motivational mondays – how bad do you want it?

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Life is a series of ebbs and flows. When tides rise, they fall somewhere else. When tides fall . . . well, you get it.

It can be easy to become complacent with our lot in life. Too easy, it seems, to simply roll with the tide. We get up. We go to work. We come home. We pursue pleasant distractions that enliven or deaden us (sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference). We go to sleep.

Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

Push that button, flick that switch, and we’re in cruise control. Doing the same thing interminably, hovering in second gear, barely aware of the tide or potential eddies we get stuck in.

paddle hard

Enough with the analogies. Time for jeffspeak:

Life’s fucking hard. Plain and simple. If it’s not hard, we’re not doing something right. “…that something is difficult must be a reason the more for us to do it.” (Rainer Maria Rilke)

I’ve fallen into the complacency trap so many times I’m embarrassed to even try counting. I don’t feel like doing or learning anything and the last thing I want to do is become self-motivated. I succumb to the overwhelming influence of Steven Pressfield’s Resistance.

Life’s constant challenges can continually confound us. But somehow, some way, we have to find a way to crawl out of these slumps. Sometimes it’s our own indomitable will (of which I tend to sorely lack). Sometimes it’s someone else telling us to wake the hell up. And sometimes it’s the offhand comment, the chance-read web article, seeing someone do something selfless, a good book, or any number of minute instances of incidental inspiration. Any number of things can pull us out of that swirling eddy and toss us back on the path we know to be right and true.

One of my mentors continually tells me that one of the only things worth living for is seeking constant improvement of yourself. Seek knowledge, seek health, seek humility, seek open-mindedness, seek love. Find answers. Find more questions. Continue improving.

So this begs the question: is there a way we can quit relying on outside sources and incidental inspiration and find a way to continuously do work we love?

seek self-discipline

This, I believe, is the hardest of all the things we seek, and is the ultimate answer to that question.

For three years I showed up every day to a 9-5 job, shirt tucked in, tie in a half-windsor with a smile painted on my face. For three years I cashed a decent paycheck twice a month, then wasted it on alcohol and entertainment. For three years I kept telling myself I would become a full-time writer some day. But I lacked the one thing that would enable me to do it: self-discipline.

Is self-discipline showing up every day to a job we aren’t passionate about? Is self-discipline doing work we don’t love for a cause we don’t buy into? For some, maybe – especially if you have others to support. But for me, in my position – and I know for many people who read this – no, that is not self-discipline. Subjugating dreams with job security because the former is too difficult is not self-discipline. It’s an excuse. And I did it for years.

Self-discipline is overriding those doubts. Is taking risks in the pursuit of passion, of dreams. Is not listening to that devil on our shoulder telling us we’re not good enough.

Self-discipline is dedicating our precious time to pursuing the life we want to live.

And the one question you really have to ask yourself is this: how bad do you want it?

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4 Responses to “motivational mondays – how bad do you want it?”

  1. cherylhuffer Says:

    You go Jeff Hirz!

  2. Ali Says:

    agreed! it’s all about taking risks and being self disciplined to follow through.

  3. Jimi Hirz Says:

    Nice.

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