Posts Tagged With: Discipline

Being Motivated

Discipline equals Freedom

Being motivated doesn’t have much to do with how you feel.  You can ‘feel’ motivated, but that doesn’t mean you are actually motivated.  Encouragement is when you’re having an emotional reaction to some outside stimulus.  You’ve heard a good word, you watched someone else achieve something and you want it for yourself, you’ve been encouraged by friends, family, doctors, co-workers, lovers, etc.  That’s all great, we all need encouragement at times.  We sometimes need someone to get in our face and tell us some hard truths, or whisper in our ear and plant dreams and ideas of something better than our current situation or state of being.  But, motivation is not an emotion, it’s a state of being.  The dictionary states: the reason or reasons one has for acting or behaving in a particular way; the general desire or willingness of someone to do something. It doesn’t say you feel good or feel bad.  Feeling good and/or feeling bad will drive the motivation, but it’s not the motivation. Motivation is the reason for the decision – it’s the driving force behind our actions in spite of how we feel.  Those actions will either make us feel good or bad, but our feelings are not our motivation.

Being motivated – making a decision for whatever reason – is not contingent on how we feel.  We don’t act because we are motivated, we are motivated to act because of decisions we make.

Motivation is a choice.  Motivation must be decided, and enacted, and that is done through discipline.  I am not motivated to work out because of how I feel. I am motivated because the facts are – I must work out to maintain a healthy state of being for my body.  Sometimes I ‘feel’ like working out and conquering the world, and other times I “feel” like lying in bed, eating pizza and hamburgers and being fed bon-bon’s by a handsome king.  So, my feelings are not what motivates me to get up every morning at 4am and head to the gym to work out – my knowledge and understanding of what it takes to remain healthy and active motivates me.  Being able to physically do the things I love to do like kayaking, dancing, having sex, etc motivates me to get up when I’m tired, when my body hurts, when it’s cold, when it’s lonely, when I didn’t sleep well, when progress is slow, when it doesn’t seem like anyone else in the world cares.  I go through the motions anyway – despite my feelings – because my motivation to achieve what I want is greater than how I’m feeling in the moment. That takes discipline.  As Jocko Willink says, “If you stop looking for a short cut …and find your discipline and your will, then you will find your freedom. Discipline = freedom.”

So, stop lying to yourself.  Stop whining about not being motivated because you’re feeling lazy.  You’re not motivated because you haven’t found your reason.  Stop waiting on how you feel and start looking for your reason, that reason that is going to push you forward on the days you want to retreat.  Start looking for that reason that will drag you on when you want to give up.  Start looking for that reason that will go beyond how you feel and hold onto it tightly. Put it in front of you every day.  Post it on your mirror, your fridge, your door, your office computer, your phone so you can see it every day – and let that TRUTH be your motivation.

Till next time,

~T.L. Gray



Categories: author T.L. Gray, blogging, Dream, Faith, family, friends, Health & Fitness, Hope, Life, love, Musing., Philosophy, Spiritual, T.L. Gray, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Keep Moving

Keep Moving

While my imagination loves fairy tales, magic, and the miraculous, my mind understands reality, and the reality is that if I want something or I want something to happen in my life I have to do it, to make it happen, make the choices needed, and then act on them.  Money doesn’t just magically appear in my bank account – never, not once did I find any extra currency in there – though I swear often that there’s an invisible troll taking a toll every time I use it.  Fat doesn’t magically dissolve in my body, though I sometimes think it magically appears. We know that isn’t the truth either.  Relationship’s don’t just begin or end without effort and/or neglect.  That reminds me of a meme I saw one time about cheating where a guy trips and falls on top of a woman exclaiming, “It was an accident!”  No, the accident happened with the momentum of texting, talking, smiling, and flirting.  That’s when the cheating first began.  By the time he ‘tripped’, he was already deep into the betrayal. There’s no accident about it.

What I’m trying to convey here is that I have to make a plan and set goals, make preparations for those plans and goals, make the choices that will help me achieve those plans and goals, and then have the strength and discipline to fulfill them regardless of how I feel or of convenience.  Nothing just magically happens.  Check marks don’t just appear.  Yes, sometimes the universe will bring me a surprise, but for the most part there are laws that govern this world much the way our natural laws govern our science and nature.  Facts are facts. Those laws are that we reap what we’ve sown.  The key is …we have to sow. We have to plant. We have to water. We have to make sure we get the right amount of sunlight.  We have to protect our gardens.  We have to pull up our own weeds.  We have to make sure we put the right kind of shit in the ground. We can’t plant one thing, yet expect it to grow something else, though we do. Man, I can’t tell you how many times I see this on a daily basis – this belief in reverse magic, in magical harvests, in expecting and wanting what we didn’t plant, earn or deserve.  It’s crazy.  Our society is so franchised, so drive-through, so … I want it my way, and I want it now, but don’t ask me to plant, grow, etc. I want YOU to prepare it for me.  I just want to lay back in my perfect body, consume what I want, when I want, not face a consequence, not lift a finger, not work for it, and yet have the strength and blessings of the gods.  How arrogant we are.  Yet, we will tell ourselves that’s NOT what we expect.

