Motivation vs Discipline

By: Brian Cardarella
Motivate

We’ve all seen the Motivational Posters:

Motivate

I always hear people talk about motivation. What motivates you? I’m lacking motivation. Well I’m here to tell you that motivation is bullshit.

Motivation may get you to take on a task or behavior that you don’t normally do but eventually that motivation will either not be there any more or won’t be effective. Then you’ll slip, and you justify it by thinking “well I just lacked proper motivation”.

Motivation as a concept is a cop-out. If you feel that you need motivation to accomplish your goals you will likely fail over the long-term. Instead you should be looking toward discipline.

There is a saying “it takes 3 weeks for a new behavior to become habit”. If you haven’t heard that before that’s OK because it isn’t true. According to research it actually takes on average 66 days of continual behavior to form a habit. So ask yourself this. Can you use the same motivation for 66 days in a row? If not, do you have that many different forms of motivation to form this new habit over this period of time? I don’t think many of us do.

Discipline on the otherhand is you saying to yourself “I will do this even if I would prefer to do something else”. It’s not an easy trait to establish but if you can do so you’ll find that making changes happen more easily. I think many of us have a will to overcome existing habits and form new ones but we lack the way to do so. Too many distractions, too many opportunities, too many excuses. Take a look at successful people around you. Ask yourself are they successful because of some outside motivation or are they successful because they’ve made a conscious decision they’re going to wade through the muck to get what they want.

Focus on being disciplined instead of waiting to be motivated.