Motivation vs. Discipline

When I read forum posts or comments or tweets from YouTube creators, I find that many of them are enamored of the idea of fame. There seems to be this idea that fame will bring with it a set of tools that aren’t available to the mere mortals who create content on the platform, the main tool being “motivation.”

Aisha Tyler, a comedian and actress I admire, said once on her podcast that fame and success just mean you can keep doing the same thing, but for more money and a bigger audience. I think people forget that the journey towards creative pursuits isn’t a climb to a peak, but a never-ending path.

For some reason, the idea of motivation as an outside force that will allow you to create the things you’re meant to create has taken hold of people who want to do things in a creative space. Often, I’ll read or hear things like, “I want to make more videos, but I just don’t have the motivation.”

I find a lot of people say they lack motivation when what they lack is discipline. Motivation and inspiration are fine, but neither one actually turns into action. You can do things without being motivated to do them, and in fact, we do things all the time with little to no motivation (brushing teeth, going to work, basic chores). However, when it comes to things that are attached to our goals and dreams, for some reason, we tend to think, as a society, that it needs to be inspired by some sort of outside (or internal) spark, rather than the result of hard work.

You can make things without being motivated. Some of people’s best work can happen in times when they’re just churning out the next thing in order to get to something better. Don’t let a lack of something inessential to creativity get in the way of doing the work you want to do.

Be disciplined always, instead of waiting for motivation occasionally.

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