When you want to get in shape, you’re aware that you must build your body through baby steps. You lift weights, do cardio, and make it progressively harder.
But when it comes to the mind and our lives, we forget these principles. We think we can just wake up and be disciplined, committed, and focused because it’s a new year or Monday or whatever new day you decide you’re going to get it together.
Instead of approaching it like fitness, and building a plan to make it progressively harder, you expect perfection from day one.
I’ve put myself through this trap too many times. No amount of planners, visualizing, goal-mapping, or anything else actually builds the discipline required to make these come to life.
It’s the small, committed steps that make the biggest difference.
The next day that’s slightly harder than the day before.
How long have you ever lasted on a completely new schedule? Only a few days, right?
Same with the gym if you start out too heavy and overwhelming right away. You’ll pull muscles and want to start skipping the gym immediately.
I would also argue that it is important to build your mind for discomfort and hard life struggles we all have to endure. Too many people live lives of comfort, only to be crushed by life with the smallest setback.
Comfort is a killer. It kills dreams, goals, passion, and grit.
Note: Comfort is different than contentment. People confuse the two all the time.
Comfort = complacent. The definition is, “A state of physical ease and freedom from pain or constraint.”
Contentment = gratitude. The definition is, “A state of happiness or satisfaction.”
You can be satisfied with where you are, but complete freedom from constraint is not the right state of mind.
Being uncomfortable is a good thing, not a bad thing.
The problem is that a lot of us have struggles, but no purpose. When you’re focused and determined, struggle becomes easier.
Just being in pain all the time mentally or physically with no purpose is the root of an unnecessarily hard life. When you struggle in life and have nothing to work for, that is the root of some forms of depression. That’s when life seems unfair and thoughts of “why me?” begin to creep in.
Being in pain in the pursuit of something great makes the pain have a purpose.
Discipline is a great tool to build a quality life, but building discipline in the pursuit of a mission is what makes a legendary life.
Your mission can change, your goals can change, your passions can change, but never stop moving forward.
Whatever your goal is, you can make today harder than yesterday. You can build the beginning steps to achieving that goal. You can accomplish just a little more today than yesterday.