How Much Motivation Do We Need?

Many people of our modern age seems to be obsessed with the idea of obtaining motivation, the elixir of accomplishments. We have life coaches, motivational speakers, motivational music, motivational video clips, motivational quotes, motivational stories, and so on, all designed to make people take action. We want to believe that by simply absorbing these ‘motivational’ materials, we will be pushed to accomplish whatever it is that we desire—we have been conditioned to think so.

People today have been conditioned by our consumerist society to think that they need to consume something external to solve all their problems and bring about change. They consume enormous amounts of drugs for illnesses that can be cured by leading a healthy lifestyle, they use substances to make them feel energized and happy, they watch television and films to stave off boredom, they buy products that they hope will make them more attractive and give them higher status, they rely on technology to do less work and use less of their own brains, they expect corporations and governments to take care of their every needs, etc. In short, the majority of the people have become passive consumers who rely on external forces to dictate their own lives.

When we start to believe that life changes can only be brought about through external forces, and become conditioned to rely on them, we start to wither our own inner forces of willpower and discipline.

There is no denying that external forces are capable of motivating people; we have been evolved to react and adapt to our environment and situations. But there is a problem in becoming preoccupied with the need to ‘feel’ motivated to take action by seeking motivational materials. People who consume these materials don’t realize that what they feel is a temporary surge of emotional energy that quickly fades away. It may be enough to get someone to start an activity, but not enough to sustain it. For that, discipline is needed.

Discipline is infinitely more important than any sort of over-hyped motivation. Most of what we want to accomplish require discipline from day to day and moment to moment. While we live in an age where everyone wants quick results, that is seldom possible for things that are truly important in life.

Stop seeking motivation. If you’re even making the effort to look for motivation, you already have enough—and if you don’t, you don’t want it bad enough. Know that you already have all the motivation you need within you. Stop seeking and just do it.

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