Acquiring the information on how to get a flat stomach is the easy part of developing a lean flat tummy.
The difficult part is developing the self-discipline to follow-through on the information.
Self-discipline is indispensable to the attainment of your objective. In order to develop self-discipline, you need the motivation to get yourself into action. In order to motivate yourself, you need the desire to develop a flat stomach. In order to desire, you must first have a goal.
You desire because you have the goal of getting lean, sexy abs.
Self-discipline versus Motivation
I bump into over-zealous productivity junkies all the time. The stereotypical productivity junky is a guy, who knows all the self-improvement techniques, but never gets around to implementing those techniques.
They collect volumes of self-help books. They watch Oprah Winfrey and are subscribed to online Success Universities. I am never surprised when, productivity junkies quote me lines from Tony Robbins, Robert Kiyosaki or Napoleon Hill’s epic “Think and Grow Rich.”
Yet, these productivity junkies are not rich. Their midsections do not resemble the chocolate bars which, they vociferously theorize about.
What is the point I’ve been trying to make in the last three paragraphs?
STAY AWAY FROM THE PRODUCTIVITY JUNKIES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
What’s my tussle with productivity junkies?
These rookies claim that, self-discipline is more important than the ability to motivate yourself.
Let’s put a full stop to this ludicrous contention.
“The ability to motivate yourself is more important than the ability to discipline yourself because you need self-motivation in order to get self-discipline.”
Re-read the above statement and take it literally. The issue here is not whether motivation is more important than self-discipline. Rather, the issue is whether, the ability to motivate yourself is more important than the ability to discipline yourself.
Since, we are delving into academic playground of theories. We might as well define these terms.
MOTIVATION – Motivation is that EMOTIONAL state of enthusiasm, which gets you performing an activity because you FEEL like doing it.
SELF-DISCIPLINE – Self-discipline is that MENTAL state of commitment, which gets you performing an activity REGARDLESS of your feelings.
You are self-disciplined, if you can get yourself to do what, you planned to do whether, you feel like doing it or not. Whether you are enthusiastic or depressed, happy or sad. When you are disciplined, your feelings have ABSOLUTELY NO bearings on your actions.
We naturally operate in cycles of motivation and lackluster. Every now and then, you get all motivated and pumped up about something only to have the excitement evaporate soon after. The motivation is so often short-lived that, you find yourself perplexed and baffled _ you just can’t figure out where, all that enthusiasm went.
You also have cycles of self-discipline and procrastination.
Yes, you do have bouts of self-discipline.
Here is a simple example to help illustrate the fact that, you have periods of self-discipline.
The average gal can hold her breath for about 30seconds. Just about everybody can do this. However, it takes training and skills to hold your breath for more than 4minutes.
You know those days when, you drag yourself to work; even though, you do not feel like it. That’s you being self-disciplined. Do you remember your occasional burst of productivity on the verge of a deadline? You hurriedly completed your term paper or some other project. That was you being self-disciplined.
So, you see! You have self-discipline. Yes, even you!
Every Jane swings between periods of self-discipline to periods of procrastination.
You do not want to be every Jane. Jane Average does not achieve goals. Jane Average won’t be wearing a bikini come summer. But you will.
And to guarantee that, you need consistent self-discipline. NOT OCCASIONAL BOUTS OF DISCIPLINE. In fact, what you really need is a habit. But that is out of topic.
Right now, our focus is clarifying why, the ability to motivate yourself is more important than, the ability to discipline yourself.
Develop Keystone Habits
To clarify this point, let’s begin from the beginning.
Everything starts with the identification of a goal. Desire comes from the identification of a goal. Then you get excited (motivated) about achieving that goal. Now you have to develop self-discipline and acquire the required information to achieve the goal. Finally, you have to WORK i.e. you have to implement the information.
As you can see, each attribute builds on its predecessor.
You will not be motivated; unless, you desire to have a flat stomach. You cannot develop self-discipline; unless, you can generate motivation.
You do not need much discipline in order to acquire simple information on how to get flat stomach. But if you were pursuing a more complex goal like running a successful business; then, you would need a gigantic amount to self-discipline to acquire the know-how.
You cannot do the required work; unless, you have the self-discipline and the knowledge to do it.
Both motivation and discipline are relevant to develop a flat belly. However, motivation is more relevant because you need it, in order to develop self-discipline.
How exactly is self-discipline born out of motivation?
Motivation is the mother of self-discipline. And life is breath into self-discipline by pre-commitment.
Pre-commitment is an umbrella term encompassing a set of self-discipline techniques.
You might have heard the story of the 15th Century Spanish Conquistador Hernando Cortez. When Cortez landed on the shores of Mexico, he assembled his men and ordered the ships burnt, after unloading the supplies. As the ships went up in flames, he told his men that, they were either going to conquer the city or they were going to perish.
Burning all the bridges behind you is the ultimate zenith of pre-commitment.
Every pre-commitment technique is based on the same core principle used by Conquistador Hernando Cortez, 5 centuries ago.
What is the core principle?
Simplify your tactic into two options.
Either Follow Through on Your Plans
Face Dire Consequences
When it comes to developing lean, sexy abs, there are not bridges to be burnt. On the other hand, you can use another pre-commitment technique called self-talk.
Self-talk is just what it says. It is the art of talking out loud to yourself.
Suppose you want to develop the self-discipline of doing your cardio and crunches every day. You can use self-talk to psychologically tweak your mind into a heightened state of resolve _ the resolve to exercise on a specific hour the following day.
To perform self-talk, stand in front of a mirror. Speak out loud to yourself. Give yourself all the solid reasons why, you must absolutely do your crunches the next day.
If you have ever procrastinated, then you are a master of self-talk. For you, self-talk is nothing new. Before you procrastinate, you must first rationalize.
You know those brilliant excuses which, you make up in order to avoid action. Over time, procrastinators become so good at rationalizing that, they do not even realize that, they are doing it. They just do it automatically _ at an almost sub-conscious level.
Those fantastic excuses are nothing more than rationalizations. Now, guess what self-talk is?
Self-talk is rationalization.
The only difference is that you consciously use self-talk to get into action.
You rationalize to procrastinate. You use self-talk to get yourself into action.
Get your self-talk going every night before you go to bed. Self-talk is extremely powerful under two unbeatable conditions:
1. Tell the truth
2. Get emotionally worked up
Your self-discipline will tremendously skyrocket, if you use self-talk under these two conditions.
Remember, self-discipline is indispensable to developing a flat stomach. Motivation is indispensable to developing self-discipline.