January 16, 2005
Motivation when discipline is lacking
At times we all lack the discipline to do things we know we should be doing or that weíve told ourselves we have to do. Maybe itís caused by being tired and just needing to relax or maybe we are in too much of a hurry with a busy schedule and we put it off for later. Often later comes and our task is still undone but we find another reason not to do it. Sometimes our lack of motivation is laziness or itís fear of doing whatever it is. Regardless of the cause for our lack of motivation, if we really want to do this, we have to somehow find a way to make ourselves do it.
For me tonight it was exercising. Iím on week two of my new exercise plan for bike racing. Itís tough. Tonight I didnít want to go out running, or exercise. I just spent all day working and all I wanted to do was lie on the couch and vegetate. It wasnít that I was physically tired; I was just emotionally and mentally drained and not motivated to work myself.
First of all, I didnít give in to my desire to do nothing. But I still wasnít motivated to do it. Ranulph Twisleton-Wykeham-Fiennes, Arctic and Antartic explorer and expedition leader said when asked how he keeps going when his body says no more, ďItís a question of mentally trying to shut your wimpish voice up whenever it surfaces, which was quite a lot of the time.Ē I think the more we dwell on a resistive thought the stronger it gets. I was feeling hungry, so I decided to have a light snack, thinking it might generate a little energy change. But I didnít want to eat too much in case I could get myself to exercise. Itís not fun getting stomach cramps.
Then I decided to change into my exercise clothes. Even if I wasnít going to exercise, I wanted to take that first step and see if that would motivate me. I was still not motivated to actually do it. Then I put my running shoes on and did some stretches. I still was not committed to doing it. But then I put my running coat, hat, gloves, etc. on and I was committed. I went out and started running. I picked a different route tonight so I wouldnít be facing the same routine.
As I was running I was also concentrating on watching my step, because there were a lot of slippery spots on the sidewalks and roads in our neighborhood. I ended up running a big loop back to my house that was twice my normal running distance and I felt much more motivated. When I got in the house I then continued to exercise with the other parts of my exercise plan. I had a great workout and really feel like my muscles got a good workout. At least in this case I could talk myself into being motivated by taking one step at a time in that direction and one thing led to another. By the time my heart and breathing were really going I was motivated to continue. Then I finished the workout, ate a real dinner then took a little nap. After the nap I meditated. It was awesome.
Iíve used this technique with schoolwork also. Sometimes I just begin it without committing to doing it. Once I get started with each step one thing leads to another. For instance, Iíll tell myself that I want to just look over the notes from class. Then since my homework is listed in the notes, I tell myself Iíll just look at the homework to see what kind of questions and examples are in there. Then one thing leads to another and Iím done with it. Sometimes itís easier to find the motivation to finish something weíve started than to muster the strength to begin and do the whole thing. It builds up in our minds as an insurmountable task and a burden. But once we are involved in it, itís kind of hard to argue with ourselves about doing it or not doing it.
See The Motivation List
for other ideas. Feel free to add to my list.
What I did today for motivating myself to exercise partially answers this question: How do we find motivation when we don't have any?
, which gave birth to my motivation list.
Hi it is nice to read your letter.Thanks for sharing your experience.
Posted by: Satya at May 7, 2005 4:08 AM
Thank you so much sreenivas for the kind words. :-)
Posted by: John at May 7, 2005 9:53 PM
All I can say is to talk to GOD and try to tell to HIM all the feelings that you have on that particular day because GOD will give you the comfort,security and also peace of mind.
Believe me,because I already experieced that kind of a feeling that GOD'S presence was there.
Thank you and GOD Bless.
Posted by: Mel at July 14, 2005 4:09 AM