Red Pill TheoryScrew Motivation, You need Discipline! (self.TheRedPill)

submitted by 0io-

This is a blog article zbyhnev that meshes well with RP core truths.

If you want to get anything done, there are two basic ways to get yourself to do it.

The first, more popular and devastatingly wrong option is to try to motivate yourself.

The second, somewhat unpopular and entirely correct choice is to cultivate discipline.

This is one of these situations where adopting a different perspective immediately results in superior outcomes. Few uses of the term “paradigm shift” are actually legitimate, but this one is. It’s a lightbulb moment.

What’s the difference?

Motivation, broadly speaking, operates on the erroneous assumption that a particular mental or emotional state is necessary to complete a task.

That’s completely the wrong way around.

Discipline, by contrast, separates outwards functioning from moods and feelings and thereby ironically circumvents the problem by consistently improving them.

The implications are huge.

Successful completion of tasks brings about the inner states that chronic procrastinators think they need to initiate tasks in the first place.

Put in simpler form, you don’t wait until you’re in olympic form to start training. You train to get into olympic form.

If action is conditional on feelings, waiting for the right mood becomes a particularly insidious form of procrastination. I know that too well, and wish somebody pointed it out for me twenty, fifteen or ten years ago before I learned the difference the hard way.

If you wait until you feel like doing stuff, you’re fucked . That’s precisely how the dreaded procrastinatory loops come about.

Source of picture

At its core, chasing motivation is insistence on the infantile fantasy that we should only be doing things we feel like doing. The problem is then framed thus: “How do I get myself to feel like doing what I have rationally decided to do?”. Bad.

The proper question is “How do I make my feelings inconsequential and do the things I consciously want to do without being a little bitch about it?”.

The point is to cut the link between feelings and actions, and do it anyway. You get to feel good and buzzed and energetic and eager afterwards.

Motivation has is the wrong way around. I am utterly 100% convinced that this faulty frame is the main driver of the “sitting about in underwear playing Xbox, and with yourself” epidemic currently sweeping developed countries.

There are psychological problems with relying on motivation as well.

Because real life in the real world occasionally requires people do things that nobody in their right mind can be massively enthusiastic about, “motivation” runs into the insurmountable obstacle of trying to elicit enthusiasm for things that objectively do not merit it. The only solution besides slackery, then, is to put people out of their right minds. That’s a horrible, and fortunately fallacious, dilemma.

Trying to drum up enthusiasm for fundamentally dull and soul crushing activities is literally a form of deliberate psychological self-harm, a voluntary insanity: “I AM SO PASSIONATE ABOUT THESE SPREADSHEETS, I CAN’T WAIT TO FILL OUT THE EQUATION FOR FUTURE VALUE OF ANNUITY, I LOVE MY JOB SOOO MUCH!”

I do not consider self-inflicted episodes of hypomania the optimal driver of human activity. A thymic compensation via depressive episodes is inevitable, since the human brain will not tolerate abuse indefinitely. There are stops and safety valves. There are hormonal hangovers.

The worst thing that can happen is succeeding at the wrong thing – temporarily. A far superior scenario is retaining sanity, which unfortunately tends to be misinterpreted as moral failure: “I still don’t love my pointless paper-shuffling job, I must be doing something wrong.” “I still prefer cake to brocolli and can’t lose weight, maybe I’m just weak”. “I should buy another book about motivation”. Bullshit. The critical error is even approaching those issus in terms of motivation or lack thereof. The answer is discipline, not motivation.

There is another, practical problem with motivation. It has a tiny shelf life, and needs constant refreshing.

Motivation is like manually winding up a crank to deliver a burst of force. At best, it stores and converts energy to a particular purpose. There are situations where it is the correct attitude, one-offs where getting psyched and spring-loading a metric fuckton of mental energy upfront is the best course of action. Olympic races and prison breaks come to mind. But it is a horrible basis for regular day-to-day functioning, and anything like consistent long-term results.

By contrast, discipline is like an engine that, once kickstarted, actually supplies energy to the system.

