I have been writing an article for almost 3 weeks now. And from the last 3 weeks, I have been noticing my motivation levels and excitement for writing the article.
In my first week, I was at my peak motivation and peak excitement levels. I was excited to start my writing challenge.
In my second week, my motivation has started going down but my routine kept me disciplined to write the article. But I started running out of topics to write on.
In my third week, I missed a day and then another day. My motivation has been the lowest since I started my 30 writing challenge.
In third week, I started giving excuses about why should I stop this challenge. I was thinking that I have a lot of things to do and it's hard for me to manage this. I excused myself with saying that I don't have time for that and I shouldn't start my day with writing something which brings no results.
So what has changed from week 1 to week 3.
One thing surely has changed is that motivation started to fade away. So the thing about motivation is that, it's very short lived. The purpose of the motivation is always to get you started, not to keep you going.
When starting a new habit or goal, you should be doing the two things:
- Keep the motivation levels up
- Build discipline for the time when motivation will fade away
Keep the motivation levels up
Motivation often comes from results or the anticipation of results.
Suppose you want to become a successful Entrepreneur. Now imagine your life where you have a successful company and hundreds of people are working at your company. You are solving the problem that matter to you and helping the people in the best way possible.
Now Imagine a lifestyle where you have the complete financial freedom and need not care about money anymore. You have a networth of hundreds of millions. Imagine all the cars or houses or all the things that kind of money can buy.
If you this kind of Entrepreneur, you might feel motivated? You feel the motivation even though you don't have the things you desire. Just the anticipation of it, brings the motivation.
This motivation is not very long-lasting. Sooner or later, your mind will get boring visualizing the same kind of things and you will not feel the motivation as you used to feel.
Another form of motivation comes from results: Now if we take the same entrepreneur example above. Suppose you sold your first product today and that brought you $100 in your bank account. You'll motivated after the result. It's not the result from future, it's present. It's now. And you can see it, feel it.
This motivation that comes from small results and progress is much more empowering than the motivation from anticipation of results.
This motivation comes from taking small steps and bringing in small results. As long as you are making progress, you'll get the motivation coming.
There will be days when motivation will eventually fade away. These are the days when you didn't make any progress or you failed at any of your small steps. Motivation will fade away with continious failures. That's the true nature of motivation.
Discipline helps us keep going when motivation fades away. Discipline gets us going when we are seeing no results. Discipline is the true supplement for motivation.
Ideally what should we do is: Use motivation to start something and then build all sort of triggers or routine or discipline to keep you going. Something which holds you accountable and makes sure that you actually do the thing you should be doing.
Motivation is temporary. Think of motivation as a way to start something but it will not take you to the finish line. Discipline, however is the true supplement of motivation and helps you keep going when motivation fades away.