Come on, be real. Isn’t it what we expect?

This world is a beautiful and ugly place at the same time.  Over the past few weeks I have seen many, many, many examples of love, compassion, charity, respect, and bravery from people – and I’ve seen selfishness, hate, fear, depravity and gluttonous greed. Life is complex and complicated in its simplicity.  But somewhere in the balance there is peace.

I have to keep moving. I have to keep working, and hoping, and praying, and expecting, and sowing, and reaping.  I have to keep making choices every day that are going to help me or hinder me, bring me life or frustration, to help me thrive or knock me off course. If I fall, I have to choose to get back up.  If I run, I have to learn to rest.  If I fear, I have to be brave.  If I’m empty, I have to fill myself. If I have the opportunity to love, I choose love. I have to keep dreaming, I have to keep planning, and I have to keep seeking my balance, my peace, and my happiness.  As much as I wish I could say a magic word and it be done, I know that’s not the reality of it – and I have to keep moving.  In this selfish world, my joy comes from choosing to love, to find purpose, to give, and to serve.  I have to choose it. I have to do it.  I decide to make my bed first thing in the morning, to love instead of run in fear, and then take the next step, and then the step after that, and so on.  I have to keep moving – THAT’s when I’m most happy.


Till next time,

~T.L. Gray

Categories: author T.L. Gray, Blog Post, blogging, Fairy Tale, Faith, family, friends, Life, love, memes, Muses, Philosophy, relationship, Relationships, respect, Spiritual, T.L. Gray, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Murphy’s Law of Distractions

Isn’t it one of those Murphy’s Laws – that as soon as set yourself to do a specific task, a thousand other things appear to pull you away? If ever there was a clear stumbling block for writers, this would be the most popular. Only the utmost dedicated and disciplined will be able to navigate through the distractions and make it to the finish line.

While we all have our own methods and practices, I’ve developed a personal routine to help minimize the distractions in my own writing life. Murphy continues to bombard me daily with new and inventive distractions, but that only gives me more opportunities to strengthen my resolve.My Routine:

·After I’ve exercised my body, spent time in prayer to nurture my spirit, I then enter my office, close the door (to keep out pets and other family members), and fire up my synapses by writing on my daily blog. Before I begin, I close my email program, silence my phone and log off all internet browsers. Nothing causes more distractions than an email or Facebook notification popping up on screen in the middle of creation.
·Next, I allow myself a block of time to interface, post, market, network, promote, communicate, and surf the internet. In other words …do the ‘business’ part of being a full time writer.
·Then I usually break for lunch. At this time I leave the office (this is important to catch my second wind) to eat, perhaps exercise and read a little bit of my current book, talk to a friend, or sometimes take a little nap.
·The next stage is VERY important, and usually the hardest part: I re-enter my office, check my emails, check my social networks, check my blogs, but for only for a limited time. THEN, I must CLOSE them all off again, and put my fingers to the keyboard and allow my gift to shift into gear to labor on my current WIP (Work In Progress).
·The last stage, which I think is most important – about 4-5pm, I cease being writer, author, entrepreneur and become wife, mother and friend. It is of the utmost importance that we don’t live our lives in our work, but bring a balance to the whole. In order to effectively write about life, we need to live it. To effectively write about relationships, we need to have them. To effectively write about overcoming, falling, picking ourselves back up, making mistakes, or learning important life lessons, we have to experience them. Find what works for you.

Please keep in mind, even though we set up a productive routine for our lives, we must remain flexible. Life happens when it happens, and it doesn’t care for the schedules we make for ourselves. There is no “Writer’s Hell” waiting for us if we bend the rules from time to time, or get off schedule to deal with life. However, and this is KEY to being productive and getting those projects checked off your list, we MUST be self-disciplined and self-dedicated to get back on schedule as soon as possible. Writer’s MUST be self-motivated and self-reliant. Only ‘we’ can write what we were meant to write and the responsibility of production remains with us.

What is your schedule like? Do you wonder why you just can’t finish that novel you’ve been working on for years? You might find the problem is in your routine.

Till next time,
~T.L. Gray

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Dis – What Was I Talking About?


Distractions! Nothing stops progress more than interruptions. Most often, the greatest appetizing diversions always occur when you’re facing a deadline, or the finish line, of a huge project.  However, failure to meet our goals is not the fault of the diversion.  WE are accountable, WE are in full control of our choices, and WE are the one responsible to make the decision to allow, or reject, the distraction.
Not all distractions are bad.  Some are a welcomed reprieve; a change of pace to re-store energy, re-charge and re-focus.  A vacation, an afternoon nap, a celebratory evening are all good examples of good distractions.  However, just as important is the discipline to return to the tasks at hand.
Examine your latest goals, and then try to identify the biggest distractions that have kept you from reaching that goal. 
Go ahead, do it now.
Now that you know what they are, use your creativity and wisdom to manage them.
You still there?  I hope you weren’t distracted.
Till next time,
~T.L. Gray
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