Motivation versus Discipline

With it being the beginning of a new year, everyone’s motivation should be high, but what is motivation? One rather vague definition is that motivation is the general desire or willingness to do something. Let’s take a look at what three different sources have to say about motivation and discipline.

First, lets look at what personal development guru, Anthony Robbins, has to say about motivation. Tony says that everything is motivated by one of two things either pain or pleasure. We will always move away from pain and towards pleasure. For most, the avoidance of pain is a more powerful motivator than seeking of pleasure. This is a simple concept but I have never seen it not hold true. The true power of this statement is that you can choose to frame things a certain way to enhance motivation. For instance, if you focus on the immediate physical discomfort (pain) of a hard intense training session you will be less motivated. Vice versa, if you focus on the benefits (pleasure) of the training, you will have greater motivation. For some, they are able to even derive pleasure from the discomfort. We use the saying “Embrace the Grind” all the time. This can have two meanings. First, it can simply mean that you need to realize that true success requires hard work and that to reach that success you need to embrace that fact. It can also take on a slightly different meaning in that you embrace, as part of your identity, a willingness to continuously strive to give uncommon effort which in turn gives you a sense of satisfaction. So, your motivation really boils down to what you value and what you choose to focus on.

One of the lessons that are part of our online nutrition coaching program includes the “10 Motivation Secrets”. One of those secrets is that “Discipline” is a myth. Famed strength coach, Charles Poloquin, explains motivation like this. ” There is no such thing as discipline. There is only love. Love is the most powerful creative force in the universe. What do you really love? Because you are the result of what you love most. You either love finely etched muscular abs more than donuts or you love donuts more than washboard abs you could do laundry on. It’s as simple as that”.
You can read the full article here. Read More Here

Former Navy Seal, Brazilian Jiujitsu black belt, and author of “Extreme Ownership”, Jocko Willink, has a different take on motivation and discipline. Jocko states that discipline dupes motivation. When asked,”How do you stay so motivated ?”, he states that No one stays motivated all the time and that discipline is about doing what you know you have to do even when you don’t feel motivated to do so. Here is a link to a full podcast where Jocko discusses this among other things. Hear Podcast Here

I hope you find this info helpful in better understanding how your mind works. We will be digging deeper into these and many other topics as part of our upcoming training with Thom Shea on the “Unbreakable Path”. I encourage you to use it to help achieve the goals you desire and deserve.

Commit, Show Up, Don’t Quit, Be Uncommon,

“Why” Revisited

The question “why” is one we all asked as kids and one that, If you are a parent, have been asked many times by your kids. This question and its answer can have many powerful implications. With it being the beginning of a new year and a time many people set goals, I though it would be a great time to revisit that question. Any time I meet with a new potential client I always start by asking the question, “Why are your here?” I then encourage them to take a deeper look beyond there initial answer and ask the same question of why at least 4 more times. The purpose of this exercise is to help them connect their goal to a deeper purpose, thereby uncovering the true reason for their goal in the first place. To take full advantage of this exercise requires some careful introspection but it is well worth the effort. This exercise can be applied to any of your goals to uncover their true nature and help light a fire to help you achieve them.

I have made a concerted effort as of late to make sure I try to communicate the “why” behind each of our training sessions. I want you to understand the purpose of each training session. It is my goal to provide a training system, coaching, environment, and culture where you can reach your goals. It is important for me to know, that you know how the training fits into you reaching goals. If you don’t understand this and apply the training as intended then we are not being as efficient in our work together as possible. Again it is my goal to provide training not entertainment. That will be the focus of a future article.

The question of “WHY” can also be applied to the big picture of your actual purpose in life. The following link from a Forbes article discusses this Read More Here. I first remember making the connection to the power of knowing my “why” was during my training at SealFit headquarters and going through the Kokoro experience. We discussed the importance of finding your “WHY” during the academy the week prior to Kokoro but going through Kokoro I got to experience its importance viscerally. I refer to this “WHY” as your big why.

I gained a new perspective on the question of why during our “12 Hours of Unbreakable Jiujitsu”. During one of our discussions, Thom Shea said the question of “why” will kill your performance. What he was referring to is what I will call the little “why”. In the midst of struggle, if you ask the question why and you can’t answer with a big “WHY,” then you are done. This is similar to what I have referred to before as “burning the questions”. If you ask the question, you will get an answer. If you have not established a strong purpose ahead of time you may find that during the struggle the answer is conveniently the one that supports your desire to give up in the midst of the struggle.

If you haven’t made a strong connection to your why of training I encourage you to do so. If you haven’t discovered your big “WHY”, I encourage you to do so in 2017. Part of our goal here at Alliance is to help you do both.

Commit, Show Up, Don’t Quit, Be Uncommon,

May 23rd, 2016


Warrior creeds have been around for many years and act as a code of conduct and inspiration.  The Warrior Ethos help define these warriors, although different words have been used by the Samurai, Spartans, Marines, and other Special Operation forces around the world.

The Navy SEALs have a code which is as follows:

The SEAL Code
Loyalty to Country, Team, and Teammate
Serve with Honor and Integrity On and Off the Battlefield
Ready to Lead, Ready to Follow, Never Quit
Take Responsibility for your actions and the actions of your teammates
Excel as Warriors through Discipline and Innovation
Train for War, Fight to Win, Defeat our Nation’s Innovation
Earn your Trident everyday

We have our own code for Alliance which will help define our core values.

The first value of the Alliance Code is honesty.  This  applies to being honest with others but, just as importantly, being honest with yourself.  In the past, you may have heard me quote Bruce Lee saying, “Being truthful with yourself is one of the hardest things to do.”.  I wholeheartedly agree with his assessment.

What I have begun to realize is that we all rationalize why we do what we do.  This rationalizing is just part of human nature, hard wired in our DNA.  It is very critical for our personal growth that we are aware of this desire to rationalize.  It is also a reason setting goals and having a strong “Why” are important.  Without the direction derived from having meaningful goals and a strong “Why”, we can fall into the trap of making excuses to ourselves and others for our actions.

I am guilty of  self-deception, as much as anyone.

For example, during the Kokoro Camp last year, I went through a period of time when I began to rationalize why I should quit.  My hips were killing me and I was barely able to pick my feet up when trying to run.  I felt that that I was slowing everyone else down on the runs.  While going through this self-dialogue, I would never admit that I was considering quitting because it was too hard, but rather that I may need to pull out because I was diminishing the experience for others! How was that for self-rationalization. And, if my “Why” had not been strong enough, I would have given into this rationalization for quitting.
We  make these rationalizations on a daily basis.  They can sound something like this,” it won’t hurt me to eat that desert, have that drink, skip that workout, or take it easy today.”. Sometimes these statements can be true. However, what is important, is that we are aware of this tendency and that we critically look as this potential self deception to insure that we continue to move towards our goals and continue to become the person we want to be.

My challenge to you is to take a look at what you are doing on a daily basis and be honest with yourself about the decisions you make.  Ask yourself the simple question, ” Are my actions congruent with my goals and the person I want to be?”. If your answer is consistently yes, then you know you are headed in the right direction.

Commit, Show Up, Don’t Quit, Be Uncommon,