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The Antidote to Motivation
...or how to become unstoppable.
Before we start, it’s important to note that this post is only worth reading if you’re unhappy, unsatisfied, or uninspired. If incremental growth is good enough, or if growth isn’t your goal at all, skip this one. However, if you’re sick of being less than your full potential. If you want to find out how much of a complete fucking badass you can actually be…keep reading…this will help. I promise.
Motivation isn’t real.
Motivation is complete bullshit. It’s an excuse.
I fucking promise you. It’s not real. You must forget you've ever heard of motivation.
You’re reading this blog post because you want to be somewhere…and you are not there (yet).
…or you want to be someone…and you’re not that person.
…or you want to be WITH someone…and you’re not yet the quality of person they require.
The reason isn’t that you’re not motivated.
The reason is you’re not disciplined.
The more I research peak performance and test concepts, theories, strategies, programs, and mental models, the more convinced I am discipline lies at the top of the hierarchal pyramid of success.
Nothing ranks higher than discipline; not focus, perseverance, commitment, confidence, creativity, grit, resilience, wisdom, or any other characteristic of highly successful people.
In 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen Covey wrote, “The main thing is to keep the main thing, the main thing.”
He could have just written the word “Discipline” and been done. Shortest book on success ever…
I’m Not Motivated Right Now
Fuck your motivation.
Do you think I’m motivated to write this blog post?
…with all the shit I have going on in my life?
…with all the work that needs to be done at Rogue Risk?
…with two young sons and the time requirements of being a good father?
I’m not motivated to write this post. I write because it’s who I am, and discipline demands that I sit my ass down every morning and bleed on keys.
Do you think I’m motivated to take ice baths?
Do you think I’m motivated to read every morning?
Do you think I’m motivated to eat healthy (and do the necessary research to fuel my 42-year-old body)?
Do you think I’m motivated to exercise every day?
Do you think I’m motivated to show up for my team at Rogue Risk every day?
Do you think I’m motivated to be a little league baseball coach?
Do you think I’m motivated to reflect on all the fucking stupid mistakes I make every day and work to make the adjustments needed to not completely fall apart?
I’m not motivated; the ice bath sucks.
But I’m getting more disciplined each day…
It scares the hell out of me.
Discipline equals freedom…yes. But that’s not completely it.
Discipline equals power.
Not power over other people, but power over yourself. Power over your emotions, your feelings, and your hedonistic desires that derail your true potential.
Discipline is Binary
Koby Bryant didn’t believe in motivation.
Who am I to disagree with Kobe Bryant? What nerve do you have to question the second-best basketball player in the history of the NBA? (Jordan is the G.O.A.T.)
You’re either disciplined, or you’re not.
You get it done, or you don’t.
You do the thing, or you make the excuse.
Too busy, or
It’s NOT because:
You don’t have the right education or experience,
Your kids are too young, or,
You don’t know where to start.
Motivation is the opiate of underachievers.
Let that sink in for a minute.
It should offend you. It was meant to offend you. It offends me.
That is why I always say it to myself when I’m making excuses for not doing what I promised myself I’d do…
“I don’t feel like it.”
Sure, you don’t feel like it. No one feels like doing hard shit. No one enjoys being uncomfortable. No one wants pain or discomfort.
But the badass motherfuckers do it anyway.
…because they’re disciplined.
Fuck Your Motivation
There is a version of you; you want to become.
You can see it; You can feel it.
If only you were motivated. If only you had more willpower. If only you had more time.
“If only” will destroy your soul.
Motivation is bullshit.
You never have enough time.
All you have is discipline. It’s binary. Do the thing. Don’t do the thing.
Get closer to what you want to become or don’t.
Most people confuse having the goal with the activities necessary to achieve the goal.
…or maybe most people are willing to trade the short-term dopamine hit of announcing a goal on social media with the life-changing upside of actually doing all the shitty work necessary to achieve the goal.
As a good friend shared with me last night, the goal won’t change your life.
Discipline changes your life.
Doing the activities change your life.
Not because of the goal but because when you reach the goal, you’re already a different person.
Your brain has been rewired.
You’ve become the type of person that does hard shit and achieves hard goals.
… and you don’t give a fuck what people think.
You get shit done.
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Discipline is a Choice
You’re stressed, burnout, and filled with doubt.
You’ve become civilized, comfortable, and soft.
These are the sirens of excuse-makers.
But if only you were motivated like David Goggins.
Watch the video; motivation doesn’t exist. It’s a myth.
Jocko Willink, former Navy Seal and bestselling author of Discipline Equals Freedom, believes discipline is the most critical ingredient to success in any (and every) aspect of your life.
Without discipline, there will be no real progress.
