Motivation is the great lie. Give me discipline any day of the week. And here is why. Motivation is a thought. Discipline requires action. I have lectured about this before. I used the analogy of New Years Resolutions. Sure we all have them, but few execute them. Why? Because motivation is a thought. Discipline requires action.
At 54 years of age, I am in the gym 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Put me in a room of a 100 random 20 and 30 year olds, and I will out work, out last and out smart most of them. It may sound like I am bragging, but I am not. It is just fact. I have spent my entire life working out. That is a discipline that was passed onto me through the martial arts. And despite having some pretty serious health problems, (you can’t out work genetics) I want to have a say in my health and not leave it up to chance.
Motivation is great. I am not suggesting that motivation cannot be used. Motivation often leads us to take action. You don’t want to end up on the street, so you pay your bills. That’s motivation, however I lean into discipline. From three and a half decades of working in mental health, I see and hear the results of those who are not. You may be motivated to have a better relationship with your spouse, but are you disciplined enough to put the work in? You maybe be motivated to lose weight, but are you disciplined enough to eat healthy and not try some fad diet? See what I am getting at here? Motivation will often get you to the gym, but it won’t do the work for you. You have to discipline yourself to get actual results.
We live in a time where we want instant gratification. People don’t want to work. They want to be an entrepreneur (not that I am knocking that) because all they see is people on social media living their best life. Guess what? That ain’t real and when it is, I’ll show someone who is disciplined. Someone who puts the work in everyday. We see their glamorous life and want/expect the same results. When after taking a few courses and attending a few seminars, they often find that the life of an entrepreneur is much harder than they thought.
You can’t say that you want to be a social media influencer and not take the time to be influenced.
So here’s my point. Close your eyes and envision your best life now. Now ask yourself, are you ready to do the work? You can’t come into my office saying you want a better relationship, yet you’re not willing to put the work in every week. You can’t say that you want to be a social media influencer and not take the time to be influenced. So it comes down to this. If you have a goal and are putting the work in, ask yourself one question. Am I disciplined enough to put the work in daily? Am I just talking about it, or am I all about it? Is my goal worth fighting for?
The Navy Seals say “Never end the fight”, which is why they are among the elite fighting forces in the world. They train constantly. They train because when they face overwhelming odds, or when things aren’t in their favor, they keep fighting. It’s about their discipline. It has nothing to do with motivation.
So ask yourself. Are you motivated or disciplined? If you really want it, you will never end the fight.