Why You Don’t Need To Be Disciplined This Year

Every once in a while I’ll get the itch to play the guitar again. I’ll start by learning an easy song, play it until my wife wants to punch me, then abandon it. It happens every time.

I knew each time was going to be different. Then it wasn’t. Months later the guitar is gathering dust, again.

Why is this?

calendarI listened to a podcast called 10X talk with Joe Polish and Dan Sullivan a while back and Dan said something that shocked me. He said discipline is a bunch of garbage.

To Mr. Sullivan, you can be disciplined but you don’t just get it at the store. It’s a description of someone that has formed desirable habits.

Whether you are a runner, writer, or worker, we all struggle from time to time. If you find yourself in the place of perpetual failure consider this. You don’t need to be disciplined. You need new habits.

Starting a new habit or kicking an old one can be extremely difficult. Here are three ways to help you make them stick.

  1. Journal daily progress. Make it simple. This doesn’t have to take you an hour.
  2. Ask a friend to be your kind drill sergeant and keep you accountable.
  3. Do it (whatever you want to form good habits for) with someone.

Kick discipline to the curb. Replace it with new habits.

On Chasing Transformation Not Information

Recently I noticed a disturbing trend in my life and I wonder if this is common in your life too.

I get excited about an idea. I grab books, follow blogs, jot down notes, even form some loose goals around this new idea. Then another, more interesting topic flashes across my computer screen and I chase it for a while.

Some say this is ADHD. But I have another theory. I find a thrill in learning something new. But I am after information, not transformation.

But isn’t transformation what we are after in the first place?


It’s Okay To Love Information

Often times I become enamored with the joy of learning and gathering information and miss the point of what the writers of these materials are saying. They call for action and initiative so I read their e-book but nothing really affects my life.

I may even take notes and stew on them for a bit before moving on to the next interesting topic. This is great. I’m filling my creative well. The problem is I am merely stockpiling and not using my ammunition.

What To Do With The Ammo

If we are all honest, there may be a bravery issue here. But more than that I think we all need to be aware of our follow through. Is what we are learning, or doing for that matter, worth the investment of our time?

I want to do more. This includes an e-book, a new website, and producing podcasts within the next four months. This is what I must remember when I consider what my goals are and how I spend my time and what I am learning. Are they all in sync?

Is the information you learn from a book or podcast impacting your life? Is it merely information or is it transformative?

On Removing Impulse and Instilling Good Habits

My family traveled to upstate New York to visit my in-laws a few weeks ago. On vacations everything can be a little relaxed. The usage of time, personal goals, and of course being conscious about what I eat.

When I returned from the trip, I weighed myself. I am six feet two inches and for the last ten years I have hovered between 189 and 195 pounds. This time? It read a hefty 201. This may not seem like a big deal to you but we all have that weight we’ll never get to in a million years. Mine was 200. It came as a shock.

Photo Credit: avlxyz via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: avlxyz via Compfight cc

While writing down some new goals on fitness that I plan to begin next week, I pondered how I got to this place.

The reason? I was living on impulse.

When we traveled I gave little heed to what I was eating or drinking. I don’t usually have soda but I know I had plenty. Desserts? Of course. I’m spending time with family gathered around a table, so of course I’m going to have a few dozen cookies.

Also, I drove for over eight hours twice in a four day time period.

This was an extreme lack of discipline, one that came on with the suddenness of a summer storm.

Now, it’s back to good habits. Saying no to some things, like sleep. I need to finish this blog.

Where do you need to work on suppressing impulse and instilling good habits?

On Building A Passion Into A Discipline

Doesn’t Everyone Like This Too?

Have you ever loved a music album or book and thought, if only other people could hear it or read it they would love it? But then they don’t love it and you wonder how in the world that could happen?

This is how I feel about writing. I love it. I’m passionate about it. I could do it all day or night, and while I’d get tired eventually, I would certainly not tire of writing. When I had this thought for the first time I realized that writing is one of my passions and not everyone is passionate about the same thing.

Passions Are Unique

My wife likes math and has talked of possibly pursuing accountancy once the kids are a little older. I love my wife. More than anything in the world. But math, in nearly any form, makes me about as excited as I would be for a root canal.

I love that I’ve found my passion. Take a moment and think about yours. All of us have them. Usually, they are something in our wheelhouse, something we have some latent talent in. And they most certainly are something ingrained, that we enjoy.

It’s Up To You To Work At It

I dream about becoming a novelist. But I cannot just dream about it. I must take this unique passion I have and work at it. And work hard. I find so much joy and satisfaction from it and never want to cease doing it.

This requires discipline.

It requires showing up, maybe not here on my blog everyday, but movement toward my goal everyday.

I won’t be satisfied until I have that constant effort.



Need Inspiration? Get Uncomfortable.

We all have our routines. I get up at 6am, you sleep in until noon. You like tea in the morning, I like coffee. You drive to work while listening to sports talk radio and I listen to some form of audio book, every day. Our routines are great. But they can also be deadly to our inner artist. Let me explain.

If you read my last post, you know that things have changed in my life. And by that I mean sleep is a luxury and my novelizing has to be crammed into awkward nooks and crannies of my day. My ideal writing time is from 5:00am until 7:00am. But as my son turns in for the evening around 2:00am things have had to change and it has been a breath of fresh air.

A Little Manet Inspiration

My wife has been going to bed around 9:00pm. I have been staying up until around 2:00am and when she gets up I go to bed. I thought I would be exhausted each night and not have the energy to do anything. I was so wrong.

As it turns out, I really enjoy writing at night, more than I ever thought I would. It is writing time and that is always relished, but also a moment of quiet and peace and reflection. I can even read. All is quiet and I have ideas and writing projects that have been given new life because of this shuffle of time.

Writing is a disciple. Once developed you can build momentum and you may end up with an article, blog post, or novel that needs some serious editing. However, changing the time you write, what you write or what you read can help shake loose the cobwebs of complacency and allow great things to happen. It can allow your artist to wake up, paint something fresh and new, or even awaken your spirit to be bold.

Do you find your writing project growing cold and stale? Write from 9pm to 3am in the morning. Get up early and go on a walk before beginning your writing time. Do something to freshen up your life a bit, it may help relax your writing muscles and prepare you for the serious work ahead.