When we are motivated, disciplined and develop good habits around an idea that inspired us, we do great things. Why is it that, very often, we get an idea and feel SO inspired, but nothing ever comes of ‘it’? Maybe you’re like me and you manage to make something of it, but after a while you get bored, decide it’s too much work or it just doesn’t bring much satisfaction.
If you look at steps 1-4 as building blocks, where is it that you habitually fall off the wagon?
1. Inspiration gets us thinking. 2. Motivation gets us moving. 3. Discipline keeps us moving. 4. Great habits keep us inspired.
Of course, we do not have the time, resources or manpower to act on every good idea we have, but when we are truly inspired we contemplate and scheme about how to make ‘it’ happen. We think about ‘it’ a lot, and though we are not conscious of this, even as we sleep our brain organizes our thoughts and ideas (according to world renowned brain researcher, Dr. Caroline Leaf). Our brain literally begins acting on our inspiration. It’s only then that we have the motivation to get our ‘it’ off the ground.
I habitually fall off the wagon just after I’ve reached step #3. I get motivated and get the ball rolling. Sometimes, if I’m enjoying the process, I’ll develop the discipline to keep the ball rolling. As we all well know, there are pieces of everything we do that don’t bring us a ton of joy. We just want the end result!! It’s when I forget about how good the end result be, and allow my focus to get locked in on the duty of discipline, that I lose heart. I begin to feel like the duty IS the result of my inspiration. How silly!!
On the other hand, when I push through the dutiful, sometimes painful part of discipline, I slowly begin to enjoy the new habit because I can see ‘it’ coming to fruition.
Becoming aware of what gets me off track has helped me persevere and enjoy the benefit of inspiration that comes through a good habit. What does that look like?
Fortunately, the painful part of discipline doesn’t normally last forever because when we begin to see ‘it’ materializing we are inspired once again. Whether it’s playing an instrument, creating great relationships, writing a book, or reaching a career, political or humanitarian goal – to stay inspired, we must decide that it’s worth the effort. The skills of a great pianist slip if they do not play the piano regularly, but what once was a dutiful discipline is a creative outlet they now enjoy. Likewise, a relationship loses vitality when effort wanes but because it brings great joy it becomes easy to nurture.
Once we make these “great habits” part of our everyday life, we experience the joy of what they produce and that keeps us inspired!