Discipline will always trump motivation

Why is it that some people succeed and some people fail?

How do you continue to motivate yourself?

In today’s video, I want to talk about why some people seem to have unlimited motivation and resources and want to get way more done every single month and why some people struggled to get over even a basic lack of motivation.

Let’s talk about why discipline always trumps motivation, why motivation is overrated, how to win whatever it is that you want to do, and perhaps more importantly when to quit.

The problem is that you see yourself not getting the results that you want. This is a really common feeling that I had.

I think a lot of funnel builders have they get very frustrated knowing that their business isn’t where they want it to get, but they then look internally and think, “Yeah, but I also feel quite lazy. I’m not motivated to work today. I can’t even get out of bed.

This problem with motivation, I believe, is attacked from multiple different angles. One of the core reasons I think it doesn’t work is because people focus too much on the word motivation.

There’s a huge misconception that people who succeed at anything are motivated, and this is going to sound insane, but that’s fundamentally incorrect.

People who succeed, aren’t motivated, they’re disciplined. Motivation is massively overrated.

If I found you someone who on day one is incredibly motivated and really excited.

Yeah! I’m going to smash this out, I’m gonna write 15 blog posts today and shoot all my videos and set up my website and they get all of that stuff done.

Compared to someone who turns up to work and knows they’ve got to do the work and is disciplined to do the work that they’ve solved for the day.

Over the long run, the disciplined person will do better. It’s really common. We see this all the time, that kind of trough of despair. I’ve talked about that in my book Universe Fuel.

Motivation is doing something when you want to do it

Motivation is doing something when you want to do it, that’s the concept of motivation. That’s what motivation means.

“I’m motivated to do this thing because immediately I understand the benefits and I’ve got the energy and the urge and I had a decent night’s sleep.

” I’ve had the right food and I’m not too dehydrated. I really liked the idea of doing it. It’s novel. It’s new. It’s fun. I’m going to get a release of dopamine. That’s why I’m motivated to do it.”

That’s why people are motivated to join gyms. That’s why people are motivated to work out more.

It’s why people are motivated to go on diets, it’s why people are motivated to start businesses or think of new product ideas, or start a YouTube channel or start blogging or emailing or whatever it is.

They’re motivated to do it because the new novel idea takes over their brain, they think, “Imagine how much dopamine I’m going to get by doing this new thing.”

Motivation burns out

The problem is that motivation burns out. Eventually, the cost reward ratio cancels each other out, and it means that you aren’t able to stay motivated.

When I wake up every single day and do the same things, day in, day out, through my routine, I’m not necessarily motivated to do it as insane as that sounds.

It doesn’t mean I don’t like doing it. It’s just as a human being and as an animal, I know that it’s more cost-effective for my energy to stay in bed, eat cereal, and then do nothing for the day.

But that’s not what I do. What I want is a better future and to do all these amazing things, but I’m not going to be motivated to do it every day.

First of all, don’t worry about feeling guilty about not being motivated, but also don’t take not being motivated to do something as a sign that you shouldn’t do it.

Discipline is doing what you know you should do, even when you don’t want to do it

Discipline on the other hand is doing what you know you should do, even when you don’t want to do it.

The concept of discipline, I think we find is like punishment. People say that our kids should be disciplined more, or the concept of doing something is discipline. That means punishing someone and that’s not true.

Discipline is doing something every single time without fail

Discipline is doing something every single time without fail, even if you think I really can’t be bothered to do that. That’s what discipline is.

Now an easy way to do that is to motivate yourself a little bit and say, “Okay, I’m going to break this down.”

I have a real problem with paperwork. I fucking hate opening letters so I often have a stack of letters on my desk that I should open.

The key to discipline is not saying, “I’m going to be motivated to get through all of it.” Because, occasionally, in the spur of the moment you might have that.

I’m disciplined to think I’m just going to open one letter. That’s all I’m going to do.

As soon as I’ve opened that one letter, I’m going to give myself a can of Coke. I’m going to go out and have a chocolate bar.

I’ll do dumb stuff like that or think I’m going to treat myself to a 10 minute YouTube video.

Usually, by breaking the first initial tiny barrier, I didn’t think actually I could probably do the second one as well and the 4th, and the 10th, and then I got a lot less.

Also acknowledging that it was difficult for you and rewarding yourself because eventually, you’re making promises to yourself that if you do this, I promise you I’m going to make it worthwhile for you.

Roald Amundsen was competing against Scott for the race to the south pole. Scott and Amundsen are two very different tactics.

The weather at the south pole, surprisingly, was very shitty. Amundsen would say, “We’re going to walk 20 miles every single day. No matter what the weather is, we’re going to do 20 miles every single day.”

Now on some days, 20 miles was relatively easy in a day to walk. It was certainly easier and they probably could have accomplished more 30, 35, maybe 40 miles, but they said, “No, we’re just going to do 20 every single day.” Cause he estimated it was a certain number of days walks from there.

Scott, on the other hand, who basically, I think he died out there. Most of his team died out. There was a huge disaster. He said, “we’re going to walk as far as we can on good days and rest on bad days.”

There are more bad days than good days. That’s actually true of life maybe that’s quite an interesting analogy, especially in the south fucking pole is going to be more bad days of weather than good days of weather.

The difference Scott was beaten by Amundsen by days and managed to make it, and also Scott lost all of his food because they were sat around waiting for motivation to hit.

They were waiting for the weather to dictate whether they could go on ahead. Whereas Amundsen said, “no, we’re going to do 20 miles.”

Some days it was a slog 20 miles, it was hard work if you’re walking for like 20 hours or something, pitch up their temp, fall asleep, but then they do 20 miles the next day.

It was much easier, but also they were gradually working their way through that process as opposed to waiting for motivation to hit.

I’ve talked a little bit about carving steps into a mountain. If you want to reach the top of the mountain and also help other people get there and be known for something you need to carve steps into the side of that mountain.

If you just do one a day, eventually it’s going to be easier for you to get to the top and traverse the mountain as opposed to other people who try to sprint up the side, get bored, say it’s too difficult, and then think actually that mountain over there looks easy to climb.

All the mountains are difficult. All the niches are difficult. All the product options or business ideas are difficult.

Your job is to commit to it and do something every single day through discipline and give yourself templates and take the pressure off.

Just write one blog post today. Just say that’s all I’m going to do. I’m just going to commit to doing this one thing every single day.

As long as it’s doing something on your business, eventually, the momentum will pick up, which I talk about in my book, universe fuel.

Eventually, you’ll find that you’re getting more returned onto you than you were putting in.

Thanks for much for watching guys. I’ll see you on the next video. Keep building those funnels.

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Mike Killen

Mike is the world's #1 sales coach for marketing funnel builders. He helps funnel builders sell marketing funnels to their customers. He is the author of From Single To Scale; How single-person, small and micro-businesses can scale their business to profit. You can find him on Twitter @mike_killen.