I’m a big proponent of self-discipline and willpower. Not because I have so much of it, but because I have a little and I’ve seen what it can do. And I want more of it. Instead of bragging about how much I’ve achieved from it I’d like to give you a little practical advice that helped me get a little more grit.
A few years ago on his massively popular podcast, Adam Carolla had the following advice for a caller, “Don’t get down on yourself, get tough on yourself.” I can’t rightly remember what exactly the caller was trying to achieve, but it was some version of what we’re all working on e.g., lose weight, exercise more, and in general avoid the myriad temptations to selfishness and indolence with which the modern world is fraught. In short, the guy was trying to be a better version of himself. It’s a task that requires a lot of willpower and, if you ask me, a certain amount of divine intervention for many of us.
So what, do these words mean?
Getting down on ourselves is what we do when we wallow. It’s the voice of despair. When you get down on yourself, you’re saying “I can’t do this.” Listen to this voice long enough and you’ll stop trying. This mindset is a tool of the Devil.
Being rough on yourself is what winners do. You know you’re capable of getting up and working out (or whatever you’re trying do or not do). You speak to yourself like a drill sergeant. Give me 10 more you stupid sack of elbow fat (my inner drill sergeant doesn’t like to make the swears). You push yourself because you know you can do this. You know you can write another blog post even though you’re tired and your elder son is watching a stupid YouTube video where you watch someone ELSE play a video game you don’t own.
Come on, princess! I need more words out of you. Bring home the conclusion to this piece.
Your inner drill sergeant doesn’t take no for an answer. He wants you to get over that wall and rip the enemy’s guts out. Your inner naysayer? That is the enemy.
Don’t take it easy on that son of a blender!