The gap between zero and one. What an interesting concept that is. If you think about it for even just a little bit, it becomes profound. The difficulty of jumping that gap keeps most of us from ever doing anything at all. A similar concept is that the pursuit of perfection is the barrier to progress in everything. The people who can consistently jump the gap from zero to one are the people who have the best obituaries. They DO things. They don’t let the idea that doing something might not work out ever stop them. They DO things. You can’t wait for inspiration, it doesn’t come nearly often enough. You have to just DO things. If you want to be a writer, you have to write. If you want to be a programmer, you have to code. Sitting on zero, hoping for inspiration, gets a lot of nothing done and leaves us exactly the same distance from one that we were in the beginning.
Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishments. Jim Rohn
Discipline comes before motivation, not the other way round. If you want to be good at something (or perhaps your goals are less lofty and you want to just not suck), you have to have the discipline to work on that thing, even during the times you aren’t motivated. You can’t let the hours escape you, waiting for inspiration because it’s just not dropping by very often.
Discipline helps with jumping the gap between one and zero as well. In fact, it’s of paramount importance there. Quitting something is always harder than doing something less. Ask a ex-smoker or a recovering alcoholic. Discipline seems to be the most important quality you can achieve. Unfortunately, in this day of constant divided attention and the shiniest of shiny things at every turn, discipline is the most rare quality as well. Finding the strength of character to achieve discipline makes all the difference in the world though.
This post, full of irony, was inspired by Ze Frank.