Tag Archives: communication

Intent, Motivation and Discipline…

It’s New Year’s Day, 2018 and I’m not gonna lie… I’m pretty happy about makin’ it through another full cycle of the Gregorian Calendar!

It’s nice!

I slept in this morning.

Watched the Rose Parade –

And, No! The weather is NOT always what you witnessed on television if you were watching the Parade with me this morning!

It gets cold… And, it does rain!

OK… It doesn’t rain as often or as much! Nor, does it get as cold as it probably gets where you are! But, still – for those of us who have been here for a while and become acclimated: it’s cold for us!

Aside from that, it’s insanely expensive to live here! And, despite what you’ve heard, we do have four seasons, just like everybody else – they’re just different!

You have Winter, Spring, Summer and Fall…

We have Fire, Flood, Earthquake and Mudslides! Something to think about before you call a realtor tomorrow after you’ve finished shoveling your way out of the house…

We had breakfast. And, I read as much of the paper as I was able to. Most of it was a reprise of the previous twelve months, and most of that was too damned depressing to revisit having already lived through it once!

Then, I visited my Inbox and deleted more than ninety-percent of the emails that were waiting for me there.

Most of what remained was focused on the New Year’s Resolutions you either should or should not make for the coming year.

Like most everything else: these emails provided an endless supply of mostly meaningless content. Uninvited content, spilling into your life like the overflow of an unattended bathtub: A tidal wave of bubbles, soap and water, that can leave you sitting on the floor, soaking wet and gasping for air!

It isn’t that I’m immune to the fact a new year begins again this morning, and with it a universe of new opportunities. In all honesty, I’m as excited about this an anyone else. I just don’t see it in the same way!

I see my life as a continuum: a continuing thread of events, challenges and opportunities that doesn’t artificially come to a screeching halt on December 31st.  And, then, slowly, begins its battle to overcome the Inertia of Rest again, at 12:01 AM, on January 1st!

For me, every day brings with it the Challenge of Choice: What to do, when to do it and, when to have it finished by.

Every day is a battle between Intent and the Inertia of Rest! Between the desire to accomplish something of consequence and a natural willingness to wait: wait until the time is “right…” Wait until the necessary resources have become available… Wait until the demand is overwhelming… Wait until later this afternoon or maybe even tomorrow.

It isn’t a matter of motivation or discipline either… At least, not for me!

Discipline isn’t the problem, not if discipline is all about using negative reinforcement to force desired behavior. Once I’ve accepted a responsibility, the problem isn’t getting me to continue until it’s completed… The problem is getting me to stop until the commitment is satisfied!

I don’t have a problem with motivation either. In fact, when it comes to motivation, I think I’m pretty much in agreement with what George Carlin had to say on the subject!

“What happened here? Suddenly everybody needs to be motivated? It’s a fairly simple thing. Either you want to do something or you don’t. What’s the big mystery? Besides, if you’re motivated enough to go the store to buy a motivation book, aren’t you motivated enough to do that (whatever it is you want or need to do) so you don’t need the book?

Put it back.


Tell the clerk “I’m motivated”, “I’m going home”.

So, I’m not sure what this Intent, Discipline and Motivation stuff is all about, and why it seems to come bubbling to the surface of our collective consciousness just once every year: pretty much today, and today only.

Why it isn’t an integral part of our being all year round…

It seems like we’d all get a lot more accomplished if we just kept working away at our goals and objectives. If we didn’t all agree on some artificial place to stop and review an arbitrary piece of our past efforts.

Don’t misunderstand…

I think reflection is good. Great, in fact!

I think it’s one of those inherently human characteristics that separates us from the rest of creation.

In fact, I think it’s so important, it shouldn’t be constrained to just once a year!

Now, the question is: What do you think?

Dancing With the LIZARD…

Seth Godin calls it ‘the Lizard.’

Steven Pressfield refers to it as ‘the Resistance.’

I haven’t come up with a clever nickname for that annoying monologue that keeps running in my head… The one constantly trying to convince me that I shouldn’t… Or, can’t… Or, couldn’t… Or, won’t!

The one that rejoices in crushing my ambition by continually undermining my self-confidence, with taunts of: You are sure to fail… You will certainly hurt yourself… Everyone will laugh… Why would you even want to… And, my personal favorite:

What makes you think you will succeed when and where everyone else – everyone smarter, stronger and infinitely more intelligent – has failed!

Have you heard that still, small voice whispering to your conscious mind from safe within the confines of your subconscious? Have you been formally introduced?

However you choose to identify it: whether you call it the Lizard or the Resistance or anything else you think might be appropriate, it’s hard to coax the little bastard out in to the open so you can confront him. She’s a lot more comfortable in the dark: infinitely more secure when he can poke at you from the icey blackness of your worst nightmares.

The problem is impunity! She likes it… It suits him… She’s used to the dark. Most comfortable when unchallenged!

Over the years, my relationship with the Lizard has been contentious at best, completely debilitating at its worst!

I don’t keep score… I’m not sure I ever have… But, until very recently I’m sure the wretched little beast was ahead on points. But, with the help of Seth Godin and the altMBA Program, I’m certain that is no longer the case. In fact, I’m convinced I have developed the tools necessary to at least break even when it comes to conquering my worst fears!

What I’ve learned is simple enough – a lesson I should have been able to take from the Mindfullness Movement or from Zen – And, that is to embrace the Fear: to accept it, appreciate it for what it is. What I learned was to recognize the immutable fact that engaging the Lizard in battle: in direct confrontation, will more than likely result in defeat!

The Resistance has no interest in logic or reason! The Fear has no language skills, nor does it have an interest in developing any! The Lizard is real! It is primal and has learned its craft well after millenia of perfect practice!

There is no real chance of defeating her! There can’t be… You exist in the Frontal Cortex and he owns the dark, hidden and obscure convolutions of the Amygdala!

To over come the Fear… To defeat the Resistance and subdue the Lizard… The only chance you have is to accept her, embrace him, acknowledge its existence and then dance with her! That’s right! Walk directly up to the Lizard, bow, extend your hand, pull him close, embrace her and then follow the music of your head and your heart…

What you cannot do… What you must not do… Is allow The Beast to lead! What you must guard against with every ounce of strength, every fiber in your body, is allowing Fear to dictate the terms, conditions, nature or tempo of the dance!

Lead and the Dance is yours… Lead and the Resistance will have no other alternative than to follow…

And, yes, this explanation… This admonition… Was written as much for me as it was for you!