Motivation. It’s a thing in life that’s there one minute, gone the next and can never actually be relied upon!
You can go to bed motivated that tomorrow you’re going to change your life completely; then morning comes and you can’t be arsed anymore and all that motivation seems to have disappeared, along with all the good intentions you had a few hours ago…
The truth of the matter is, motivation is great, when it’s there. However, when it’s not it’s very hard to sum it up out of thin air.
Today, I want to talk to you about motivation and how to make any progress at all in life, you need discipline, just incase the motivation isn’t there.
Motivation – The Unreliable Friend
My coach and mentor, Andre, said to me once before: “Motivation is like that one unreliable friend, they’re great when they’re around, but you can’t count on them to be there when you need them” and it’s certainly stuck with me.
Not so long ago, my motivation hit an all time low, for the first time since I started learning to box and kickbox…
After losing one of my best friends, losing and not performing well in a fight that I’d sacrificed so much for and then breaking my arm a few months later, my motivation to carry on was pretty much non-existent.
Not only in regards to the sport that I’ve dedicated the last 9 years to, but in regards to everything else: my writing, my coaching, my social life, etc.
What I was experiencing was not just a lack of motivation, it was in fact a bit of depression which often follows grief, loss and a bad injury.
However, even though I felt sorry for myself and I didn’t really want to train, write, coach others or socialise, I made myself do just that…
Because I knew I’d feel a lot worse off if I didn’t!
When Motivation Fails, You Must Have Discipline
So, with my arm in a mess and my head equally as perplexed, I seriously couldn’t be bothered to do much at all.
As I said though, I made sure I kept up with my usual routine despite not having the motivation to do it in the slightest.
You see, when motivation disappears and evaporates, you need to have discipline in order to stick to your guns and to grit it through that “motivation-dry” phase.
If you don’t, then all of your hard work and previous efforts all essentially amount to nothing and instead of plodding on forwards; making progress, any forward momentum totally stops and so does that area of your life.
Examples of Motivation Vs. Discipline
My biggest examples of motivation vs. discipline are in the world of boxing/kickboxing…
As a coach, I’ve trained many, many people – some people are similar to how I described myself and when they’re having a bit of a “lull” or are short on motivation, they still carry on.
They persevere and get through that “dry spell”…
On the other hand however, I’ve also trained people who are highly motivated for a number of weeks and/or months and then all of a sudden, their motivation disappears and as a result, so do they!
In any kind of sport/hobby/skill based activity, consistency is key and that means working on your craft whether you’re feeling motivated or not and that’s why the first example I gave will always outshine and outwork the people who are highly motivated and then fizzle out within a few weeks/months.
Any great Champion in any sport, or any person out there who is good at what they do will have faced times when they’ve had no motivation, been suffering from bouts of depression, anxiety or may have even fallen out of love with what they do for a short time.
The difference is, is that they stuck with it and had their own self-discipline to back them up, when motivation wouldn’t!
Don’t Rely on Motivation
The message of this post really is very simple, do not rely on motivation!
Yes, if it’s there then use it and allow it to spur you on and ignite the flame, but also, have discipline within yourself that means you continue your hard work even when the motivation dwindles and/or dissapears.
As great as it is, motivation is both a blessing and a curse…
Use it wisely, but more importantly, keep disciplined in whatever it is you do.
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