Just because you’re not on top of the mountain doesn’t mean you can’t be appreciated for the things you’re doing to get there.

Zero Dean

Author | Photographer | CG Artist | Filmmaker

Q&A : 150425

Q&A : 150425

Asker: Hey Zero! I have a question. How do you, as a writer, artist, etc… Build up the courage/motivation/ have the discipline to keep on a task and complete the important ones?

Well, discipline is simply choosing between what you want NOW and what you want MOST. So it’s a matter of making sure you know what you’re priorities are and what’s most important to you.

Based on your priorities, you can then make a list of things you need to do in order to accomplish your goals — whatever they may be.

And remind yourself throughout the day, is this the most important thing I could be doing right now to push me towards my goals? If it’s nowhere near the top of your list for things you can do in that moment, you may want to reconsider.

Because if you don’t work on things that move you towards your goal, then it’s unlikely you’ll ever attain it.

So just make sure you know what you want and are taking steps to get there.

Asker: I currently attend college…and I am finding that I lack the discipline/motivation to do some work. Basically, I find myself in a pickle (aka I am lazy)…I have a “I don’t care” attitude towards a decent amount of issues…

Here’s a harsh fact of life: The universe doesn’t care if you don’t care. The universe is neutral. The universe is content to let you drift through life, accomplishing nothing. It doesn’t matter what you’re “excuses” may be, you won’t get special treatment.

A wise person once said, “The trouble with opportunity is that it always comes disguised as hard work.”

There really isn’t any way around that. If you want “luck” or want opportunities in your life, you need to take action and do something. You need the be the person that takes responsibility of your life. You need to be the hero of your own life story. Because there isn’t anyone else out there who is going to do it for you.

Being “lazy” and not caring is a dead-end street. You know this, or you wouldn’t have written. And the fact is, everyone is lazy at one time or another — so it’s normal. But if you really want to change and push forward, you need to find some motivation to do it.

The thing about motivation is that no one can really motivate you but YOU. I can provide you with some ideas and tell you to go for it, but whatever it is that sustains you through the difficulties you encounter in life has to come from you.

Asker: …I would like to do great in my classes, but I just don’t quite have the drive to do so.

Well, you’re not going to do great in your classes until you make your classes a priority.

Everything in your life right now is a result of your priorities. If you change your priorities to reflect the things that are TRULY of most importance to you, then your whole life will change.

Many people resist that because they don’t want to work (hard). But if you want to do well, then you need to do the things necessary to do well. Read, study, do your homework. Put in the time.

If you don’t do those things, you will not do well _by choice_. You choose to do something else rather than focus on your studies. And for that, you will have to deal with the consequences.

So yeah, please, focus on your studies (more).

Asker: …I would like it if I could get into the professional gaming industry, or at the very least, be able to attend tournaments, build my talent/skill for [game], win, and move to higher places. Now, the real issues that comes with this is that in order to make a living, I would have to qualify for being a top player years down the road, in order to win tournaments and make a profit from it. Now, this goal isn’t extremely realistic unless I dedicate my life towards it…

No, it’s not “realistic” (and what I’m doing with my life isn’t realistic either), but it’s not impossible. But you said it yourself, “unless I dedicate my life towards it”. And THAT takes a huge amount of discipline and commitment. And I say, if you want it, go for it. But if you don’t already have discipline and commitment in your life, dedicating your life towards something doesn’t necessarily give you that discipline or commitment.

Discipline and commitment are something you should work on every day. They are skills you can develop. And those skills can then be used for a whole variety of things. They will help open up your life.

Asker: …If I want to refocus reality here, I could always learn programming/gain my degree in computer science and potentially work for Capcom…I personally am skilled when it comes to finding solutions to others computer issues, so this would fit a more realistic style, but gaining the motivation to raise my math knowledge for Computer Engineering, Network Administration, Software Programming, etc… is my problem in the end.

Whatever you want to do, you need to find something that someone will pay you for. If you want to chase your dreams — whatever they may be — those dreams need to provide a way for you to survive. But whatever you decide to pursue, the benefit of pursuing something that truly interests you is that it seems less like work and more like play.

So yes, find something you want to do that you also feel you are suited for — or can become suited for by developing your skills.

It sounds to me a little like you aren’t quite sure what you want to commit to, so that’s difficult. I get it. But in the meantime, exercising your ability to have discipline and show commitment to things will make you much more capable of handling the things that the rest of your life has to throw your way.

So if you can find the discipline to do better in your classes, do better in your classes.

But don’t fool yourself into thinking that playing games for 48 hours straight is discipline. It’s not the same thing.

Asker: It also doesn’t help that I have a redundant teacher/who is also not concise either with the problems that matter most.

No, that doesn’t help. But another fact of life is that life isn’t fair nor convenient at all times. Sometimes people or teachers suck. And that’s where it’s YOUR job to suck it up and make the most of what’s available. Even if that means having to do the best you can with a bad teacher. That’s your opportunity to learn from the experience and become a better, stronger person in the process.

Asker: but my attitude towards the matter at hand doesn’t help either. I can’t always rely on others, and if I can muster up the strength and can complete tasks/study on my own, I can do whatever I set my mind to.

Yup. Exactly right. You know this stuff.

Life is tough. No one can look out for your own best interest as much as you can. you might get hit by a bus tomorrow. You might not.

You can try to get away with doing the least amount possible in life, but you’ll only get as much as you give (or less). If you put in little effort, you’ll get back very little. If you put in more effort, you’ll get more out of it.

Discipline isn’t something you find as much as something you recognize you already have within you. It’s not something you can go and buy. Just like six pack abs… they are not in THE product. They are already in you. It’s you that has to do the work to reveal them.

The same thing with discipline. DO the work. Make a commitment. Believe you can do it. And do it.

I hope this helps a little.

Zero Dean

Zero Dean

Author of Lessons Learned From The Path Less Traveled. Professional photographer. Filmmaker. Humorist. Into photography, art, kindness, compassion, and living beyond comfort. Normal is boring.