Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Motivation Vs. Discipline

Who hasn't hit the bed at night after an unproductive day and thought - "Tomorrow will be different". Of course, it never is. Motivation is fleeting and inconsistent, discipline is unyielding. It is immune to changing circumstances. Motivation is the cold splash of water that wakes you up at night, discipline is the will that keeps you awake long enough to do something about it.

Humans have the frightening ability to stand in a waterfall of inspiration and not absorb a single drop. No one can inspire you of their own volition. Pretty words on pretty pictures are as saccharine and banal as astrological signs. There's a visible disconnect between the half-hearted intent, and the actual effect.

It worries me that I may not be living up to my full potential. It worries me even more that maybe I am. Motivation works on the assumption that we need a specific state of mind to function at optimal levels, discipline, by contrast forces our hand to perform when there are reasons not to.

This is the faulty thinking that results in countless reiterations of the same logic - "If you don't do something you love as work, then you will remain frustrated and dissatisfied".
I disagree. In the world we live in, we are expected to do things that no one in their right mind would be enthusiastic about. This doesn't mean that you don't do them. Of course, people try to drum up fake motivation but to me, that's not only delusional, but a form of self inflicted hypomania. It leaves you burnt out after short spurts of elation.

Motivation is turning a lever to open the figurative door. Discipline is automating that process. Waiting till you feel like doing something is a self feeding procrastination loop that creates an un-fillable void.

It gets easier. Every day it gets a little easier. But you gotta do it everyday, that's the hard part.

But it does get easier.


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