Why can some go to great lengths and push themselves toward achieving a goal, and others give up when they’re not even half-way there?
There are multiple factors present when we look at the words: motivation and discipline, but there’s a secret recipe which is why it’s always the top 1-2% reaping all the rewards.
Motivation is temporary. It’s externally sourced. I may see an inspiring movie and say, “I want to do that!” I may listen to an uplifting song and be inspired into action. I may have someone cheer me on and it makes me want to be better. I may receive an award of recognition and be determined to keep pushing forward for a bit.
The problem though, is all that motivation lasts only as long as the external validation creating the internal “feel good” state. Don’t get me wrong, being motivated can create massive action and massive transformation, however, if it remains dependent on my ability to “feel good” and my desire to continue then at some point motivation will fizzle and flop on it’s back with a surrender flag.
Discipline is similar to commitment. Think of a marriage. The words, “in sickness and in health, in good times and in bad, till death do us part.” That requires commitment, it requires discipline beyond being dependent upon “feeling good” all the time for it to work.
Discipline is continuing the steps necessary even when there may not be an internal “feel good” state. It’s doing it anyway.
If I want to work out early in the morning, I may be motivated by someone or something to get my butt out of bed, but as soon as that external force is no longer present (my workout buddy quits, there’s a new instructor I don’t like, I ran out of good music, it became winter and it’s dark and cold outside, on and on….whatever it may be), I am done. Kaput.
IF I AM COMMITTED AND DISCIPLINED TO FOLLOW THROUGH NO MATTER WHAT, I become an internal generating energy force for change I desire to create. I create strength and perseverance from within. I may not “feel like” getting up at 5 am to work out in the dark and cold, but I do it anyway.
The beautiful thing about discipline is that on the other side of the pain, the “not wanting to at first” the white noise of “all the excuses,” is a place not many appreciate. It’s a place of going through darkness, of being in darkness, in pain, in frustration, in fear, not feeling good, and still deep down, FEELING it’s all worthwhile. It’s all for a purpose. And in those moments, you connect with something within that drives you more. It lifts you up to keep on keepin’ on.
“When the voice and the vision on the inside is more profound, and more clear and loud than all opinions on the outside, you’ve begun to master your life.” -Dr. John Demartini