"Discipline will equal freedom." ~ Jocko Willink
It is true, you need discipline to live an incredible life and achieve all you desire. Discipline occurs when you get out of bed in the morning even though you are tired, hit the gym when you are sore, work on that project when you don't want to, eat healthy when there are many terrible options around you, and read to your child at night although you are exhausted.
You must be disciplined to get through life. Freedom is on the other end of discipline as accomplished Navy Seal, author, and consultant Jocko Willink would say.
However, we are going to discuss something which has an unfair reputation . . . motivation.
What comes to mind when you think of motivation? Is it a "self-help guru" on stage telling you to live your life free like a butterfly? A screaming personal trainer demanding 10 more push-ups? Or an emotional feeling?
All of those can be found in popular culture and have relegated motivation to something which can be perceived negatively. On one end of the spectrum are motivational speakers, some great, most are awful. On the other end are drill sergeants, personal trainers, and loud individuals barking commands for "motivation."
Somewhere in the middle is value. Let's examine how you can utilize motivation to influence yourself.
The Difference Between Discipline and Motivation
Don't get me wrong. Discipline is superior to motivation in every way. Discipline is the long game, it is what keeps you moving forward even when you don't want to take another step. You will only achieve high results through discipline.
Motivation is more emotional. It pulls at your heart and allows you to push forward in the short-term. Think about it. When was the last time you were motivated? Was it a powerful talk, movie, or something else? You probably felt a sense of exhilaration and were ready to conquer the world! Yet, that feeling decreases quickly and by the next morning, it is gone.
You need discipline because those feelings of motivation go away rapidly. But what if you could harness motivation?
What Motivates You?
How are you motivated? For me, I absolutely love motivational videos. It could be a TED Talk, commencement speech, or montage of speakers spouting inspiring quotes. Note: at the end of this article are three of my favorite videos.
I use these videos when I am absolutely exhausted and need to work on a project. As a disciplined person, I will finish the project, yet I might not enjoy the process. In these moments I listen to a motivation talk while working and my spirits are lifted. All of a sudden, that project becomes an exciting challenge to complete with excellence. In this way, I influence myself to work happily while still maintaining my discipline.
How can you work similarly? What motivates you and get's you excited? Music, nature, being around people, motivational talks, books, or something else? Once you know the answer, you can combine the motivation with a difficult project and essentially pair something you don't enjoy with something you do. You can trick your brain and begin to re-frame situations.
Who Motivates You?
Recently, I was sitting with the BizLatte team and paused for a moment. Everyone at the table, including our advisory board, was born in separate countries. We are all high-achievers and have accomplished backgrounds. We come from different cultures and hold various religious and political beliefs.
Yet, we are a team who cares for one another and are building a business. This is the real American Dream.
Being around the team motivates me to do more. I don't want to let them down. We purposefully meet together for the simple reason of encouraging each other.
I won't go on as there are many articles on team development in our archive. If interested view them here.
The point is to constantly get around people who push you and make you excited in life. Doing so will allow you to accomplish more than you could imagine.
Use Motivation to Your Advantage
I will admit motivation can be overused. Some people go from conference to conference trying to re-capture a motivation high. Don't be that person, there is nothing wrong with conferences, instead, my argument is to not become a conference addict.
Use motivation tools to your advantage and don't overdose. As much as I like motivational speeches, I only listen to them once or twice a week. Usually at the end of the week when I am tired and need a little extra push.
Find the ways you are motivated and partake in those experiences with moderation. Doing so will be the perfect addition to your disciplined life.
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