Have you ever watched or followed a social media account focused on motivation? Usually, they include famous quotes, inspiring pictures, or miraculous videos. People flock to Influencer conferences focused on motivating. You can watch clip-after-clip of people going up to these influencers asking for advice and motivation. As comforting and inspiring as motivation can be... many times, it's an illusion.
We are not saying that motivation is bad or being motivated should be discouraged. Rather, it is such a small part of the equation. We often consume so much of it because we seek it like a drug. Getting that "high" from feeling good is no different than being addicted to drugs or food. Why is this so dangerous? Don’t we want to feel good? What happens when we just can’t get motivated and life just sucks? Those feelings are real. Sure, they exist as a chemical cocktail in your brain, but they are tangible or tactile.
So, what are we supposed to do? Do we just wait for another hit of motivation like some social media junkie? There is a better way. The way we propose is harder and will make you want to quit but provides real and lasting results. What is this magical solution? Discipline. Maybe that wasn’t the answer that you wanted to hear— we can literally hear a collective groan from our readers.
When you think of discipline, you probably imagine your parents providing some type of punishment to your tomfoolery or a montage from a Rocky movie. Some aspects of those ideas are true. For instance, discipline can be punishment, and it doesn’t come from just parents. In fact, life can bring discipline as well. How is that possible? If you don’t work hard, do you think life will be easy? Wealth and success isn’t built on doing nothing. Be disciplined or life will bring discipline... as a punishment for not being disciplined.
But how is it more effective than motivation? This question goes back to the topic of tangible versus intangible. Discipline REQUIRES us to do something physically. Think about a student. If he or she wants a good grade, studying must be a daily task. An athlete must train every day. A salesperson must sell. You get the point. Motivation on the other had just requires a feeling. You could simply look at a picture or watch a motivational video and be “motivated”. The simple tactile action you take with discipline creates a pattern that will stay with you when you don’t have the drive you want for the day.
Remember, sometime in your life it will be hard to find a reason to do what you need to do. Discipline is reliable. Motivation is not.