“Don't expect to be motivated every day to get out there and make things happen. You won't be. Don't count on motivation. Count on Discipline.” – Jocko Willink.
Without discipline, there is no growth.
Without discipline, you remain the same weak-willed, loathsome, underachieving excuse-maker looking back at you in the mirror.
But this doesn’t have to be the case.
Discipline is a choice.
Maybe you’re not who you want to be today.
We can change that.
How to Become Unstoppable
Here’s the deal, discipline is nothing more than a practice.
…and we discussed the importance of looking at life as a practice.
1) Start Small
Maybe you want to read more.
Mornings are a good time to read. The house is quiet. You’re at max energy and concentration.
But instead, immediately upon waking, you pick up your phone and check your email, social media, sports scores, gambling apps, dating apps, or whatever other digital distraction the phone provides.
Before you know it, the kids are up, or it’s time to get ready for work, and no reading happens.
You believe, as I do, reading (good books) is one of the most valuable activities we can pursue regarding personal development.
Yet, you just haven’t been motivated to sit down and read. Fuck your motivation.
Move your phone away from the bed. Take all your apps with notifications and move them to the last screen on your phone. Keep the phone away from wherever it is you sit when you read. Finally, set a “Done Reading” alarm (separate from your morning wake-up alarm) so you can crack out on your smartphone when it goes off.
Simple. Small. Easy.
Now you’re reading…and, in the process, building a discipline practice.
2) Do Not Test Your Willpower
In his international bestselling book, Atomic Habits, James Clear outlines a major key to discipline most people completely miss:
“When scientists analyze people who appear to have tremendous self-control, it turns out those individuals aren't all that different from those who are struggling. Instead, 'disciplined' people are better at structuring their lives in a way that does not require heroic willpower and self-control. In other words, they spend less time in tempting situations. The people with the best self-control are typically the ones who need to use it the least. It's easier to practice self-restraint when you don't have to use it very often.”
Thankfully, James put this thought slightly more succinctly on Twitter…
Basically, if you struggle with snacking on junk fook after dinner, get the damn junk food out of the house.
This can go for soul-sucking negative people, drugs & alcohol, video games, Netflix, shallow sex, or whatever vice keeps you from becoming the person you want to become.
Discipline becomes much easier when you aren’t constantly faced with tapping into your willpower to stay on the path.
3) Act As the Person You Want to Become
There is someone you want to become. You are not that person today. However, you can imagine that person.
Maybe they’re in great shape. Maybe they’re well-read. Maybe they are confident and direct with potential sexual partners. Maybe this person is a beloved leader or gangster killer salesperson.
Picture that person in your mind.
What would that person do?
Would they eat that cookie? Would they stay up that late? Would they have another drink? Would they defer to that middle manager? Would they avoid making eye contact with the sexy brunette?
The person you dream of becoming is who they are because they are disciplined and you are not.
So don’t make decisions like you…you suck at discipline.
…make decisions as if you were that person you dream of becoming.
Christians do this with the motto, WWJD; what would Jesus do?
Maybe that’s a good place to start…but I know that God stuff can make things a little weird for some of you.
If this is the case, start with something more secular and closer to home. What would the peak version of you do as a:
Spouse or partner
Writer or creator
Mentor or mentee
Pick just one. Be disciplined in just one area of your life. Be really fucking disciplined in one area of your life.
What you’ll find is discipline spreads.
Before you know it, you won’t just be disciplined but unstoppable.
Becoming disciplined isn’t a wholly selfish act.
Discipline spreads. Not just throughout your own life but the people around as well.
Your mother sees you going to the gym every day and cutting out trash food and decides to tackle her weight issues.
Your spouse has been putting off opening up her own business. But after watching you turn the TV off every night at 930pm and start getting up at 500am to get ahead at work, she forms an LLC and begins the journey.
…and do you think your kids aren’t watching every move you make?
Shit, if for no other reason, get disciplined for your kids.
Here’s the rub; you have to want it.
Discipline may give you the power to make all your wildest dreams come true, but it’s also incredibly, ridiculously, insanely hard.
Everything in our modern, Leftist world is built purposely to keep you fat, dumb, and sedated.
You’re going to have setbacks. You’re going to run out of willpower. You’re going to give in to temptation. You’re going to make excuses. You’re most definitely going to want to give up.
Decide not to give up.
One time…just one time…do something you don’t want to do, not because you’re forced to by work or obligation…but simply because “Fuck Motivation.”
You don’t need motivation.
I believe in you.
Now get to work.
p.s. if you are enjoying Finding Peak, it would mean a lot to me if you shared this article with your network, it’s how we grow…
p.s.s if you miss this one, it’s worth the read…
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