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Motivation Versus Discipline

Motivation Versus Discipline

Motivation is fickle. Relying only on motivation is like fueling your body on candy. Sugar is a quick and easy source of calories that spike your energy levels only to leave you depleted shortly after. Where motivation fails, discipline takes over. Discipline would be the complex carbohydrate that provides energy over a longer period of time. Discipline is the life hack for success, whether it be in business or Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. People can define discipline in a multitude of ways. The best definition that I’ve come across is from a man named Jocko Willink.

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Jocko Willink is a retired Navy Seal commander, BJJ black belt, and author. He starts defining discipline by explaining that it comes from you, and only you. It is an internal force that only you can control. Discipline starts and ends with the choices that you make. It is the mechanism we rely on to not waiver when motivation starts to slip away. Jocko simply states Discipline equals freedom.

So how do we apply this to Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu? For the most part BJJ is simple to stay motivated for. It provides an amplitude of new things to learn which is key when staying engaged in an activity. Variety is the spice of life so they say, and BJJ provides plenty of spice. For those of you who are training multiple times per day or working full time jobs on top of training, motivation is in short supply. This is where discipline steps in. Discipline is your key to success while training BJJ.

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Self-awareness is another factor that is far too often overlooked in the discipline department. Understanding and acknowledging issues is part of staying on the path to success. Unprocessed issues that fester into something larger are often times what causes us to derail our discipline. Bad day at work? Better stay home and finish the rest of the ice cream in the fridge. Spousal issues? I can’t do Jiu-Jitsu in this frame of mind. Our mind is like water. Not in the cool Bruce Lee way, but instead the path of least resistance way. It’s easy to decide to take a day off. It can be difficult to stand up to the little voice in our head and stay on the path of discipline, but one hundred percent of the time it is the right call.

A day will come when you finally feel the fatigue of your discipline. This is where a little motivation can come in handy. Just about the time when you feel like you can’t push forward do yourself a favor and put a little pep talk from Jocko on. Go ahead and try to stay off the mats after watching this.

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