The Silent Dream Killer

Originally published August 1, 2017 by The Montrose Daily Press

Motivation is an incredibly unreliable way to go about getting things done. Successful people are fueled instead by discipline and enjoy the occasional motivational boost.  

Motivation has better use in an overall arching theme than in the everyday grind of making it happen. For instance, if a person is motivated to start his/her own business, that motivation may remain in the background throughout the process. But

Motivation is an incredibly unreliable way to go about getting things done. Successful people are fueled instead by discipline and enjoy the occasional motivational boost.  

Motivation has better use in an overall arching theme than in the everyday grind of making it happen. For instance, if a person is motivated to start his/her own business, that motivation may remain in the background throughout the process. But there will be many times in the day-to-day operations he/she wants to quit, walk away, or decide maybe it wasn’t such a good idea after all. When motivation runs out in times like these, discipline should be there sticking it out.

Sometimes you kick butt all day and find 5 o’clock has found you with your to-do list mastered and you still have energy to spare. Other days, motivation is on vacation and you stare blankly into space wondering when the coffee is going to kick in. Unfortunately, when you are a business owner, manager, or otherwise, you lack the luxury of giving in when motivation is waning. Leaders must be disciplined in all they do and set an example for the rest of the organization.

Discipline is required if you’re striving toward change in any capacity. Things will get hard. Your mind will play tricks on you. You will not feel like having an uncomfortable conversation with Hannah from customer service for the fourth time. You might be unmotivated to even get yourself out of bed and properly groomed for work some days. Motivation is elusive.

Tips to trick yourself into discipline when motivation checks out:

1.Just start. Whether it is the monthly report you despise, the inbox full of emails, or your daily workout, just begin. Tell yourself “all you have to do is start it,” and typically once you take that first step, you will find yourself finishing the task before you’ve even realized it.

2. Tap into long-term motivation. Remind yourself if you get into the habit of skipping out on that one monthly meeting, or completing the safety checklist, or whatever it is you’re battling, you will eventually find yourself in a position of disadvantage. You’re motivated to get a promotion, be successful or whatever it may be. If you start skipping the small steps, they will add up to big disappointment in the long run.

3. Bargain with yourself. Tell yourself, “If you complete task A, then you can take a 10-minute break to walk down to the coffee shop.” Often that carrot on a stick mentality can be a very effective path to discipline.

4. Finally, when all else fails, you have to be mentally tough. Discipline takes some mental butt-kicking. The most successful business owners, athletes, leaders, etc., have this in common. Ever heard the saying “when the going gets tough, the tough get going”? In order to reach high level success, you will have to tap into uncomfortable places and push yourself even when you’d rather not.

Motivation is the silent killer of dreams. To rely on motivation is to rely on failure. The practice of discipline is the single most important ingredient in accomplishing our goals. They don’t call it the “daily grind” for nothing. If you remember nothing else from what’s been said here, remember this: Just begin.

“Easy choices, hard life. Hard choices, easy life.”

–Jerzy Gregorek

Chelsea Rosty is the executive director of the Montrose Chamber of Commerce and director of business innovation for the City of Montrose. She can be reached at chelsea@montrosechamber.com.

there will be many times in the day to day operations they want to quit, walk away, or decide maybe it wasn’t such a good idea after all. When motivation runs out in times like these, discipline should be there sticking it out.

Sometimes you kick butt all day and find 5 o’clock has found you with your to-do list mastered and you still have energy to spare. Other days, motivation is on vacation and you stare blankly into space wondering when the coffee is going to kick in. Unfortunately, when you are a business owner, manager, or otherwise, you lack the luxury of giving in when motivation is waning. Leaders must be disciplined in all they do and set an example for the rest of the organization.

Discipline is required if you’re striving toward change in any capacity. Things will get hard. Your mind will play tricks on you. You will not feel like having an uncomfortable conversation with Hannah from customer service for the fourth time. You might be unmotivated to even get yourself out of bed and properly groomed for work some days. Motivation is elusive.

Tips to trick yourself into discipline when motivation checks out:

1. Just start. Whether it is the monthly report you despise, the inbox full of emails, or your daily workout, just begin. Tell yourself “all you have to do is start it”, and typically once you take that first step, you will find yourself finishing the task before you’ve even realized it.

2. Tap into long-term motivation. Remind yourself if you get into the habit of skipping out on that one monthly meeting, or completing the safety checklist, or whatever it is you’re battling, you will eventually find yourself in a position of disadvantage.You’re motivated to get a promotion, be successful or whatever it may be. If you start skipping the small steps, they will add up to big disappointment in the long run.

3. Bargain with yourself. Tell yourself “If you complete task A, then you can take a ten minute break to walk down to the coffee shop.” Often that carrot on a stick mentality can be a very effective path to discipline.

4. Finally, when all else fails, you have to be mentally tough. Discipline takes some mental butt kicking. The most successful business owners, athletes, leaders, etc. have this in common. Ever heard the saying “when the going gets tough, the tough get going”? In order to reach high level success, you will have to tap into uncomfortable places and push yourself even when you’d rather not.

Motivation is the silent killer of dreams. To rely on motivation is to rely on failure. The practice of discipline is the single most important ingredient in accomplishing our goals. They don’t call it the “daily grind” for nothing. If you remember nothing else from what’s been said here, remember this: Just begin.

“Easy choices, hard life. Hard choices, easy life.” –Jerzy Gregorek

Chelsea Rosty is the executive director of the Montrose Chamber of Commerce and director of business innovation for the City of Montrose. She can be reached at chelsea@montrosechamber.com.