The Home of Steven Barnes
Author, Teacher, Screenwriter

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Feeding your hungers

Feeding your hungers

"How are you so disciplined?" People ask me that all the time, wondering how I get up so early, hit the ground running, care for my family, manage my internet business, manage my career, do my daily pages, meditate, exercise, and so forth. Every damned day. And the truth relates to something I learned from my mother, a long time ago: the more reasons you have to do something the easier it is to "motivate" yourself to do it.

The answer I give people is: "I don't have motivation. I have hunger. I don't have to motivate myself to exercise any more than I have to motivate myself to order a spicy tuna roll." My mouth WATERS at the idea of a spicy tekka maki. I've told students for years that if you have a single motivation to accomplish something, you probably won't. If you have five or ten reasons? Better. How about a hundred? You'll do it for sure.

But you may only need seven. Look at the seven basic levels of your existence. If every basic goal connects to every basic level, it is EASY to maintain discipline. So choose goals in each of the four basic area: body, mind, relationships, finances. Then one at a time look at each of them.

1) How does your goal relate to your survival?

2) How does your goal relate to your sexuality?

3) How does your goal relate to your power and sense of security and influence on your environment and family?

4) How does your goal increase your ability to share and experience love?

5) How does your goal increase your ability to communicate honestly with yourself and the world?

6) How does your goal increase your capacity to learn and understand reality?

7) How does your goal create value that extends beyond your own death?

If your goals don't relate to all seven areas, perhaps you shouldn't have them at all. But if they've just found another secret.


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