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Motivation vs. Discipline

April 10, 2024

We have long been told that we need to put an emphasis on motivation. It’s been widely viewed as the driving force that can propel us to our goals. However, the glorification of motivation obscures a simple truth – it’s wildly inconsistent and, frankly, OVERRATED. I want to offer a shift in perspective towards a more powerful partner in the pursuit of excellence—discipline.

The Inconsistency of Motivation

Motivation is like a sugar high – intense, exhilarating, but ultimately fleeting. It’s that surge of energy you feel when inspiration strikes, compelling you to take action towards your goals. Yet, this surge is short lived; it ebbs and flows, influenced by external factors and internal emotions. The reality is, motivation tells us it will be there when we need it most, but more often than not, it’s absent, especially on days filled with challenges and less-than-ideal circumstances.

The inconsistency of motivation is one of its most significant drawbacks. It’s like a fair-weather friend, present during moments of enthusiasm and can’t be found when the grind becomes tough. Relying on motivation to perform at your highest level, will at best, make you an inconsistent performer.

Discipline: The Sustainable Fuel Source

Discipline, on the other hand, is the foundation upon which lasting success is built. Unlike motivation, discipline doesn’t negotiate or take the day off. It’s the inner strength that compels you to wake up early, even when the warmth of your bed is inviting you to stay a little longer. Discipline pushes you to complete that final task on your to-do list, even when fatigue sets in. It’s the force that drives you to continue working towards your goals, day in and day out, regardless of how you feel.

Embracing discipline means adopting a performance-driven mindset that is immune to the fluctuations of daily emotions and circumstances. It’s installing structured routines & habits, and then sticking to them no matter what. It’s about doing what needs to be done, even and especially when you don’t feel like doing it.

Fire Motivation & Hire Discipline

The transition from relying on motivation to embracing discipline is not an overnight journey. It requires a fundamental shift in mindset and approach. Here are a few strategies to help with “how” to make it happen:

  1. Set Clear, Achievable Goals: Start with clear, specific goals that are challenging yet achievable. Breaking them down into smaller, manageable tasks can help maintain focus and momentum.
  2. You MUST Have Systems: Develop systems that hardwire in predictable daily routines & habits that align with your goals. Consistency breeds discipline.
  3. Embrace Discomfort: Learn to get comfortable with discomfort. Understand that growth often comes from doing things that are not always pleasant or exciting.
  4. Hold Yourself Accountable: Be relentless with tracking of your progress and hold yourself accountable. Consider working with a coach who can provide external accountability (call me, I know a great one!).
  5. Celebrate Small Wins: Celebrate victories along the way. Acknowledging progress is the best way to continue growing your discipline.


While motivation can spark the initial desire to take action, it’s discipline that will carry you to the finish line. Discipline is the sustainable fuel source that powers through the highs and lows of any growth journey. It’s what sets apart the truly successful from those who merely dream of success. Discipline doesn’t whisper sweet nothings about ease and comfort; instead, it promises growth, resilience, and achievements generated out of perseverance. Growth and comfort never coexist… the choice is always ours!

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