Don’t expect to be motivated every day to get out there and make things happen. You won’t be.
Don’t count on motivation. Count on Discipline.
This is one of my favourite quotes because of the truth that it rings for so many us.
A lot of time we rely on motivation to keep us going.
Thing is, motivation is a finite resource and we usually rely on outside sources to get it.
Anyone who's accomplished anything will tell you that there are days when there's no motivation.
Instead there's that voice in your head telling you to lie down and take a break.
Or to pick up your iPhone and scroll through your IG or Facebook feed because something may have changed in the past 5 minutes.
The days that we're not feeling motivated are usually the days where we'll find an excuse to NOT do something that we know we should do.
You can't rely on Jocko yelling at you all the time or making you feel bad when you see a picture of his watch at 4:40 in the morning.
There'll come a time when David Goggins calling you “a little bitch” won't work anymore.
And it's on those days that we rely on discipline…
Discipline is doing something that you know you should do, WHEN you should do it… whether you FEEL like it or not.
DISCIPLINE > Motivation
Discipline is hard.
It's like that slap in the butt that we all need from time to time to JUST DO IT.
But there's something that you can use that's more powerful than discipline…
In the '80s Larry Bird (one of the greatest basketball players of all time) would come to the arena 2 hours before anyone had to be there and would take 300 shots before the game.
He did this before every game throughout his 13-year NBA career.
It was automatic… it became “just what he did”.
It became HABIT.
HABIT > Discipline
When something becomes a habit you no longer need discipline… because doing what you “should do” just becomes part of your identity… it's non-negotiable now.
“I am an elite athlete, so I train and go to the gym 6 days per week”.
“I am a non-smoker, so I don't pick up any cigarettes.”
“I am a strong, lean, healthy and fit person, so I stick to my training and nutrition plan.”
As author James Clear says in his book Atomic Habits…
The key to building lasting habits is focusing on creating a new identity first. Your current behaviors are simply a reflection of your current identity. What you do now is a mirror image of the type of person you believe that you are (either consciously or subconsciously). To change your behavior for good, you need to start believing new things about yourself. You need to build identity-based habits.
When you attach your identity to something, you no longer need motivation or discipline…
…because the habits are now just automatic;
…the habits just become “what you do” because of WHO YOU ARE.
If you want to get motivated and inspired, then feel free to watch a YouTube video, listen to your favorite song, and do P90X. But don't be surprised if you burn out after a week. You can't rely on being motivated. You have to become the type of person you want to be, and that starts with proving your new identity to yourself.
So if you've been struggling with getting your workouts in;
Or struggling with making better choices at the dinner table;
Or just can't get that morning walk in…
Then try a slight shift in your mindset and BECOME the person that you want to be by attaching your identity to it.
Motivation is great at times when we just need a pick-me-up.
Being DISCIPLINED is necessary for those hard tasks that we just don't want to do, but know we should.
But when we attach our identity to a HABIT we can make lasting changes that'll make our lives better.
Tell yourself that you are already the type person that you want to become and DO the things that that person does.
IDENTITY > Habit > Discipline > Motivation