Motivation can feel unreliable and fleeting at times. You can just lose it without warning after a bad day.
Is it better to cultivate a level of self discipline rather than to reply on motivation alone? Force yourself to do things. Make yourself get up and work. The thing is I struggle with both sometimes. How do you either motivate yourself and stay motivated or how do you keep a strong level of self-discipline?
“True discipline is really just self-remembering; no forcing or fighting is necessary.”
This is how I look at it.
I would suggest you read the book “Willpower” Jason. It explains how both self-discipline and motivation are tied into willpower (which unlike popular ideas of willpower, is a limited commodity on a daily basis). That is, the book explains how research has shown that any activity your mind does during the day where you must resist something, even just making simple choices, diminishes your level of willpower and after a certain point you lose the motivation and self-discipline to do anything you set out to do…
So you have to learn how to streamline your life where minor decisions are removed from your daily routine so they don’t drain your ability to focus on the things that are most important to you. The book explains it better than I can here:
Motivation doesn’t just die like that.
Inspiration does, mood does, but motivation is much more resilient. If you feel your motivation going away like that, you probably didn’t have any motivation at all, just inspiration.
Self-discipline is something everyone needs a lot more of, and it doesn’t just complement your motivation but also increases and protects it.
People often ask how people me how I can be so motivated, and the answer is very simple: I want the results.
Motivation by the enjoyment of the process ? If you enjoy the process and want to do it, the thing you were motivated to get should work itself out for the most part. If not, well at least you’ve one way to not going about doing something.
Self discipline seems to me just like the framework needed to follow through on motivation. You know when you’ve promised to work towards something but one day you’re just too tired and can’t be bothered? If you’ve established a disciplined mind set to follow through and can get yourself to do it and enjoy even though you’re dead tired and miserable or whatever, that’s self discipline.
You need to be motivated to be self-disciplined and you need to be self-disciplined to follow through on motivation.
Which is funny because I’m answering this thread to procrastinate from doing something.
This is something I’ve been trying to cultivate more of as well. I definitely think that self discipline > motivation but its a difficult one to gain if you’ve let yourself slip or were raised with little to no self-discipline as is the case for many people these days. I always try and to watch my thoughts and when things starting going along the lines of “I don’t want to do my homework but I need to” I switch it over to “I want to do my homework” that seems to help sometimes. I’m still trying to figure out how to get into the habit of exercising everyday and flossing my teeth, but I know its like a muscle. You have to start small and build your way up.
Hope this helps <3!
I hope you like the book. I think most people have this idea that willpower is something of the mind alone, and if you don’t have it, its a psychological issue. I did… The book shows how they’ve discovered that its really a physiological issue, that its tied into the energy level of the entire body…and when the brain gets tired, willpower vanishes.
Don’t be violent with yourself. Rather, listen to yourself. Why don’t you want that something bad enough? Why is it valuable to you? Mindfully focus on that and you’ll absolutely have to do what you have to do. I don’t see forcing yourself to work all the time or forcing yourself to get motivated lasting long or having meaning substantial enough to be effective when it matters most.
My being is incompatible with self-discipline. Motivation is much stronger. When I have pleasure waiting at the end of a task, that is all I need to complete it. I don’t bother with anything that won’t give me more pleasure than the suffering requisite to achieve that pleasure.