Discipline vs Motivation

The following tweet recently popped up in my Twitter feed:

While reading it, I found myself nodding along agreeing with every word. But something wasn’t right. I couldn’t quite put my finger on what, though, until I discussed it with my wife.

I love discussing intellectual topics with my wife. While we don’t always agree on things, we respect each other’s opinions. We also help each other express our thoughts more clearly than if we were trying to formulate them on our own.

That exactly what my wife helped me with in this case.

While there is some truth in the rant, the more I thought about it, the more I disagreed with the overall message. I think my disagreement can be summarized with one sentence:

Discipline gets the bare minimum done, while motivation allows you to excel.

There’s also no need to choose one over the other. You need both. Discipline is a safety net. Something to fall back on when motivation is not there. While I prefer working when motivated[1], having the discipline to continue when not is invaluable.

I also believe you can train yourself to be motivated. I recently wrote about what I do to motivate myself when I’m just not feeling it.

It feels weird to write such a short blog post. Maybe I just wasn’t motivated?[2]

Find me on Twitter. I’m @yonomitt.

Have a nice day,

  1. Who doesn’t?  ↩

  2. While that’s supposed to be a joke, quantity is rarely a valid measure for a job done.  ↩