I get this question or a variation of it on Twitter at least twice weekly:
“How do I find the motivation to do x…”
It’s flawed thinking.
Firstly, there’s no mention of discipline.
Secondly, the idea that you’ll “find” motivation is false and, even worse, damaging to achievement.
Is Motivation Garbage?
Contrary to popular platitudes, motivation is not useless.
It’s a crucial first step on the disciplined path.
Think about it from this perspective:
It takes an unbelievable amount of force to launch a rocket into outer space. The initial thrust from the ground consumes most of the fuel, and it gradually requires fewer resources to maintain that force once you reach low Earth orbit.
The initial rocket fuel represents Motivation.
Low Earth orbit represents Discipline.
Anything beyond that point represents Momentum.
Most people foolishly only think about motivation at the expense of discipline and momentum. You must follow all three sequentially.
What’s The Difference Between Motivation & Discipline?
The Nature of Motivation:
- It’s an impermanent feeling (Manifests quickly, disappears)
- It only values the moment
- It’s based on inspiration (It doesn’t inherently translate into action)
The Nature of Discipline:
- It’s a lasting commitment/decision
- It values both the moment and future
- It’s exclusively based on Action
Take a look at both definitions below, and you’ll notice some interesting points:
Firstly, for motivation:
- ‘Motivating Force’ (Think of the rocket analogy)
- ‘Stimulation’ (Another word for arousal — what goes up, must come down)