Discipline Vs Motivation: What You Need to Know

an image of a Psychologist trying to unravel someone's brain who is trying to figure out the difference between discipline vs motivation

Discipline vs motivation has always been a hot topic, and there is a good reason why this is the case. 

Discipline and motivation are both essential tools that we can use to get the things we want, and both play an important role in the lives of millions of people around the world. 

However, there are more than just a few reasons why discipline trumps motivation, and we are going to tell you why discipline always wins when it comes to self discipline vs motivation. 

Discipline Vs Motivation – What’s The Difference?  

Despite what most people think, motivation and discipline are two entirely different things.  

For the most part, motivation is completely sporadic and out of our control. This isn’t to say that motivation is useless.

On the contrary; many of the most important moments in history have been spurred on by motivation alone. 

You could be sitting down one second, and the next, you have a spur of motivation and come up with an amazing business idea.

However, this is where the problem with motivation lies. While motivation may motivate you to do things for a short time, this motivation will quickly be depleted. 

This could mean that you begin working on your new business idea only to scrap the entire project just weeks later, or it could mean that you quit your new workout routine after promising yourself to stick to it just a few days prior.  

This is where discipline comes in.  

Unlike motivation, discipline is not a feel-good emotion that inspires you to accomplish your goals.

No, in many cases, discipline can feel uncomfortable or bad. 

So, what is discipline? Discipline is simply doing something no matter how you feel. 

To use the aforementioned examples; discipline would make you carry on working on your business after your motivation ran out, or it would be the thing that makes you work out even when you don’t want to.  

This makes discipline extremely powerful.  

With discipline, you can pursue goals that would have otherwise been long forgotten were you to just rely on motivation.  

This is why it is much more accurate to describe discipline vs motivation as ability vs motivation, as without discipline, the chances of you sticking to something in the long run are slim to none. 

With that being said, let’s take a look at why relying on motivation is a bad idea.  

Why Relying on Motivation is a Bad Idea  

As you may have gathered from everything we said in the first section of this article, relying on motivation is rarely the best course of action. 

While motivation might get you through the first few days or weeks, you will not be able to sustain yourself for much longer than that.  

Moreover, there is no proven way to reproduce motivation if you want to experience more of it.  

Sure, you could google a discipline vs motivation quote and get uplifted briefly, but motivation as a whole is just not renewable.  

Fortunately, discipline is.  

This separates motivation and self discipline quite substantially. 

If you want to see something through, you just cannot rely on motivation. Don’t believe us? Just try it.

Try and stick to a new hobby like working out or eating healthy for a month with just motivation alone. 

While you might feel unstoppable at the start of the challenge, the chances that you will quit within a few weeks are incredibly high. 

Discipline, on the other hand, can make you stick to the aforementioned hobbies for months, years, or even your entire life if you want.  

This is why becoming disciplined is so vital for success in life.  

Without discipline, you will never achieve anything that is worthwhile.  

Sure, you might be able to do things that are easy or that you enjoy, but as soon as it comes to doing something that you don’t feel like doing, you will be out of luck. 

Luckily, discipline isn’t something that is only reserved for Navy Seals (yes, we know many of you are coming from the Jocko Willink motivation vs discipline video) or firefighters.  

Anyone can be disciplined with the tips we are about to tell you, even the laziest of individuals. Here are a few secrets about how you can become more disciplined.  

The Secret to Becoming More Disciplined 

Truth be told; discipline is easy once you set things up in the right way. 

Many people assume that disciplined people are just born different, being able to look at any problem in the eyes and stare it down until it runs away.  

This is just not the case. 

The secret to being disciplined is not in being tough or strong; it’s through creating good habits.  

You see, habits are somewhat of a cheat code for humans.  

Habits can allow us to automate certain processes, and this can allow us to do things we originally did not even want to do without thinking about it.  

So, to become more disciplined, we need to get better at creating and sticking to habits. How do we achieve this? Well, it’s simple. 

There has been a ton of research on habits, and almost all experts agree on one thing; you have to be incredibly specific when you want to do something. 

For example, if you want to start a new business, you would plan out an exact time for when you will start working on your business every day. This could be 10-12, 7-10, or even 4-4:20 – whatever works best for you.

As long as you pick a time that works for you as well as a duration that you are comfortable with, you will be much more likely to stick to whatever it is you want to do.

This includes sticking to it even when you do not feel like it. There are inevitably going to be days when you just do not feel like working out or working on your business, and these are the days that are the most important.  

On days like this, you just have to do it. We know; it is easier said than done.

It might make you feel terrible in the moment, and we have no doubt that you will come up with every excuse as to why you shouldn’t do what you need to.

But you should still do it no matter what clever excuse you come up with. 

Eventually, you will get to a stage where you barely even think about doing whatever it is you are trying to do. This is the point when people begin to call you disciplined.

 If you follow this simple advice for any goal, dream, or hobby you may have, you will quickly become unstoppable.  

This is all discipline is. Just a few hard weeks and then voila – all of a sudden you are on autopilot and cannot understand why everyone is so impressed with your so-called “discipline”.  

Discipline Vs Motivation – FAQs


What is The Difference Between Discipline and Motivation?

The difference between discipline and motivation is that discipline is under our control while motivation is not.

Motivation comes and goes, while discipline is something that we can actively control and improve.

Are Motivation and Self Discipline the Same Thing?

Motivation and self discipline are not the same thing.

Motivation is not under our control, while self discipline is. You should not rely on motivation.

What is The Best Discipline Vs Motivation Quote?

The best discipline Vs motivation quote is this “motivation gets you going, but discipline keeps you growing” – John C Maxwell.

There are many other superb discipline Vs motivation quotes, but this one is one of the most well-known.

We hope we have been able to give you a better insight into the difference between motivation and discipline. 

While motivation is an incredible feeling that can push us to do incredible things, it is simply not under control. Meanwhile, discipline is.  

Discipline is an inexhaustible resource we can pull from to ensure that we do the things that we need to do in order to become better people, and if you are lacking in discipline, you should set about rectifying this straight away.  

Motivation vs discipline is not too complex to understand. You cannot rely on motivation, but you can rely on discipline.  

If you would like more advice on how to become more disciplined or you would just like to know how to better yourself in general, feel free to check out MovingForwards to see if there is any other content that could be of help. 

We have plenty more self-improvement articles out there; motivation vs discipline is just the beginning.  

Good luck!