During my school age years, I was always a good student. I loved to learn and... I still do! My parents gave me money for every "A" that I made too. That, to me, was bonus. I liked being the "smart one" in class.
Funny enough, the worst grades I received were in behavioral conduct. It seems that I was quite the social butterfly and talked too much in class. Who ME?!
I'll never forget the first "D" I brought home on my report card. I was DEVASTATED. It was in high school physical science and I still feel nauseous when I think of that class. I remember the infamous "bomb drop" exam where we had to memorize a shit ton of formulas to figure out how to reach a certain target if a bomb was dropped from a plane overhead.
My dad giggled at my horrified gawking of my report card. I cried for days. I was so disappointed. My dad said, "It's just a grade! Sheesh!"
Can you say over-achiever?
By the time I failed my first class, it was freshman college algebra. I still hated math by that point and also was ready to move away from Louisiana. I didn't care about college anymore. I wanted to move to the big city and be a singer!
After I gave up my rock star dream and its frustrating competitiveness, I was married and decided to go back to college. I was terrified of taking that college algebra class again. The difference, this time, was my motivation. I WANTED to graduate from college. I WANTED to be good in an IT career. I was disciplined and ready to take it on.
The next three years, as I completed my degree, I made straight "A's"... bringing my cumulative GPA up high enough to graduate cum laude.
When my husband and I were first married, I had recently paid off all of my credit cards. I had accrued some debt after moving away from home and being on my own for the first time. I was finally in a great job and was thrilled to be able to cut up those credit cards and pay everything off.
My husband, unfortunately, hadn't been so disciplined. He had put much of our dating life, my wedding rings, and our newly married life on credit. He didn't tell me any of this, however, until 8 months into our marriage... right when I'd quit my great job to go back to college.
We spent the next three years barely scraping by. Once I graduated and finally landed an even better job, we decided we were going to get out of debt too. I controlled our budget and bills and we were debt-free within 4 years of my graduation.
I've lost weight, weaned myself off anti-depressants, solved a debt problem...
Since becoming a single mom, I've had to tap in to that same self-motivation in order to keep afloat. It's not been easy but I know I will get on top of this again. #thatswhatshesaid
I've done triathlons! I've bought my own home! I'm doing this on my own!
When I care about something, I can generally find motivation and be somewhat self-disciplined. I've had a lot of time in my life that I didn't care and my motivation was lacking. But in general, I know it's in there somewhere.
What I've noticed with some (for instance my ex), however, is that if the "motivation" to do well in school was parental approval (or rather the fear of parental disappointment), then the self-discipline simply isn't there. I also wonder if the same self-discipline needed to get out of debt relates to taking care of your body too. (Quitting drinking/smoking, losing weight, exercising)
It's almost as if... since mom and dad aren't threatening or controlling their lives anymore, they feel as if they don't have to or want to try as hard. Is that it?
Self-discipline helps with making smart choices. Is it an inherent thing or can it be taught? Do people actually feel victim to their lack of discipline or circumstance and therefore, stop trying? Does this mean that these people will never find their own discipline in order to motivate themselves?
This is only my theory. Care to take this poll to help me? Or simply leave a comment with your thoughts below.
Thanks to pollcode.com.