Motivation Doesn’t Always Work, But Discipline Does

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At first, I used to believe that motivation was a key factor in helping men and women succeed in their quest to achieve grand goals. But after careful research, I realized that motivation isn’t really a major factor of success for many that have achieved greatness. Instead, the key to long-lasting achievement and fulfillment lies in discipline.

Motivation is a tricky subject.

If you already have a regular routine where you work on your goals, then motivation can help by making you maintain that routine. For example, if you don’t feel like working, motivation can help you get back to work. If you want to finish early, motivation can help you work longer.

But what about starting a goal? I have observed that it is common to also seek motivation when starting to pursue a goal.

Now though it may be helpful to many, it is often not very effective for others. You see, I believe that motivation should never be the determinant of whether or not you succeed in life.

You should not be in a situation when someone asks, “Hey, how’s your plan to start a business going?” then you reply “Well, I’m just not motivated to do much on that right now”.

Hard work creates successful businesses… not motivation. None of the successful people I admire claim that motivation was the source of their great achievements.

Discipline is what you can rely on 100% for the success you crave.

Let me ask you a question. Answer it honestly. “If you were very disciplined… that every day at a specific time… for a couple of hours, you worked on making progress on your goals… wouldn’t you eventually become successful?”

Think long and hard about that question. And hopefully, you will also see what I see… that the formula for success is a lot simpler than we realize. Progress = Success.

The challenge is in maintaining discipline.

I must admit that right now I’m assuming some facts. First that you already have a clear understanding of what it is you want or what to achieve. Second that you have an idea of the exact steps you need to make to achieve your goals.

So if you want to be a professional blogger, you have an idea of what you need to do or work on to eventually succeed.

The question is then if you are disciplined enough to hold strong and be consistent in making daily progress towards that goal.

Now becoming disciplined isn’t the easiest task to accomplish, but there are ways to help you begin reinforcing your character.

Here are a couple of ideas that could help you develop more discipline.

1. Watch what you think

The same way plants do not grow well in the absence of natural sunlight, is the same way that you won’t grow in the absence of the right state of mind.

Control what you let your mind consume. It definitely affects how you see life.

For instance, if you feed your mind the weekly business reports highlighting the number of businesses that are being closed down… how eager will you be to start your own?

And what if you read about Wilbur and Orville Wright who paved the way to allow a man to conquer the skies better than the birds themselves? Is the sky really the limit?

Look at the successful people you want to be like. Before you can be like them, can you begin to act like them? Think like them? Read what they read?

In more ways than one, this will greatly affect how tackle pursuing goals.

2. Prioritize your goal

Many have difficulty prioritizing goals. I have seen people suffer from frustration not understanding why it is they aren’t getting ahead in life because of this. I was once the same.

Closer analysis revealed that working on goals came second to some other goal or habit. The first 8 hours of their day were dedicated to helping achieve someone else’s goals. The last 3 hours of their day were dedicated to consuming mind-numbing entertainment (again, helping someone else achieve their goals).

When does your personal goal take priority?

If you can’t work on your goal because you are too busy… what does that say about your goal? That there are other activities more important than your own goal? That tiring yourself with those other activities to the point that you have no energy left for your own personal progress is okay?

Success won’t come to the man or woman too busy to focus on it. If your personal goal is important to you, it will be seen in your actions.

3. Practice makes permanent

This is similar to the point above but it is less complicated. Just do the work.

I’m a game developer by practice not by certification. I’m also a business owner by practice not by self-branding.

The more you do, the more you become. You are an expert on what you currently do most. If you complain more than you take action… you eventually become an expert in complaining. If you worry more than you take action… you eventually become an expert on worrying. If you make excuses more than you make progress… you are an excuses expert.

And remember you get better and what you do repeatedly. There’s no way of becoming a pro skateboarder without years of practice right?

Successful game developers need to first become game developers. And game developers can only become game developers by portfolio or simply by practice.

In conclusion

I’m on a quest to figure out what it is that makes men and women become successful. I want to join the ranks. I realized just how important discipline is in making that a reality. I shall continue to investigate further, but I am convinced that mastering the art of discipline is what lies between where were are and where want to be.


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