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7/6/16 at 03:48 AM 0 Comments

Motivation Or Discipline: Which One's More Essential

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You look at successful people and you wonder how they did it. You hear the stories about the successful man or woman who grew up with nothing and somehow managed to end up a millionaire. You see the successful restaurateur who parlayed a food cart into a chain of restaurants and you wonder how it was done. You hear that anyone can make something of themselves if they just try. But trying isn’t all of it, is it? These successful people must have something more and they do, but it isn’t something you don’t have, it’s something they developed.


One thing successful people have is motivation. They have something that causes them to act. It could be simply refusing to live in poverty forever. It could be that they want their parents to be proud of them or they wanted to be the first in their family to own a business or become the head of a company. Just like the children that are the first in their family to graduate from high school or college, people that are successful started out with a goal or a vision. There was something in their lives that was missing or that made them unhappy or discontented and they sought to change it.

The person with the push cart started the push cart to support himself. Though he made enough money to live, he wanted more. He saw his future and realized that he couldn’t do this for 40 years and frankly, didn’t want to. He then got married and had a child. And yes, what he did was an honest living, but he wanted his child to be proud of him. In short, he wanted more and this was his motivation.


He knew he had a good product and everyone liked it. So he thought about opening a storefront. With his family as his motivation, he began to research his idea of a small storefront shop from which he could sell his wares. Once he understood what was required and what it would cost, he began to start saving the money. Perhaps you’ve heard advice to new entrepreneurs from some of the good motivational speakers who are the industry experts and works best in order to provide you with some sort of motivation. From them, the first bit of advice is if you can’t afford to live on nothing, work for someone else. Starting a business when you aren’t a trust fund baby means you have to do it in your spare time because you still have to eat and have a roof over your head. In other words, you have to start exercising self-discipline.

Obviously the less you spend the more you save, so that coffee you buy every day? You don’t buy it. That cool phone you want to upgrade to? You don’t. You discipline yourself to spend money on only what you need and on nothing that you want. That goes for your family too because you are all in this together. It is hard and you have to work at keeping up the discipline to save what you need to realize your dream. You have to learn to deny yourself and your loved ones in pursuit of the ultimate goal. You may have to work longer hours if something unexpected comes up. You may have to change your habits. In short you will have to discipline yourself in a whole new way. You will have to think differently and act differently.

Motivation vs Discipline

But which is the most important, motivation or discipline. Well if you look at what you have to do to get ahead and achieve the success you so desperately want, it would seem that if you keep your eye on the prize you would be fine. Though you would think that just remembering the goal would be sufficient it isn’t. Remembering the goal helps you stay on the path to getting there, but what you motivated you to set that goal in the first place will help you overcome the great obstacles you may have to overcome in order to get there.

Discipline is important and you surely won’t succeed without it. Even if you’re simply climbing the rungs of the corporate ladder, you must have the discipline to rapidly get out the tasks you hate doing, be nice to that insufferable secretary, be upbeat even though you certainly don’t feel it. You must stay the course because a slip up can drop you down a rung or two. So it is with the aspiring business owner. If he starts to give in to his wants instead of his needs, soon giving in will be easier and easier and off the track he goes until he has to start all over.

The one thing that will help you continue on course and weather the storms is remembering not the goal itself, but what motivated you to have a vision of that goal and want to work to achieve it. Seeing yourself as a successful business owner or the CEO of the company is a daydream, but seeing your family rise from poverty is a motivator and club that will beat you back into your disciplined place.

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