Discipline vs. Passion: Why passion and motivation suck

Behind every successful man: why passion doesn’t work

On our entrepreneurial journey, the common question is: “how to be more productive?” Or: “how to get things done?” Why not a motivational movie or motivational videos on YouTube? After all, it’s great to be motivated right after watching an inspiring movie. Or maybe success quotes? But motivation is unreliable.  Lack of motivation affects directly our work. Motivation without consistency is nothing more than an illusion. When we will be motivated again? We don’t know. The more we wait to be motivated, the more it becomes normal to wait and produce nothing. If we are a blogger; all that matters is content. By the same token, if we claim to be a successful entrepreneur, we must give and produce value to the market.

What successful people do: value discipline over passion


Willpower is like a muscle: the more we train it, the more it grows.

Rather than waiting to be inspired, a better approach would be discipline. Motivation comes with motion. We discipline ourselves to start, to take action and motivation will follow. It’s hard to wake up at 05:00 am. It’s even more surprising when you hear some people wake up at 04:00 am and do it daily. Life would be unbearable if we only have this kind of military discipline. But here’s the good thing: being disciplined gets easier with time. Willpower is like a muscle: the more we train it, the more it grows. As our muscles or willpower grows, it builds leverage in all we do.

Traits of successful people: the truth about discipline

Discipline requires willpower, but only at the beginning. The goal is to form a habit, so that we become “automatically disciplined”. When the habit is formed, we effortlessly accomplish what we planned to achieve. Imagine we want to lose weight. Discipline ourselves to work out, eat healthy food can be overwhelming. Building a habit to eat only green and healthy foods would be a better approach.

Imagine: we want to learn a foreign language by ourselves.  Starting the project excites us. We could spend the entire day dreaming about what we’ll accomplish. But learning a language is more a marathon than a sprint. It is not how good you start but how good you will end the race. Yet, learning is neither a race nor has an ending point. It is an endless journey. If we focus only on the results, we will kill the process. Focusing on the results will sooner or later give results. This is why we need to discipline ourselves and stick to the process that produces results.

Relationship with women

We are excited about a new project or about a new girlfriend. We have all the reasons to be excited. But as time goes by, we might feel tired of them again and look for novelty. We might then be tempted to work on a new project or look for a new girlfriend. And the dance never ends. It’s surprising to observe how our life reflects a lack of discipline. If we are careless with our relationship, if we lack proactivity, the initial enjoyment quickly disappears. Life gives us challenges just as our relationship. We have the choice to approach them as a problem or an opportunity to grow. Loving someone is just like this: we might have common goals but we enjoy the present moment, we enjoy the journey together.