Productivity has no requisite mental states. For consistent, long-term results, discipline trumps motivation, runs circles around it, bangs its mom and eats its lunch.

In summary, motivation is trying to feel like doing stuff. Discipline is doing it even if you don’t feel like it.

You get to feel good afterwards.

Discipline, in short, is a system, whereas motivation is analogous to goals. There is a symmetry. Discipline is more or less self-perpetuating and constant, whereas motivation is a bursty kind of thing.

How do you cultivate discipline? By building habits – starting as small as you can manage, even microscopic, and gathering momentum, reinvesting it in progressively bigger changes to your routine, and building a positive feedback loop.

Motivation is a counterproductive attitude to productivity. What counts is discipline.



Part two:


[–]sir_Preacher 106 points107 points  (14 children)

My mentor taught me the definition of Discipline :

to act or operate as demanded, not as convenient

[–]Beam_Me_Up2016 21 points21 points [recovered]

In the Marine Corps we learned it this way (And I will always spell it correctly because of the USMC):

D-I-S-C-I-P-L-I-N-E! Discipline is! The instant, willing, obedience to all orders! Respect for authority! Self-reliance! And teamwork sir! Done, sir, done! Freeze. recruit, freeze!

[–]Semper_I 14 points15 points  (1 child)

making my agent orange act up!

[–]ojos_mudos[🍰] 28 points29 points  (4 children)

The Problem w/ Military Discipline is that's framed toward Obedience, Authority, & Subservience. It's decent for building the Discipline 'Muscle' so to speak, but after Discharge it needs to re-calibrated as Individual Discipline.

[–]Mofocheez 17 points18 points  (2 children)

And even so while still in... the leaders have individual discipline with the ability to throw on a mask of subservience. Those who blindly follow are usually not those who can attain high leadership positions.

[–]buckshotdblaught 0 points1 point  (0 children)

This will only work if the military man considers the woman to be of higher rank. Which, according to trp, is not true

[–][deleted] 2 points2 points

[permanently deleted]

[–]Beam_Me_Up2016 1 points1 points [recovered]

Isn't discipline an obedience to goals-already-set? Isn't it what keeps one on task when things get hard?

[–]Ochreata 0 points1 point  (2 children)

Except military tasks are often for obedience reinforcement. "Dig a shell scrape!", "now fill it in and dig another"..... Can't say I regret my time there, although there's an odd ambivalence to it.

[–]Beam_Me_Up2016 3 points3 points [recovered]

Of course, they have to get you used to following orders without question- if a field commander needs to send a unit to their death to distract the enemy while another unit or resource moves through the area, they need that sacrificial unit to move in without question.

[–]BourneRedPill 143 points144 points  (8 children)

There was a former Navy Seal on Tim Ferriss's podcast who said "Discipline = Freedom".

If you have the discipline to lift, you'll have the freedom to do more activities, be confident with your body, be healthier, look better, protect yourself.

If you have the discipline to get up early, you will have more free time in your day to do what you want.

If you have discipline with your finances, you'll have the freedom to buy, save, invest, have cash for what you want etc.

Having discipline in your life, actually gives you freedom.

Motivation is good to start the fire but not to keep it going, that is where discipline MUST come in.

[–]Ahabh 12 points13 points  (2 children)

The Navy Seal's name is Jocko Willink, for those wanting to look him up. He started a podcast due to all the fanfare he got from appearing on Rogan's and Ferris's podcast. Was listening to it today.....

[–][deleted] 5 points6 points  (0 children)

Badass BJJ-fighter aswell. Definitely a good role model for every man

[–]radianceofparadise 2 points3 points  (0 children)

AKA Paladin Danse from the Brotherhood of Steel! Can never be unseen.

[–]OlanValesco 12 points13 points  (0 children)

Discipline is the string on a kite. With it you soar. Without it you're buffeted around by every stray breeze and deposited face first in the dirt.

