I recently come to the realisation that motivation is not real. At least, not in the long term. Personally, if I relied on motivation to get through my daily tasks, I would probably not get anything done becuase I am rarely motivated. The thing that gets me working is discipline.The two words seem to be used interchangeably, especially in the productivity space. However, when I hear someone preaching about motivation, it instantly makes me cringe. Why? Because they are completely DIFFERENT things!Of course, they’re not mutually exclusive, but I believe it’s important that we shift the way we think about motivation and discipline. Motivation is defined as ‘the general desire or willingness of someone to do something’, whereas discipline is defined as ‘to train by instruction and exercise; drill’. If you’re going to take one thing away from this article, it was these definitions. Using these definitions, it becomes clearer that discipline is something that you choose to do, whereas motivation is a thing that can come and go, without your choice or control. Taking this further, you are never ‘motivated’ to be more disciplined. Discipline prevails even when you are unmotivated.So how can you apply this to your life? Here are a few ideas:
- Focus on building systems and routines
- Prioritise habits that make you more disciplined
- Allow motivation to inspire you, but don’t rely on it
However, this is not to say that motivation is bad. Many extremely successful people rely on both. The problem comes when you rely solely on motivation and forget about self-discipline.
Challenge for the week: write down which habits are serving you well (bringing you closer to your goals) and which ones are potentially having a negative impact on your life