When preparing for state officer interviews, one of the prep questions I was asked was, “What would you consider your motto or something that you live by?” I was slightly taken aback as I hadn’t really ever thought about the question and even more by the fact that I didn’t have a quick response. I stood there and I pondered. “What is something that I live by,” I asked myself. Eventually, a few things came to mind — one of them being, discipline gets you where motivation can’t take you.
We often hear a lot about motivation. It is everywhere in our culture. Motivational speakers, videos, and quotes, the list goes on and on. Many times these motivators are useful and will get us engaged in whatever we are trying to accomplish. We can all think of a time where motivation got us started, but there had to be something more to get us to keep going. Maybe we decided that we would start a regular workout routine or that we were going to get caught up on all of our homework. It quite possibly could be something bigger, like becoming a state winner in a contest or proficiency. These decisions likely were made by a motivating factor. At some point though, we will need to step beyond motivation and tap into something more, something bigger. This is where discipline comes into play.
Discipline is the ultimate factor in making sure we will achieve what we set out to achieve. This type of discipline is controlled behavior. We are not letting ourselves get distracted from the end goal and are taking all the steps we know are necessary to get there. We get a workout partner that makes us go to the gym, we have someone check on us to make sure our homework gets done, and we study long and hard so we know our contest inside and out. These are the actions that help us complete tasks and that get us where we set out to go.
Motivation is great, and gets us doing what we might never have tried otherwise. However, discipline is worth more. Discipline is hard, but it is what it takes to achieve everything we know we are capable of. Tapping into it or not can be the difference between finding what we are good at and never knowing our full potential.