For most of us, the greatest struggle we have with inspiration is its apparent lack of persistence. We have a vision that motivates us: to have a beautiful body, to maintain a strong relationship with God, to develop a skill or to be successful in some way. The vision keeps us motivated, sometimes for quite a while. Then suddenly, we find ourselves wondering how we managed to go a month without working out, meditating or otherwise taking any action toward our goal.
The problem is that we’ve become distracted. The day to day realities of the path leading to our vision have obstructed our view of that vision. When we think about working out, we no longer think about the beautiful body we are going to have, we instead think of the cumbersome drive to the gym and the limited amount of time we have to do what we want. Because of these distractions, our vision can only sustain motivation for a finite amount of time.
The solution is self-discipline. Self-discipline is a scary word for some of us. This is because it is often misunderstood. Self-discipline is not about forcing ourselves to do what we don’t want to do. That type of discipline can only sustain us for a finite amount of time. And even worse, it often leads us to resent our own goals and visions.
The self-discipline I’m referring to comes from having faith in ourselves. It’s remembering that we set a goal that once inspired us. It’s trusting that our inspiration was well-founded and that it will motivate us again once self-discipline gets things moving again.
When motivation fails, don’t kick yourself in the butt. Have faith in yourself instead.