Discipline vs Motivation

“Discipline is reliable. Motivation is fleeting”

I read this quote a while back and it struck me how upside down my understanding of motivation was.

Normally we see motivation as an inherently positive thing. Now I’m not knocking it, but we have to realise that the literal meaning of motivation implies a positive burst during an otherwise unmotivated period.

Motivation has helped me to push myself harder at the gym. It has helped me to leave my comfort zone and try new things. It has helped me in my career, and it has helped me become how I am today.

Its absence however, has resulted in periods of what felt like grinding and trudging. We cannot be motivated without having periods of bore and misdirection to contrast to.

It is essentially the peak after the trough, the mountain after the valley.

Discipline on the other hand, remains firm regardless if you are motivated or not. Discipline is the notion that you must do something if you feel like doing it or or you don’t. Discipline gets you out of the house and into the gym when you feel tired, unfit or your day hasn’t been the greatest.

It is for this reason that while I may struggle with it myself at times, I favour discipline over motivation.

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