Motivation can be powerful for short term spurts of high intensity productivity. Discipline, however, is the key to long term success.
Motivation is fickle and requires constant attention. Discipline is reliable and becomes a way in which you lead your life.
What we’re lacking in the world isn’t sources of motivation—it’s self-discipline.
Type in “motivational video” into Google and you’ll get upwards of 13,000,000 results! And I’ll be the first to admit that most of the videos are incredibly motivational!
The problem is that motivation wanes fairly quickly and it is weak when challenged.
All it takes to throw off a persons motivation is a slight loss in sleep; a hungry tummy; an endless social media timeline; a phone call; a comfy bed… We’ve all been there.
“A man has to learn that he cannot command things, but that he can command himself; that he cannot coerce the wills of others, but that he can mold and master his own will: and things serve him who serves Truth; people seek guidance of him who is master of himself.” ~ James Allen
“You will never have a greater or lesser dominion than that over yourself … the height of a man’s success is gauged by his self-mastery; the depth of his failure by his self-abandonment … And this law is the expression of eternal justice. He who cannot establish dominion over himself will have no dominion over others.” ~ Leonardo da Vinci
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“Being on a spiritual path does not prevent you from facing times of darkness. But it teaches you how to use the darkness as a tool to grow.”
In the rush of modern life, we tend to lose touch with the peace that is available in each moment. World-renowned Zen master, spiritual leader, and author Thich Nhat Hanh shows us how to make positive use of the very situations that usually pressure and antagonize us. In his book, Peace is Every Step, Thich Nhat Hanh discusses solutions and action steps to universal challenges and issues that we face as humans. These challenges and issues include: overcoming anxiety, fear, and depression and how to feel more fulfilled, calm, and happy in the present moment; understanding anger and learning how to live in a more compassionate, blissful state; and bringing peace to both our inner and outer worlds with every step we take in life.
One of the fundamental lessons that Thich Nhat Hanh communicates in his book is that any large scale change – on a community or global level – must (and always) starts with the individual. Peace work is not a means, Nhat Hanh reminds us, it is the way. In the forward to the book, the Dalai Lama introduces this point and discusses the importance of becoming a more compassionate, mindful, and peaceful person and the ripples that our actions have on the larger scale. He says: Continue reading
Emotional poison is created by our reaction to what we consider injustice. Some wounds will heal, others will become infected with more and more poison. Once we are full of emotional poison, we have the need to release it, and we practice releasing the poison by sending it to someone else. How do we do this? By hooking that person’s attention.
Let’s take an example of an ordinary couple. For whatever reason, the wife is mad. She has a lot of emotional poison from an injustice that comes from her husband. The husband is not home, but she remembers that injustice and the poison is growing inside. When the husband comes home, the first thing she wants to do is hook his attention because once she hooks his attention, all the poison can go to her husband and she can feel the relief. As soon as she tells him how bad he is, how stupid or unfair he is, that poison she has inside her is transferred to the husband.
“Life isn’t meant to be completely safe. Real security, however, is found inside us, in consistent personal growth, not in a reliance on growing external factors. Once we extinguish our outside requirements for the things that won’t ever make us truly secure—a fat paycheck, an ephemeral sexual relationship, a shiny new widget—we can shepherd our focus toward what’s going on inside us, no longer worshiping the things around us.” ~ The Minimalists, Everything That Remains
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Step 1: Master Your Mindset
I see people become victims of their circumstances and life challenges all of the time. When life gets tough or depressing, most will adopt a negative perspective and think to themselves about how unfair life is: how they should have been born into better circumstances with more money; or how they should have been given better opportunities; or how things should have happened differently.
Well, the truth of the matter is that life is going to happen – sometimes for the better and sometimes for the worse. The one true thing that you will always have 100% control over is your response to these events. When you adopt a positive attitude and always look for the good in any given circumstance – how could you not move forward…? Below are some of our most popular posts on mastering your mindset! Start by reading these:
- 25 Life-Altering Quotes On How Mindset Changes Everything
- 20 Quotes To Help You Overcome the Obstacles You’re Facing in Your Life Right Now
- 15 Dalai Lama Quotes That Will Make You Think Deeply About Happiness, Suffering, and the Purpose of Life.
- 15 Power of Positive Thinking Quotes
- 10 Quotes from As A Man Thinketh
“Do you know how you can tell when someone is truly humble? I believe there’s one simple test: because they consistently observe and listen, the humble improve. They don’t assume, ‘I know the way.'” ~ Ryan Holiday, Ego is the Enemy
“Every time you sit down to work, remind yourself: I am delaying gratification by doing this. I am passing the marshmallow test. I am earning what my ambition burns for. I am making an investment in myself instead of in my ego. Give yourself a little credit for this choice, but not so much, because you’ve got to get back to the task at hand: practicing, working, improving.” ~ Ryan Holiday, Ego is the Enemy
“We don’t like thinking that someone is better than us. Or that we have a lot left to learn. We want to be done. We want to be ready. We’re busy and overburdened. For this reason, updating your appraisal of your talents in a downward direction is one of the most difficult things to do in life – but it is almost always a component of mastery. The pretense of knowledge is our most dangerous vice, because it prevents us from getting any better. Studious self-assessment is the antidote.” ~ Ryan Holiday, Ego is the Enemy
Sticking to a new diet or exercise regime is one of the biggest challenges people in our society face today.
One of the fundamental reasons why, I believe, is because most people commit to the change with the wrong time frame in mind.
In fact, I believe most people disregard the true timeframe that we should be committing to for any lifestyle change in general.
Let’s get this straight.
Temporary changes lead to temporary results.
Lifestyle changes lead to life-long results.
The fad diets you’ve tried? Temporary changes.
The incredibly intense workout regimes that only lasted a few weeks? Temporary changes.
The underlying principles for many of the fad diets and exercise regimes are sound and make sense but so many of them are incredibly unsustainable and aren’t made to last (for a lifetime).
Yo-yoing up and down and up and down through fad diets and hard workouts is frustrating.
Constant and never ending improvement is motivating.
How do we get there?