There are things that catch your attention. What caught mine today was a meme, rather a motivational meme.
“If you don’t come out of this lockdown/quarantine with:
- A new skill
- A new side hustle
- More knowledge
Then, perhaps, you never lacked time. Maybe you lack discipline.”
How do you feel after reading this? Yes, there are bound to be an array of questions in your mind. However considering the current scenario and market position, isn’t it right to say that this motivational meme does carry a lot of weight?
Think of it, the market is at an all-time low. There is high uncertainty over when we will go out and the firms will start working. Profits have decreased, though some lucky people like us are working from home to maintain it yet I know a few people whose business depends on face-to-face interaction. For these people, everything has suddenly become stagnant. The worst part is that workers who depend on daily wages are workless. Forthcoming signs of something?
In such a scenario, isn’t it imperative for us to develop a new skill while neglecting our X-number of years work experience?
Donning a new skill is great, however, it requires a tremendous amount of discipline to put ourselves on that particular path. Discipline paves way for diligence, hence, a combination of both enables us to achieve what we started as a motivation.
However, the only thing here is do we have discipline? But before everything, what is the true meaning of discipline? Isn’t in today’s world, discipline a way of attacking our free will?
Pondering upon we take numerous classes, read books, and even opt to follow a few motivational pages. Then we begin with a bang! First day is a good one, second is fine, third is okay and by the fourth, we are back to what we were. Isn’t this true?
Okay, things are getting a little fuzzy here.
Though very similar for a layman, discipline and diligence are very different.
Discipline is control. It is a practice of training people to obey rules, conduct themselves to a certain behaviour.
Hence it comes as no surprise to see that discipline has its various sources to seep into your life. Most of the time, people try to achieve it by going into autopilot mode, which requires them to direct their behaviour by curbing their outside forces.
Think of it, how can you do the same thing again and again in your office, especially when there is no boundation on your presence?
Come do your job and get paid! This external factor of your salary-cut keeps you on the toes to be in the office irrespective of your mood. We pick this “trained” behavior from our childhood and we follow them repeatedly.
After reading this, don’t you think motivation is temporary but discipline is consistent?
Besides, having a strong internal discipline is of absolute importance. If you think that you are allowing external factors to maintain your discipline by imposing something on you; then, you need to think and ask yourself: Will you allow yourself to be governed by external factors for the rest of your life?
For sure, you cannot allow that! Hence, you have to try different ways of developing your own routine. In order to achieve that, you need to self-motivate.
Diligence means careful persistent work or effort.
Try to embrace it from this angle, a footballer like Cristiano Ronaldo or Leo Messi practice freekicks for endless hours. What is the conversion rate? They produce goals that we are unlikely to imagine. Messi’s goal against Liverpool in the first leg of the UEFA Champions League semi-final and Ronaldo’s free-kick against Arsenal in the same competition.
However, what exactly is diligence? I have recited these examples because for them diligence is devotion. Devotion is understanding. And, when you understand something, you stick to your commitments, find new inspirations, and work hard to make that thing come true.
Isn’t discipline and devotion related? They are!
When we engage discipline within ourselves, we train our minds in a way that it remains calm and undistracted from our various wandering thoughts.
Discipline and diligence are well described by a potter giving shape to wet mud to produce it in a shape of pot or a man endlessly rubbing an iron rod with cotton to produce a needle to sew his clothes.
In both the examples, discipline of the potter/man is the aim which compels them to do that particular work for endless hours until it is achieved.
The difficult part here is to feel that we are disciplined. It is very easy to lose faith in the process and feel let down by yourself. Albeit, do remember one thing that controlling your thoughts is the most difficult thing in this world but getting disciplined is an antidote to that.
So to conclude, to turn yourself into something different, perhaps a better version of yourself, you must diligently practice self-discipline by removing things that create distraction, so that you can garner the diligence required to achieve your goals/dreams.