Motivation vs Discipline
It’s funny (but also kind of creepy) how you’ll be thinking or talking about something and just so happens that something similar (or exact) pops up on your social media feeds as a sponsored post. In any case, I recently got out of a little training slump where I didn’t feel motivated to train like I had just a month prior. Then, of course out of nowhere, FaceBook pops up a memory of a friend’s post that I had shared sometime last year…
It was entitled: UNPOPULAR OPINION: MOTIVATION IS BULLSH*T. And then of course it hit me that I wasn’t really having an issue with “motivation,” but rather with discipline and getting my butt to actually GO train as I’d make excuses that I was too tired or had other more important things to do.
In his post, Ricardo Castaneda (black belt at GB Lakeway) explains:
Any athlete knows that motivation is unsustainable. Anyone who is trying to “motivate” you is trying to sell you something: a product, an idea, a story.
Plenty of coaches will try to motivate you to come to your next class and “never give up.” A real and true coach will motivate you when you need it but will ultimately provide you with a system for moving forward and further, the discipline to keep going despite “motivation.”
If you consistently rely on “motivation” (a feeling) to get things done, you will fail pretty soon after you start.
Motivation comes and goes. Try being disciplined instead.
I think that we all go through phases where we don’t feel “motivated” and take breaks from training. The difference now, is how we address these moments when they happen; as it isn’t so much about being motivated to train, but rather, the discipline to keep going when your mind may not feel the same.
One way that I have learned to counter this, thanks to this reminder by Ricardo, is by reaching out to one of my coaches/training partners who has the ability to motivate me, while at the same time keeping me accountable for my training. Being able to discuss with them freely of why I feel the way that I do and coming up with ways to overcome those feelings and use that as motivation to improve.
I think it is also important to add to what Ricardo said, is that a real and true coach will be as passionate about BJJ as they are about helping others. There are a lot of good coaches out there, but many of them are so full of their own ego that their only form of motivation will be to tell you to come back to class and keep training rather than actually helping you. Find someone who will help keep you accountable, not just to go to class, but to keep improving.