The difference between discipline and motivation

C. Befoune
Dec 13, 2016 · 3 min read
Source: eLearning Industry

Discipline is not supposed to make you feel good, it is supposed to take you somewhere. Myleik Teele

Discipline and motivation are essential to reach any goal, but in a different way: the goal is what gives meaning to motivation and discipline is what gives meaning to the goal. Let me explain.

I am a woman so I will take an example women can relate to (no discrimination intended guys). When I decided to lose weight a year and a half ago, what motivated me was me going back to where I was before (slim), but in a better way (toned). The goal was me being slim and toned, the motivation was the picture in my head of me being slim and toned.

I knew exactly what I wanted, and I knew the way to reach my goal: fitness, yoga, pilates. It is one thing to know what to do, but it is another thing to do what you have to do in a consistent way. This is where discipline comes into the picture: you doing what you have to do to reach your goal.

When it comes to success, motivation can sometimes be useless. Not all the time, but sometimes. Motivation does not take you anywhere. It is only you dreaming of you when reaching your goal but it is of no use to reach the said goal when it comes to action.

Being disciplined is the way to success. It worked for me every time I did. Always. It took me where I am today in terms of body/hair goals, blogging, work, translation, personal growth and so on and so forth. Without it, I would be lost.

From my experience, the way to remain disciplined is to stick to a routine. I have a morning routine and a night routine. From 5 30 am to 9 am and from 9 pm to midnight I do the same thing. It is more difficult to stick to the night routine because of “life” but I do my best not to fail myself.

The morning routine helps to set the tone of the day. If I miss it my day is a mess and I don’t do anything productive. The night routine allows me to do everything I can’t do during the day like read a book, write for Self-Ish (I know I am a mess lately!), answer messages on social media, check up on friends…

The problem with discipline is it is not fun at all! It always feels better to do something else than what discipline asks for. Right now, all I want to do is to watch Tough Love, a web series I discovered today on YouTube (it is OH-may-zinnng!!!) but if I do, this post will not be written and Self-Ish will remain just as inactive as it has been lately.

And I know tomorrow at 5 30 all I will want to do will be to go back to sleep and dream of daisies and lilies, but me sleeping is me not working out, me not listening to my motivational podcast of the day and me not reading enriching articles on Medium. Discipline is a killer, but it is essential to achieve anything.

To sum it up, motivation is the picture of a dream, and discipline is what makes the picture come true. To me discipline is more important because everybody can dream of achieving something, but only those ready to take up the challenge of being disciplined achieve something.

Hello, my name is Befoune, and I talk about citizen participation and empowerment in my country, Cameroon, on the platform Elle Citoyenne. My dear friend Tchassa Kamga and I created the publication Self-Ish to document our lives as humans and share our experience in self improvement, content creation and what we call human relationships.

C. Befoune

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