Sunday, January 4, 2009

Desire and Discipline – What Motivates You and Gets You Out the Door?

I’m going to start with a story from Trading in the Zone by Mark Douglas. He talks about when he decided to take up running again, and how hard it was at first. Often, he’d let the TV or the weather keep him from his run. He wanted to be a runner again, and found he needed to discipline himself very strictly to keep running. He would set goals, and make himself go out daily to reach them. By the end of the summer, he had reached a big goal and was worried that he’d let down without new motivation. But a funny thing happened: he got up the next day, goal-less, and ran anyway…

It seems we have two main motivators: the carrot and the stick; greed and fear; desire and discipline. Call it what you will – you are either led or pushed.

What Mark Douglas talks about is moving from discipline – and pushing himself out the door each day – to desire. He then believed himself to be a runner, so he did what runners do: run. He didn’t need to push himself, so did it more often and with a more positive outlook in the process. In What’s Your Why?, I looked at building a future desire that would pull you forward. Once you know what you want, and you believe you deserve it, things become much easier.

What Motivates You?
So take the time to look at your motivators. Both desire and discipline will get you where you want to go, but one will be much more enjoyable. Let’s imagine two businessmen – one is worried about the economy and his financial security, and the other is excited about his new business idea and the possibilities success will open up to him. Which will make more money? Which would you rather be? Who will get up in the morning, happy to get started on the day? Who will talk about his business more, and find more possible ways of success?

How about you? Where are you?
1. Are you happy to get up each day, or do you have to push yourself?
2. Do your goals or resolutions excite you?
3. Would you like to continue to do what you do if you weren’t paid for it?

What Is Your Desire?
Discipline can be a great way to get started. But your passion, your energy, your creativity – comes from desire and doing what you love. If you’re already there, great. But if not, how can you make the move from ‘doing what you have to’ to ‘loving what you do’? Maybe you’ll have to look for a new circumstance in your life. But maybe you’ll find a way to love what you do, love the process, or just take pride in doing your job well. What is your desire, and how can you harness it?

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