Seek discipline, not motivation

Motivation. We constantly seek it through positive interactions with others; well-filtered Instagram photos as well as inspirational quotes and memes…to name just a few! When people achieve success in any aspect of their life, they are often questioned about their motivation; what do they recommend to others in order for them to achieve a similar outcome? And, the most common question, ‘how do you stay motivated?’ The inclusion of the word ‘stay’ is key; it implies that motivation is fleeting. Anything, or anyone, can be motivating, and the feeling of being ‘motivated’ undeniably leaves you feeling virtuous.

But what happens when the motivation waivers, or even fades? Maybe the weather is grey and stormy, maybe your favourite celebrity hasn’t posted a selfie recently, or maybe you just simply aren’t feeling it at work today. This is when discipline takes over. Do you still proceed, trying to achieve your goals, or do you justify the lack of motivation and do nothing? The ‘do nothing’ option is easier, as it allows you to fall back onto what you know, and, after all, one day off won’t hurt… But then one day makes taking a second day, a week, or even a month off, so much more acceptable. And then you are left, back where you started, but completely de-motivated with your goal seeming unachievable and out of reach entirely.

So next time you aren’t feeling motivated to study for a test, get out of bed or head to the gym, give yourself an incentive (maybe eat a piece of cake afterwards, get a fresh new manicure or just complete a shorter, lighter intensity workout today) and get on with it. You will feel so much better for it!

Indeed, it is not motivation we should seek, but, instead, we should look to forming habits of discipline. Being disciplined resonates, and being disciplined is empowering – the satisfaction of knowing you gave something your all stays with you far longer than any fleeting burst of motivation. And guess what tends to follow disciplined habits? Success.

-Benchpressingbaubles, x


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