[–]Rob_Dead 12 points13 points  (2 children)

This is the first time I've heard Orwellian style 'doublespeak' actually have a positive meaning behind it. I shall add this to my Expectation=Anger, for powerful life lessons.

[–]Endorsed Contributordown_with_whomever 4 points5 points  (0 children)

I'd have put expectation as disappointment but still your point is very valid

[–]writewhereileftoff 6 points7 points  (0 children)

I would like to add willpower. As you need to bend your will to you to make significant, lasting changes. Willpower is a finite resource. It doesn't last forever and everybody has his breaking point. Wich is why programming the right habits into your brain should be the goal, always. Habits can be done on autopilot and can be either beneficial or detrimental to you. A habit is the result of your brain noticing "hey I lifted today and the day before and the day before that, we survived another day. Good job,keep doing what you are doing" When you break a habit you'll immediatly feel anxious. A good example is taking a different route to work than usual. Suddenly there's a lot more unknown factors. Am I even gonna be on time? Wich way do I turn again? Your brain punishes you for this because this is not like yesterday. So when you are being a lazy slob again think twice what you are telling your brain. It survived the day so it will think "good job, do more of the same tomorrow" So this is where discipline comes into play. I like to describe discipline as using your willpower continiously to form and maintain habits that are beneficial to you.

Tell me what do you guys think? edit:formatting sucks because mobile

[–]HAMMURABl 23 points24 points  (2 children)

I totally agree. Motivation gets the job done by releasing more dopamine/serotonine, whereas discipline achieves it by essentially enduring lower dopa/sero levels.

Obviously the feelings component is much stronger and more pleasurable using motivation , but it gets harder to develop consistency if you always need motivation to start doing something. On the other hand discipline is initially very tough psychologically to maintain, but you can apply it to virtually any task without having to bump you up prior to doing it.

[–][deleted] 16 points17 points  (0 children)

That's what I was thinking too. Is there scientific evidence for that? [Edit: of course: Dopamine is said to regulate the motivation to act; Serotonin is the substance that makes us feel good; If our pathways in the brain are wired like that of an addict; dopamine is released to specific behaviors (i.e. for behavioral addictions) or to specific substances (for drug addictions); By conclusion: this means that motivation is nothing more then a higher release of dopamine; This in case does mean that if you are coming from a behavioral or drug addiction you are more likely to motivate yourself but if you can't maintain it (and you won't maintain it because lifting, holding frame, etc. is hard and is the opposite of Dopamine release) you are likely to fail; because again your sensitivity levels are too high; hence learn discipline]

I once had a friend that was always hyper motivated during stressful days in college. Well initially, but after several hours that motivation declined fast. Well he was also an games/porn/marijuana addict (as we all know these behavioral addictions + THC release dopamine). My theory is that motivation gave him a dopamine kick (similar to thinking of drugs or being in a situation where you can act to release dopamine (latter for behavioral addictions); but after that dopamine kick was gone he could not maintain the level of excitement (seeing the project was not yet done and no sertonin was released) anymore hence all motivation was gone... (Well, needless to say he didn't finish college).

Once again: Behavior is controlled by substances in our brain. Dopamine is the main motivation substance that makes us act. But its often learned behavior (well there must be some hard coded dopamine release e.g. for food, sex, etc. because we wouldn't survived - but it's a matter of sensitivity levels) because how much dopamine is released is determined by our brain structure which is shaped by past behaviors. That's also why it is so hard to successfully finish new years resolutions - because it takes at least 90 days to change the brain plasticity and is not done in a day. As of today many more people have developed a brain of an addict due to high calorie foods, internet porn (major influence), drugs, internet on its own, especially low quality "news" (novelty is a high stimulus), gambling, video games, and such... (That's why we as a society have a problem: Society is drifting away to people that can control themselves and people that can't anymore - well latter is good for the industry (e.g. food industry, porn industry, etc... easy money because they have grown their addicts over time...)

But sensitivity levels can be controlled with self-motivation or better with discipline because motivation is about dopamine release and discipline is about maintaining low levels to be better prepared for hardness and endurance.