It’s super important that you understand why being disciplined is more important than being motivated. That is why I continue to work to drive this point home. Simply put, being disciplined can impact your life in a more effective manner than being motivated.
So, which is better discipline or motivation? Discipline is the thing that keeps you moving, after your motivation has died. Discipline is what drives you to do the things you have to do, so you can then do the things you want to do. Motivation is the fuel to the fire that keeps burning, discipline is the will to keep adding the fuel.
Let us look at some of the important reasons as to why discipline is superior to motivation.
Being disciplined is a state of mind. Hence, it exists for a longer duration. On the other hand, motivation is more temporal by nature. You may be motivated to do a certain task today. That doesn’t imply that you will be motivated to do the same task tomorrow.
Motivation does not exist in a uniform manner at all times. You may be highly motivated now, but you might lack in motivation during the rest of the day. However, disciplining your mind is an ongoing process and does not vary drastically. For example, if you are disciplined to hit the gym every day for an hour, you will do it no matter what!
Discipline is more stable and is capable of helping you change your lifestyle in the long run. It will help you make incremental changes to your life and get rewarded in the process. On the other hand, your motivation levels can be compared to the effects of consuming a drug.
You feel extremely motivated at the beginning of the day. As the hours fly, your motivation levels also keep fluctuating drastically. Some of us need external stimuli to even get motivated at times. But, once you discipline your mind, it doesn’t have to be prodded any further.
The impact of motivation is only short lived. You would appreciate the impact of motivation only for the duration that it lasts. For example, you may lack the motivation to exercise. You will then look for an external stimulus to motivate you to get up and go to the gym. If you find it, you’ll go. If you don’t you’ll probably end up skipping your workout.
Self-discipline will make you go no matter what. You don’t need to look for external stimuli because you are in control of yourself.
As mentioned earlier, the benefits of self-discipline are capable of changing your life and can be felt in the long run too. Disciplining yourself has a far greater impact than being motivated and it is way more effective too.
In the case of motivation, sometimes we require external stimuli to get started. So, a good amount of our energy will be spent trying to motivate ourselves. Once motivated, the rest of the energy will be expended on completing the task.
When you constantly rely on motivation to start your work, you feel handicapped and unproductive, in the absence of an external stimulus. This has an impact on the quality of your work as well as your productivity.
On the other hand, self-discipline trains your mind and body to function in a certain way. For example, you may discipline your mind to do a set of tasks as soon as you wake up.
When this discipline exists, you don't need any kind of motivation to carry out these tasks. You will automatically be spending your energy and effort on completing these tasks. You are a determined machine that does what it needs to because… well, you’re a machine. It’s this discipline and determination that creates winners!
When you rely on motivation to begin working, there will be times when you abstain from it just because you don't feel like it. In the absence of any motivating factors, you will not be mentally prepared to undertake any activity.
If you are forced to work on something, despite lacking the motivation to do so, the quality of your work will suffer and you will not be able to apply your efforts in a consistent manner.
On the other hand, if you are self-disciplined, you will be able to focus on your work, irrespective of your state of mind. Your efforts will be consistent not dependent on how motivated you feel to work.
Being disciplined, helps in ensuring that your productivity levels are not affected and the quality of your work is not compromised. To put it in simpler terms, you are in the driver’s seat and in control. Your discipline guides your actions and work.
If you’re persistent, you’ll get it. If you’re consistent you’ll keep it.
Discipline is the common denominator here.
There may be situations in life, where no matter how hard you try, you will not be motivated, but you still must deliver your best. In such circumstances, if your mind is already disciplined to take action, you’ll be able to handle the situation in a calm and composed manner, without having to worry about motivational factors.
You’ll be able to sustain your self-discipline for a longer period of time. In fact, once you discipline your body and mind to behave in a certain way, unless you decide to change it, you will be on auto-pilot. Your self-discipline will help you sustain your energy levels and your efforts will be more channelized and efficient. Self-discipline acts as a self-fueling system.
On the other hand, motivation is a short-lived phenomenon. You will have to expend a lot of energy and rely on so many other factors, to stay motivated at all times.
Even the famous motivational speaker, Zig Ziglar, once said;
“People often say that motivation doesn't last. Well, neither does bathing - that's why we recommend it daily.” Zig Ziglar
With self-discipline, you won’t need daily motivation from external sources. Your habits, determination and persistence from within will guide you all the way. You can’t go wrong with it.
You become a self-sufficient individual, when you are disciplined! Imagine the power you will wield over your own life once you’re in full control of it.
You’ll reach your full potential!