Beyond Motivation: The New Superpower
“Do what you love, and you’ll never work another day in your life.”
I’m sure you’ve heard this a thousand times before. At least I did. I grew up on such idioms, fed by teachers, friends, social media, and TEDx talks.
The recipe is simple: Follow your dreams. Listen to your heart. Find your purpose, or any other abstract thing that appeals to your senses, and voila! Your life will fall into place. But is it that simple? Does choosing the right path guarantee unlimited motivation to propel you forward?
Motivation: The Fancy Desert
Motivation is a powerful feeling that pushes one to take action. It’s warm and energizing. It’s the hype when you embark on a new project or chase after a new goal. Maybe a new business venture, a budding relationship, or a promising hobby. In these times motivation runs high and you seem invincible.
Motivation is like a fancy dessert. It looks great, tastes delicious, and gets you hyped up. It’s the excitement when starting a new project or chasing a new goal. But just like a sugar rush, it wears off. The same thing that seemed exciting before now feels blah. Motivation can be a fickle friend.
Discipline: The Boring meal
Discipline is the skill of sticking to routines and commitments, regardless of your feelings. A skill that guides you to your goals slowly and steadily. Discipline is like a simple meal of chicken, rice, and broccoli. It doesn’t look as good, and it’s definitely not as exciting, but it gives you the right energy and keeps you healthy.
It’s waking up early, exercising, and studying when you have to. Day after day. Whether you feel like it or not. Discipline helps you stick to your goals, even when the going gets tough.
The Bittersweet Truth
No matter how much you love what you do, there will be many times when you won’t feel motivated. There will be moments when your passion feels like a chore. You may love to write, but there will be days when words elude you. You may love fitness, but some mornings leaving your bed feels like the hardest thing to do. Some days, the muse doesn’t show up.
And that’s ok. That’s not a failure on your part. It’s simply the reality of life.
In such moments, motivation is not there. Your only shot is discipline. Discipline is the fuel that keeps your engine running. It’s what carries you across the finish line when motivation is nowhere in sight.
How to Build Discipline
So, how do you cultivate discipline? Like any other skill. With effort and repetitions. Start small. Build a routine and stick to it, regardless of how you feel. Whether it’s reading for 15 minutes each day, writing a hundred words, or jogging for ten minutes. The scale doesn’t matter; consistency does.
Hold yourself accountable, or find someone who will. There will be days when you will want to quit – don’t. Push through the resistance, and soon you’ll have built a habit, a small act of discipline. And that small act can be the stepping stone to your greater goals. You just stack it up.
Motivation comes with a burst of energy and excitement. But, it’s discipline that brings stability and progress in the long run. It’s discipline that is the reliable car that you can drive every day. Not just when the weather is nice and the road is smooth.
So, next time you see a motivational quote on your social media feed, sure, let it inspire you, let it rev up your engine. But remember, the real progress it’s in doing the boring work again and again for extended periods of time. Sticking to your plan when motivation is not there (probably most days). When no one is watching or cheering you.
In a world of shiny object syndrome and short attention spans, discipline can be a superpower.
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