail? We set some goal, get extra motivation by speaking with someone and start doing it. But at some point our motivation is being scattered and we are losing ourselves in the middle of the road. Then we start blaming ourselves or searching for excuses. But none of it helps us to finish what we’ve started.
  • Is it motivation which leads to success or self-discipline? I’m asking the same question to the candidates on my interviews. And I see that in most of cases people answer that the motivation is the major factor while self-discipline is also needed but not as important as motivation. For me it’s an indicator.
  • I believe that self-discipline is a constant daily behavioral pattern while motivation is something like the weather: today it is good, but tomorrow it is rainy and we don’t have proper results.
  • Stephen Covey once said: “The undisciplined are slaves to moods, appetites and passions”.
  • What is discipline? According to one of definitions, self-discipline is the ability to control one’s feelings and overcome one’s weaknesses. It is the ability to pursue what one thinks is right, despite temptations to abandon it.
  • In business it’s doesn’t matter if you sell something or provide services, you should have great communication level, regardless to your current mood, or your opinion about a customer.
  • To compete successfully you should do everything in timely manner. You shouldn’t be late on meetings, you need to write answers by email or make some phone calls without delays, you should make decisions quickly to help your employees. The key to success in business is self-discipline.
  • When you meet someone and start building a relationships both of you should make some changes in your habits to be more suitable for each other. For some of you it could be using less perfumes, or taking a shower every day, or not to leave leftover food on the table or not to use some words that you constantly use. And that’s all about self-discipline.
  • There is one interesting article which is called ‘12 Habits of Highly Effective Artists’ which is published on artnet.com. I’ve selected several habits from it that connected to the discipline: 1) Use airplane mode constantly; 2) do all your admin work in the morning; 3) be self-reliant and consistent.
  • Here’s another interesting example from the painter and teacher who spend most of her life exploring colors and writing books about it. Her name is Nita Leland. And the example is about her rules which called “Self-discipline for artists”. Here are some of them:
    1. Just do it. No one will do it for you.
    2. Set goals. You have to know where you are going so you will know when you will get there.
    3. Establish priorities. Place yourself high on the list. You are important too.
    4. Use time productively. Procrastination gets you nowhere.
  • You can use self-discipline to control your emotions or to be focused on a single goal and not to jump from one goal to another. Yeah, you can be really strong with that. And you can be successful. Successful in different meanings. It’s not about money or status, but about being someone special, bold, or happy.
  • You know what is good about self-discipline? It is similar to muscle. And by having daily exercises you can make it stronger.
  • I’m getting up usually at 6 a.m. and my body get used to it. But sometimes I’m really exhausted, I had a bad sleep or went to bed too late. In such cases my body does everything to persuade me to stay in bed and I can feel myself in a way: “oh, it’s so hard to get up, I should sleep a little bit more”. And similar arguments visit my brain. But self-discipline allows me to do what I need to do. It turns on in my mind with words “stop thinking! stop spare yourself! get up and do what you should!” And of course after years of practice it works for me really well.
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The task for the next week

Choose one goal for yourself and follow this plan (you can use it as a cheat-sheet for any goal you want to achieve):

  1. Identify what do you want to change, how the alternative should look and do you really need it. While we are speaking about developing self-discipline, you should start with baby steps. Because having too ambitious plans at the beginning will lead you to a failure.
  2. Set up clear and simple plan with reachable goals.
  3. Visualize a goals. Imagine how the result will look like.
  4. Use different apps or technologies which could help you to reach a goal.
  5. Decide how do you want to track the results.
  6. Work with a mentor if it is possible, it will give you much better results.
  7. Analyze and remove any temptations from your way. It may lead you off the track.
  8. You should put breaks into your plan.
  9. And finally reward yourself. For instance, after having daily workout I’m drinking a special cocktail that I like.
  10. Realize that you will fail. You may fail sometimes. Because you are a human being, not a robot. That’s why you should forgive yourself and keep moving.

Use it to do the task for the next week.

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