by Jon Biddle

Do you sometimes sit a wonder why things in your life just aren’t working on the trajectory you had hoped?

When the goals go amiss, motivation goes haywire. You feel paralysed with fear, jealousy, inferiority. Everything grinds to a halt, like a car that has lost its drive. You can’t move forward. Procrastination creeps in, furthering your shame and guilt. Sound familiar?

The root cause which is an incorrect assumption is there’s no motivation, and why is that?

It then gets very difficult to fight your way back into focus. You actually spend the afternoon totally out of whack. Your thought pattern is not there. You allow for distractions.

Motivation is one thing, but it’s discipline creates that momentum. It’s discipline that is lacking here.

This is one of those areas that gets people off guard and thinks it stands on its own. This attentive focus leads to a better day. Less frustration, less burning fingers. This gives you greater control of the aspects of your day that influence it. This gives you greater hold of your mind at peak power. With discipline comes accountability.

The first prerequisite of building discipline is change. The old way of thinking stays in place, the patterns of the mind remain oblivious, until you decide to make changes for the better. We are all taught in a way that our parents think is right and that isn’t your path. It never has been, and thinking that it locks us in this pattern forever is a fool’s errand that lacks any scientific balance.

Neuroplasticity contradicts everything you thought was right about your way of thinking. The brain is designed to be manipulated, it’s designed by evolution to change.

You can change.

Let me try to explain further – an alcoholic won’t understand that they have a problem. It is difficult for them to see themselves as they presently drink, thinks that they are still in the dark, and the light isn’t getting in. The drink quells the voices, takes the mind to distant planes in the brain. Keeps you from being present. This has always been their mindset, until it changed, when things shifted in their direction.

Eckhart Tolle said there is nothing but the now. It’s all we have. The past is the past and can never be changed; the future has yet to happen, so there is nothing but the now. Yet we agonise over the past and the future.

There is no quick guide-book to change the mind-set that keeps you that way. The inner workings of the brain is a carefully designed piece of equipment that makes you hold the focus of your life. It’s like the equipment gets reprogrammed. Once the equipment is reprogrammed, fresh material replaces the old. This means that someone must make the decision that the status quo is not acceptable. Excuses always come up, and you must expect them!

This is the first key in trying to build discipline.

It’s really easy to get caught up in the trap of “not being able to change” but once you decide to change the status quo, you can. And the first obstacle to overcome comes out of your own mouth. You say “I am miserable.” Okay, so what is the fix to this problem? If you acknowledge the misery, why would you want to stay in it when the world can give joy and you can change?

First, don’t beat yourself up. Pull up your socks and stop the blame game. You need to realise you changed, and that this is a new mindset.

So, simply recognise that blame, shame, fear, guilt comes from the wrong mindset. This is all related to your inner critic and is an internal schism. It is one of the most debilitating things in the human psyche, much like a leaky bathroom.

So what is the fix? We can go way back in our life and locate it, but this takes time and effort, I have been in therapy for seven years for the first four years, once a week. Therapy is a long, long journey and unless you’re in it for the long haul, you may just need a bandaid (not what I would recommend.)

First, bring to light your reality of the situation and your role in it. Acknowledge that the voice in your head is filling you with fear, failure, shame and guilt. Spoiler alert, this isn’t you. It’s your inner critic. Take control, get angry if you have to, and tell that voice in your head to stop because you’re in control.

Why would anyone want to delay their happiness? This is not a negative. Once you have scrutinised your current status, you can find a solution to positive change. Many times I hear people say they don’t know why they do anything. I’m not suggesting that they don’t have an answer to this question. But they were once not even aware of this. Knowing what or how you are motivated is one of the first things available to choose. What I mean is this, if you are determined to change your lifestyle, motivation is the first thing to change, and this comes in the guise of discipline because motivation needs fuel. Like a car. Without gasoline, you’re going nowhere quickly.

Discipline is the fuel to your motivation.

No change’s you make to your current pathway are easy, I won’t lie to you. There will be times that you just want to turn-over in bed, sometimes the drudgery of your goals and aspirations seem to be too far in the distance. Sometimes, people will affect you too. But again, it’s not the people that are affecting you, it is yourself, everything you are feeling is an internal mechanism.

So, you have to sacrifice. You have to pay the ferryman for whatever you want to change as the universe needs to know that your intentions are honorable, that you mean business and what you want to change isn’t just on a whim.

Earn your rewards – You have to want it. You have to want it because once you do, you will never look back.

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