What is the difference between discipline and motivation?
If there is something you want to achieve, your internal reasoning that forces you on a path towards achieving this goal is motivation. How much effort you put in, in order to achieve that goal, is discipline.
Let’s look at motivation
Now, motivation is an inner force based on inspiration and your own internal and external reasoning.
Motivation can help you focus on your goals. This can be influenced or kick-started by a variety of factors: your own dreams or those of your loved ones (such as parents or other family members or other people you care about – motivation is infectious!), or in seeking out the pleasure derived from achieving a set goal. Motivation is the reasoning as to why you are attempting to achieve a certain goal.
So, what is discipline?
While motivation and discipline directly complement each other, they don’t always work hand in hand. Discipline could be defined loosely as the strategy or route you follow regularly in order to achieve your goals. According to Narayan Moorthy, “Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishment”.
An example of the difference between the two could be a student preparing for an exam. The reason they are preparing for the exam is that they dream of becoming a scientist. This would be their motivation for success in the exam. The student then commits to a schedule of study – for example, five hours a day – until the exam. This would be the discipline that the student was following.
As you can see, both discipline and motivation are uniquely important but co-dependant in achieving the goal.
Being disciplined helps us remain productive, increases self-confidence and patience, and teaches you what you need to overcome failure.
You need both
Interestingly, according to a study on athletes, we see that strong self-discipline influences the motivation of people. Being disciplined can be more draining if motivation is based on external factors, and you are much more likely to end up burned out and exhausted by your task.
Athletes are often driven by intrinsic motivation, meaning it is easier for them to resist temptations that would negatively affect their daily schedule.
Motivation and discipline are two sides of the same coin and are both very important in achieving long term goals throughout your life.