Motivation and discipline are two words that get thrown around a lot in the self-improvement community. One energises you and prompts you to take action towards a certain goal while the other sustains you through your journey and must be honed like a skill. But what is the difference between them?
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In this post, we look at:
- Why you need both motivation and discipline to succeed.
- How to build discipline while applying motivation correctly.
Why You Need Both Motivation And Discipline To Succeed
What is the difference between motivation and discipline? I like to think of motivation as a drug that lets you perform to the best of your abilities, but for a limited amount of time. Discipline, on the other hand, is like a skill that you have to keep developing but produces the best results when honed to the fullest.
Neither of these qualities is more important than the other. However, the difference between them is that there is a time for each one. Motivation is most important in the initial stage of any goal you are pursuing. You need the motivation to remind yourself why you want to do something. It’s that initial fuel that propels you to take action.
While motivation can be a great wake-up call or reminder, it burns out quickly like any fuel. Cast your mind back to all the moments when you promised yourself you would do something. You felt energised and excited about all the things you were going to accomplish. But before you knew what was happening, all that energy had dwindled. Motivation is a great quality to have but it is not sustainable and this is why you also need self-discipline.
Self-discipline is the gift that keeps on giving. It is more than just an attribute. It is a way of life. It involves constant correction and regulation of your behaviour to achieve the best results. While it is easier to reach a state of motivation, self-discipline takes time to build. It is a skill that gets better each time you practice it.
In the words of Stephen Covey,
“Only the disciplined are truly free. The undisciplined are slaves to moods, appetites, and passions.”
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This indicates that if you want to achieve your goals even after being motivated, then you must master self-discipline.
How To Build Discipline While Applying Motivation Correctly
To achieve self-discipline, you must not neglect your motivations – the things that drive you to achieve certain goals. Here are a few things you can do to make both motivation and discipline work for you.
- Develop your self-awareness: Have a clear understanding of your strengths, weaknesses, the things that are right for you, and the things that aren’t. You won’t be able to discipline yourself or correct your behaviour if you don’t know what exactly you need to change.
- Make your motivation work for you: Discipline sustains you through your journey. Always have a strong “why” for doing something. Also, change the way you think about something irrespective of whether you can change it or not. Remember, your thoughts influence your feelings.
- Set goals: Setting SMART goals will give you a roadmap to follow in your quest to achieve self-discipline. Always have strong reasons for pursuing these goals and commit to them.
- Develop a routine: I’m always hyped up about following a daily routine because it has worked for me. Also, many successful people swear by following a daily routine. Morning and evening routines set you up for success. They help you know what’s coming each day, prioritise the most important things, and have a sense of direction.
Motivation and discipline work hand in hand. Motivation is the fuel that energises you to get things done. Discipline keeps you going and allows you to focus on the right thing. You can use both motivation and discipline to realise your potential and achieve the best results.
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