Motivation Versus Discipline

Posted by David Kim on

Blog Tuesday 14th June 2023

Title: Motivation Versus Discipline

Good morning everyone,

Today, I’ll be talking about motivation versus discipline. When I was younger, I was all about that motivation. At school, I was motivated by not flunking a subject and making the soccer team. Motivation requires that crucial ingredient: consequences, the thing that that drives you to do what you do. For example, you’re motivated to brush your teeth, cos the consequences of not doing it is stinky breath that can lead to social judgment. Motivation helps you in getting you through various tasks throughout your life. What I’m trying to say is, motivation involves a negative downside, that is, if you don’t complete the things you’re supposed to, there is a price to pay. To a certain point, that’s a good enough reason to do what we do. I saw a photo online once of a guy on a bike with a bear chasing him and the meme reading “some days you find the motivation” the line below read “some days the motivation finds you”.

You see, motivation is like fuel, some days you have a lot of it, other days, you have none. So, what do we do when we have no motivation? That’s the thing, motivation has a big limitation. Sometimes, I’m pumped to go to the gym and go hard for hours, other days, I have no drive to do that. In this instance, the consequence of not following through with the task is minimal in the short term, so I tell myself that, it’s ok to miss a session or two. I often use this method of telling myself that it’s ok to not do the thing I have to do. That’s a great way to remain mediocre and in second gear. Like I mentioned above, motivation is like fuel that keeps us moving forward. But when it runs out, we’re shit out of luck. For the longest time, I struggled with this.

Then it dawned on me.

What if we get things done regardless of having the motivation, to get to the gym, complete that assignment, eat better, talk to that girl etc, despite not feeling it. That’s where discipline comes in. what I mean by discipline is, doing something, whether you feel like it or not. It takes a bit of (actually a lot of) practice, but you need to train yourself to do that task in the absence of motivation. You have to take your mind to places where you’ve never been before: discomfort. Motivation pushes you to do something, only when you’re comfortable. My concept of discipline pushes you when you’re uncomfortable.

I haven’t perfected it, and I don’t think I ever will but, I think I’m onto something. You have to do everything you need to do, wanted to do or plan to do, no matter what. You feel like a cheese burger, just eat a healthy meal with good protein and good fats that you’ve cooked at home, you feel like holding off doing the homework til the last minute, just do it now. What I try to do every day is, have that mentality of “getting it done” no matter what. In fact, I have a system in place where I wake up at 4:30am and make a to-do list and get them done no matter what throughout the day. For example, I’ve been meaning to write a blog every day, but I used to tell myself, “no one is reading it, so you can take it easy today”. After a couple of years of struggling with motivation, I switched to “getting it done, no matter what” mentality. There’s no reason, ifs or buts required. On top of that, I do the hardest thing first, that way there is no time to procrastinate, which is a whole other thing that holds us all back.

Anyway, that’s by blog for today guys. Thanks for reading and talk to you tomorrow.


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