Do You Need Motivation Or Discipline To Achieve Success

When it comes to accomplishing goals and working towards success, one of the first things people seem to look for is motivation. If only the motivation was there to act, achieving the goal would take care of itself.

Or they think it’s discipline that’s getting in their way of achieving success. They have motivation, or at the very least desire, yet the ability within themselves to put forth consistent effort is not there.

So which is it? Do we need motivation or discipline to reach our goals?

Well, it’s not actually an either or question. Motivation and discipline play into one another and are equally important when setting down a path towards success.

As you’ll find out by the end of this article, you can leverage each attribute in a careful manner to get the most out of yourself and increase your odds of reaching your goals.

It all starts with motivation. After all, you first need to have a desired destination before you can work in a disciplined manner towards that end.

Motivation Comes First

Call it motivation, desire, ambition, purpose, or any other word you can think of, the fact remains the same…you need a reason for working towards a goal in order to achieve that goal.

Discipline, as you’ll find out, is powerful. But what’s the point of being disciplined if it’s not put forth towards a certain target?

Performing acts day in and day out, which is what discipline equates to, can easily grow tiring. Especially if you feel as though there is no purpose behind your actions.

If you are just doing them for the sake of doing them, the first sign of adversity will send your discipline fleeing out the door.

That’s why, you first must look towards motivation.

Now, a lot of people may get stumped at this point and feel frustrated. Why? Because they’ve been searching for motivation and have yet to find any. But the truth is, the motivation I’m referring to is not about a deep surge from within to get up and act.

No, the motivation you need is understanding the purpose, or why, behind your actions.

"Discipline, as you’ll find out, is powerful. But what’s the point of being disciplined if it’s not put forth towards a certain target?"

Finding Your Why

Motivation should not come from something outside of ourselves. While the aim of our ambition may be external, the reason for our action must come from within.

So many times we are left deflated, wanting to work towards a goal but seemingly having no motivation to get ourselves moving forward.

It’s easy to get caught up in thinking motivation is this magical thing that springs upon us after watching a video or listening to a talk. But that kind of motivation is an illusion. Real motivation stems from the reason you want to work towards a goal in the first place.

This reason is referred to as your why.

If you are struggling to find motivation, ask yourself, “Why do I want to work towards this goal in the first place?” Another great question to ask is, “Why is it important for me to achieve this success?”

True motivation comes from answering and understanding these questions. Once you go beyond hype and adrenaline, you find purpose. That purpose will be the driving force behind your actions.

So stop and ask yourself the incredibly important question of why. Why do you want to become a better performer? Why do you want to lose the weight? Why do you want to get better at your profession?

Once you understand this, you are ready to take the first step on the path towards achieving that goal.

"Motivation should not come from something outside of ourselves. While the aim of our ambition may be external, the reason for our action must come from within."

Transitioning From Motivation To Discipline

It may seem like understanding your why is not enough to get started. You still feel as though you’re waiting for motivation to get yourself going. That’s where discipline comes into play.

Trust me, if you’re searching for a spark of motivation that is going to propel you towards action, you’ll be looking for a long time. Yeah, maybe you’ll find something that gives you this boost, but it will quickly fade.

You need discipline to get yourself started, and more importantly, to keep yourself going even when times get tough.

So what exactly does discipline look like for you?

Taking Small Steps Towards Success

Working towards a goal, no matter what it may be, can seem like a daunting task. The huge mountain in front of you you’re asking yourself to climb appears almost impossible. To be disciplined can seem equally as scary.

You may think you must do all this work each day in order to reach the summit. But it’s not about taking leaps and bounds towards your goal, but rather small steps each day. That is what it means to be disciplined.

Come up with the actions that need to be taken each day, break them down to seem bearable, and then start inching your way towards progress.

One of the fastest ways to eliminate any motivation you may have is feeling overwhelmed. This occurs when you try to do too much too fast. Yes, you will naturally develop into doing more each day. As your discipline grows, so will your time spent on actions.

