Last week I posted something to my social media that got a lot of likes and comments so I decided it would be the focus of this week’s blog post. Early one morning, when I was very tired, I wrote:
“Poor night of sleep, awoke at 2:30, decided to get out of bed at 3:30. Very tired when 5:30 rolled around. The LAST thing I wanted to do was run. BUT, I’ve learned that doing the right thing, the hard thing, is MOST important when you don’t FEEL like it. The moon was full, the run was good and it’s off to another great day.”
Can You Relate?
I’m sure you can relate to what I was feeling. We’ve all been there before. Maybe you stayed up too late watching television. Perhaps you had too much food and drink the night before. Sometimes you wake up and just don’t feel well.
Whatever the reason, we all have days when we don’t “feel” like doing things…even things we know will be good for us.
How our lives unfold is primarily a result of the choices we make. Stuff happens and some people have much more adversity to overcome. But never forget; no matter what you’re facing you always have a choice in how you will respond.
Viktor Frankl, a Nazi concentration camp survivor, learned this valuable lesson during his three years of imprisonment. I’ve shared his quote before but it’s worth posting again because I want to encourage you:
“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing; the last of human freedoms – to choose one’s attitude in any given circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”
No matter what, until your last breath, YOU get to choose where you will place your thoughts! And your thoughts will determine your behavior and that will be the driving force for your life.
Last week it would have been easy to hit the alarm and gone back to sleep. I’ve learned that we humans can justify almost any action. Maybe you can relate to these thoughts that ran through my mind:
- I’ll get the run in later today.
- I’ll hit it harder tomorrow.
- Skipping one workout won’t matter.
- Don’t be so hard on yourself.
To use healthy living as an example; one meal doesn’t make or break a diet. One workout doesn’t make or break training. It’s the accumulation of meals that makes the difference in gaining or losing weight. It’s the accumulation of workouts that make or break fitness. Each starts with a choice.
Friends say I’m one of the most disciplined people they know. I take pride in that because I’ve worked hard for decades on how I approach life and it’s nice when people notice that hard work. However, I know I’m no different than you or anyone else. I’ve not been endowed with a discipline gene.
I’m fortunate that I had good coaches and mentors along the way. If you have not had such luck, make it a point to seek out a mentor or coach today.
I’ve learned over the years what works and what doesn’t when it comes to my personal growth. I try to shed what doesn’t work, leverage what works, and remain open to new and better ways to approach things.
In other words, while I’m disciplined I try to maintain flexibility. If my routine has to change I’m okay with that because I’ll figure out a new routine that will serve me well.
Here’s my perspective; much of life is about sustained effort. In college I quickly realized studying consistently, as opposed to cramming, led to better learning and good grades. When I went off to college my dad told me to treat school like a business. Put in the work every day, all day, then you can have fun at night and on the weekends. He was right!
When it came to lifting weights or running, there were no “secret” workouts. It was a willingness to grind it out every day in a smart, disciplined way.
To Do This Week
To build the discipline that will lead to success in whatever you desire to do won’t be easy. I’m just being honest and you know it’s true. Change is never easy but it’s also not impossible. If it’s not impossible that means you can do it and it starts with a choice each and every day. Make the choice to the hard thing, the right thing, the thing you don’t feel like doing but know you should, and success will eventually make its way to your doorstep.
A couple of resources you might want to look into are the following:
- Pick up the book Atomic Habits by James Clear. It’s the best book on forming and breaking habits that I’ve read.
- Watch this video from Mel Robbins on The 5 Second Rule. She will encourage you that one decision can change your life.
Brian Ahearn, CMCT®, is the Chief Influence Officer at Influence PEOPLE, LLC. An international speaker, coach, consultant, and author, he’s one of only 20 people in the world personally trained by Robert Cialdini, Ph.D., the most cited living social psychologist on the planet when it comes to the science of ethical influence.
Brian’s first book – Influence PEOPLE: Powerful Everyday Opportunities to Persuade that are Lasting and Ethical – went live this sum. It’s been one of the top 10 selling Amazon books in the insurance categories and cracked the top 50 in sales & selling since launching.
Brian’s LinkedIn Learning courseshave been viewed by more than 75,000 people! His latest course – Advanced Persuasive Selling: Persuading Different Personalities – is now available so make sure you check it out.