Discipline & Consistency

I struggle with many things in my life, but none bother me more than my poor work ethic. My work ethic sucks! It takes an absurd amount of self-prodding and cajoling to get me to get off my ass and do the work I’m supposed to do. I’m fine with shit like handling my day-job and taking care of home, but when it comes to the REAL work of life—the grinding/hustling work of building a career, working out, saving money, and creating a fulfilling social life—I. AIN’T. SHIT!

As much as I want to blame my parents, it’s not entirely their fault. It’s true that they never taught me about having, nor cultivated within me, a strong work ethic growing up, but I’ve been out of my mama’s house for 20 years now, and still I’d rather throw a stick at a park bench than saddown and do some work. I just hate working. I HATE it! But there’s absolutely NO getting around doing the work if I want to create something of myself. My mentality around work has to change.

But how? How does a full-ass adult begin the work of cultivating a strong work ethic? How do I, a man of almost forty, begin and learn to turn the T.V. off, put the wine and snacks down and cease the incessant social media scrolling, and start creating a habit of doing the work; particularly when I’m uncertain about where I want to go and who I want to be in the world? People, all the time, say “Just Do It”, but it’s never that simple; at least not for me. Distractions win out every time.

A few weeks ago I came across a motivational speech that Denzel Washington gave to a bunch of actors and two words he spoke just WON’T leave me alone: Discipline and Consistency.

Dreams without Goals remain dreams, and ultimately fuel disappointment. And Goals, on the road to Achievement, cannot be achieved without DISCIPLINE and CONSISTENCY.
— Denzel Washington

For some reason I cannot get those two words, and the power with which he said them, out of my head. Perhaps those are the keys to creating and building a positive and strong work ethic. Perhaps the practice of being disciplined and consistent in my work is the very thing that will ultimately fuel and solidify the success I seek. I need to have those words emblazoned on the forefront of my mind and let them be my guide.

It’s worth a shot, right?

JournalWill McNairComment