Monday, March 16, 2009
desperately seeking discipline
I wonder why it is that I am unable to exert self-discipline, and I am unclear about how motivation factors into the equation. For instance, I am strongly motivated to sell a lot of Pampered Chef for at least three reasons: income (needed badly), the achievement of a particular goal (earn a free trip to Disneyworld), and the satisfaction of doing well. And yet, I just can't get myself to the phone to make calls to schedule shows. There's a discomfort in making those calls, even though I know in my head that there shouldn't be. Some old experience or perception seems to loom so large that motivation shrinks in its presence. I can sometimes manage bursts of discipline when energy and attitude align, but such moments don't last.
The coach of a basketball team that lost a tournament round by a game-ending-buzzer basket commented that her team lost because they hadn't wanted the win badly enough. Bugger-all, what an insult to the team. In any game there will be a winner and at least one loser. There ARE times when a team or an individual doesn't give their all in their performance, and in such cases the loss can't be mourned. Giving our all doesn't guarantee results, and motivation (or the lack thereof) is not necessarily the culpit. I'm not suggesting that I am giving my all (I know I'm not)--just raising the question about how the two are connected.
Am I looking at this the wrong way? My friend Kathy always talked about "completing the transaction," a practice she internalized through her father's mantra. It worked for her, she completed tasks. But as many times as I heard her say it, and even as I hear her voice in my head, the phrase and her example aren't sufficient to affect my behavior. Perhaps she had the discipline gene, and mine is somehow impaired.
What do you think? This inquiring mind wants to know.