I have developed great respect for Leo Babauta of zenhabits . He is someone who transformed his life over the last six years – from a smoking, overweight, overworked, debt ridden consumer to a lean vegan, long distance runner, self employed, debt free minimalist. He is also a master of habit creation, focus and creativity support. His blog has over 200,000 readers, not a single advert and all its content is free. What a guy!

Reading zenhabits I came across the following:

“…if you think you don’t have discipline, you don’t need it. What you need is to commit to your goal or habit and fully motivate yourself.”

Now, most of us believe that we need discipline – to do our jobs properly, to stick with things for a long time, to get rid of bad habits or to develop good ones. I am no exception and discipline is a very big thing for me. I was disciplined and gave up smoking five years ago; discipline got me through four marathons and several half marathons and it also keeps me writing. Even last week I showed considerable discipline getting up at 6.30 every morning and starting to write ten minutes later. However, it is still easier to go on when you really want to do something; when it ‘comes from within’. In fact, looking back, behind each and every one of my achievements and successes, such as they are, one will discover motivation, not discipline.

I agree with Leo on this one: motivation is more powerful than discipline. Discipline is restrictive and temporary; motivation comes from within and propels you forward.

What works for you: discipline or motivation?