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Motivation and Self-Discipline


Low on Motivation & Self-discipline?


Read the article below written by Mrs. Arati Patil, NLP Therapist, Success & Mindset Coach at InsightsIAS, which narrates a sample conversation between the Coach ( Arati Ma’am) and the Student seeking help.


‘Motivation and self-discipline’

Let’s understand

Many students in the last 2 months of conducting online sessions have shared with me that, they have major issues maintaining consistency, and often go through phases of low motivation.

I am sharing a verbatim here to understand the process

Student: “I often go through these phases of low motivation, I don’t feel like studying and later feel guilty that I have wasted my time, also I decide to do many things, fix up my time table, I follow some, but next day I don’t do it. I procrastinate. Whenever I see or hear some motivational speech or thought I get up fully energized, but not able to maintain that for a longer time; sometimes also feel whether I will be able to do it or no”

Coach: “Ok ..before we get into understanding what you are not doing correctly, let’s look into a behavior/act that you do daily and consistently –like brushing your teeth. And how do you get the motivation and self-discipline to do that for so many years?

Student:” But I don’t need motivation or self-discipline to do that !”

Coach: “Ok, that’s why you are able to do that …let understand this”

While you were young your parents insisted you to brush your teeth, and may be you did it because of whatever consequences you had to face –that was your first motivation .But later when you grew up you continued to do the act of brushing for many reasons- may be worrying of bad breathe, or decay of tooth, eventually at some point you decided to do it by yourself and continued to do it because you realized your teeth are very important and you got to keep them clean.

Student: “Yes Mam”

Coach: “And you no longer need any motivation or discipline to brush your teeth…you simply do it every day, even when you get up from deep sleep, you go to the bath room and pick up the brush”

Student: “Yes, That’s true Mam”

Coach: “So this behaviour of brushing teeth has become a part of your unconscious and you keep doing it every day. This act might seem very trivial but we can learn from this and apply to many things that we want to do consistently.

Every behavior is driven by a value… here brushing teeth [behaviour] is driven by self-care/ Being healthy [Value].

Student: ” I never thought of this earlier”

Coach: “Yes. So, if you want to stay motivated, or do something consistently, understand what is your value that is driving you to do this behavior. Here in your case if you want to study and become an officer –which value of yours are you  trying  to  fulfill, whether it is Money, Power/Position or Service to the society etc ,it can be more than one values also, which one will be fulfilled ?.. and develop a strategy that works for you.

Student: “Mam ,I want to serve the people of this country”

Coach: “Ok Great , So now let’s look into the behaviors that are needed to fulfill this value”

Student: “But it is not so easy na Mam?

Coach: “Yes, it might seem true, but what makes you think it is not easy?”

Coach: “Resistance”

Coach: Resistance is not some part of you trying to stop you from having what you want. Resistance is just another part of you with a positive intent, with the goal of fulfilling another one of your values.

Student: ‘How is that?

Coach: ” Here for instance you may be “watching TV, or sleeping or meeting friends instead of studying – these behaviors that you are doing, you might feel are resisting you to achieve your goals, but they are fulfilling some other values for you and that might be pleasure/relaxation, or bonding. Resistance has a positive intention .It is a part of you  trying to fulfill your own other values.

Now instead of ignoring or negating this resistance, think of different behavioral choices you can have instead of these. And get clarity of the hierarchy of your values…ask yourself “what is even more important to me than this?”

Student: “That’s so true madam, I have already started to see my behaviors and what my values are.”

Coach:’ We can work on eliciting your values and aligning the behaviors in the further sessions”

Student: “Yes sure, Thank you so much madam”

Coach: “Thank you and Take care of yourself because you are important”



Most people think of motivation and self-discipline as those times when you’re energized, focused, but that’s not true. In other words, they’re temporary and will not last. Every  behaviour that we do is driven by a core value and we have many different values which may change during the course of our life time. To stay motivated we need to become aware of our top most values in the hierarchy of our values and then transform our resistances and align our behaviors to fulfill our value. Once we have congruence in our behaviors and our values we will stay motivated and happy.


Mrs. Arati Patil, NLP Therapist, Success & Mindset Coach, Internal Yoga Therapist