However, by trying to force this, you can quickly turn yourself away from the work altogether. By taking small steps, you don’t require yourself to be overly disciplined in the beginning, and allow your growth to happen naturally.

"You may think you must do all this work each day in order to reach the summit. But it’s not about taking leaps and bounds towards your goal, but rather small steps each day."

Using Motivation & Discipline To Achieve Success

Motivation and discipline are equally as important on your path towards success. If you learn how to leverage both of these in a strategic manner, you can amplify your chances of actually reaching the goals you set forth for yourself.

In order to use both motivation and discipline, it’s good to have a framework to follow. That’s why, to sum up the concepts discussed so far, I want to outline a strategy you can use when wanting to work towards a goal.

It will incorporate both motivation and discipline to help you get yourself started and remain on the right track towards success.

Step 1: Find Your Why

As we discussed, motivation does not come from external stimuli, but rather a deep purpose within as to why you want to work towards the goal in the first place. This is where you must start.

Without an understanding of why you want success, you’ll have a difficult time staying motivated and disciplined along the way.

However, if you truly understand the deep reason behind your desire, no adversity will deter you from your vision.

So instead of searching for motivation, turn your focus inward and find your own why. This is powerful because you realize you have complete control over your motivation, because you can create it for yourself through understanding your purpose.

Step 2: Come Up With One Action You’ll Take

Don’t look at the accomplishment of your goal as a whole you must take on all at once. In order to begin utilizing self-discipline, you need to allow the habit to form within yourself.

Self-discipline is all about creating habits and routines. That’s really the beauty of it. After you hold yourself accountable for long enough, less and less discipline is required. Not because you no longer are performing the action, but because it has turned into a habit.

After you’ve identified your why and have gained an understanding of why you want to accomplish your goal, pick out one action you'll start with. Don’t worry about choosing the perfect one either. The important part is getting yourself started.

At this point, we are after momentum.

"Self-discipline is all about creating habits and routines. That’s really the beauty of it. After you hold yourself accountable for long enough, less and less discipline is required."

Step 3: Make It Daily

The goal is to make your actions routine so that they do not require so much motivation down the road. For this reason, you need to make it a point to put forth effort towards your goal each day.

Now, if you did the following step correctly, you should have one small action you are ready to take. That is what you will make a part of your daily routine for now.

When you feel motivation lacking or are having a difficult time disciplining yourself to perform the action each day, refer back to your why. This is the reason you identified that first. It serves as a guiding light throughout the whole process.

It’s going to be natural for you to skip days here and there, which is nothing to worry about. A key point to keep in mind is to try not to miss twice. Meaning, if you do miss today, try your hardest to do the action tomorrow.

The more days you miss in a row, the harder it will be to be disciplined in the future.

Step 4: Slowly Start To Add More Actions

As the first action you decided upon forms into a habit, start adding another. Once that one becomes a habit, add another. What you realize is that at any given time, you’re only asking yourself to really be disciplined on one action.

All the others have formed into habits.

Always keep going back to your why when you feel like quitting or as though the work is not worth it. If your why is strong enough, you’ll never be lacking motivation again.

This process feeds on itself, becoming a nice cycle that propels you towards your goals. But it only happens because you have first outlined your purpose and are always reminding yourself to take small steps towards success.

Final Thoughts

It’s not a question of whether you need motivation or discipline to achieve success, but rather, how can you use each to reach the goals you’re after.

Motivation must come from within. Otherwise it will be a fleeting feeling you’re constantly searching for. That’s why, any goal you want to accomplish must begin by identifying the deeper reasoning behind your desire for success.

From there, allow discipline to take over. Use small steps to push yourself along your journey. By doing so, you are leveraging both motivation and self-discipline to give yourself the best chance of succeeding, no matter what your goals may be.

Thank you for reading and I wish you the best of success in all that you do.

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