Motivation vs Discipline

Everybody needs motivation. From having an ambition of striving to be the richest entrepreneur this planet has ever seen, to losing those extra few kilos of body fat that were gained over the festive season. Motivation is what is needed to help us take that first step. It is the burning desire within us that triggers initiation for us to start on a journey to get to a particular destination. For example, someone who is interested in property investing might read an article that really resonates with them. Then all of a sudden, that person gets amped, pumped and ready to get into the property game. That person becomes highly motivated and starts searching for properties online. After a few weeks of searching through a tough market and slowly realising the actual cost and commitment of the whole exercise, the motivation wears off. That person gets distracted with a holiday or a new car. Property investment then takes a second or third priority. The property dream is over. Motivation is lost. What went wrong? How did one become so motivated, yet was unable to follow through?

The missing link is discipline. Many talk about how they want to invest in property or that they want to start a business but nothing ever eventuates. Why is this? Lack of discipline to follow through with necessary habits to make it happen. Saving a deposit for your first home requires discipline. Cutting back on life’s luxuries, moving back home with mum and dad and eating two-minute noodles for dinner are all made possible with strong discipline. Most cannot follow this type of regime of sacrifice due to the fact that life has just been too good in the past, it is almost impossible for some to go without. Motivation will get you talking, but discipline is what will see you through to achieving your goals. Changing and adapting to a lifestyle that will force you to form and implement habits, is the only way to success. Having the discipline to endure the difficult times is essential, especially when everyone around you is enjoying juicy steaks and drinking expensive bottles of wine.

Getting motivated is easy. Go to a property seminar and you will be guaranteed to be fired up. With all the luxury (sometimes fabricated) outcomes they sell you it’s hard not be motivated. Visit your local Mercedes dealership and sit in your favourite AMG. Start the engine. Smell the leather. Attend a luxury waterfront front home open for inspection in the eastern suburbs of Sydney. Look at the view. Picture yourself living there. Now you are motivated. What is going to get you through though? What is going to keep you getting up at 4am to get to work? What is going to give you the power to say no to your friends when they are all going out for a night out on the town? It’s called discipline. This is what is going to get you through even when you don’t feel like it.

A few years ago I was quite overweight and I set out on a journey to transform my body from 20 plus percent body fat down to under 10 percent. I was in pretty unhealthy shape. My diet was full of high GI carbs and some bad fats. I was doing zero cardiovascular exercise and I had neglected to train the most important muscle in our bodies, my heart. I finally found the motivation to change my life due to a health scare that had shown up on my yearly blood test check up. I started eating better foods, took my supplements regularly, I did a cardio run every morning at 7am (early for me) seven days a week and I also did a second gym session in the evening. There were days when I didn’t feel like going to the gym. There were days when I just wanted to eat ice cream for dinner. But I stuck to my strict routine. After 12 weeks I had transformed my life. The process produced results I didn’t even imagine possible at the start. I am now in the best shape of my life. The habits I learned and implemented along the way, have now stuck with me for life. I still train twice a day, eat healthy food and monitor my progress on a regular basis. It is now a lifestyle. Looking at my blood test results gave me the motivation to make a change. Discipline got me through the process. Discipline got me through when I didn’t feel like training. Discipline got me through when I had cravings for Domino’s.

I have applied these same sort of habits towards my businesses and property portfolio. Just like in health and fitness, in order to be successful we must be disciplined with our time and energy. Motivation alone is not enough. We need to have discipline when saving for a deposit, making our mortgage repayments and managing our property, by forming good habits of sacrifice and delayed gratification. It is having the discipline to learn and educate yourself in all areas of business that will help you to achieve your goals. Small increments everyday can lead to big results later down the track. Focus on the bigger picture, as the long game is the best game when it comes to real estate success.

Successful property investors all have some sort of discipline to get them through the tough times. The times when they don’t feel like sacrificing. The times when they have no more funds to further invest. They teach and educate themselves on a regular basis to keep fuelling that burning desire inside their belly. Motivation alone does not cut it. Having a strong mindset to stay on course, and to learn and execute when needed are all contributors of building a solid foundation of discipline for success. Those who rely solely on motivation, get left behind. Many talk about wanting to succeed but few are willing to do what it takes. Stop TALKING. Start DOING.