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OPINION: You need discipline, not motivation

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Mira French | The Daily Wildcat

Sophomore Lucy Sieczka searches for a book inside of the University of Arizona Main Library on Nov. 10. The library contains over eight million print volumes, electronic books and journals in its collection, all of which are available for student rental.

My journey in finding motivation for everyday things like school, work or cleaning has been a long one. I have found different ways to stimulate my motivation to complete my tasks but it comes and goes. Go figure that motivation is not a choice because it’s out of our control.

To be in control of our lives, we need to be disciplined. Discipline is waking up every morning and choosing to be productive because it’s what will keep you going. Motivation starts the fire but doesn’t keep it burning.

Being a college senior with priorities that seem to pull me in all directions requires me to be on my A-game. Losing motivation is frustrating because I too often let the distractions take over. Checking TikTok for only a few minutes turns into two hours, and then I realize I haven’t washed my dishes until it’s a vicious cycle of, “what can I do other than my homework?”

According to Merriam-Webster, motivation is “a motivating force, stimulus, or influence: incentive, drive," and discipline means “control gained by enforcing obedience or order: self-control.”

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Throughout college, I’ve learned that what I needed was discipline and not motivation, mainly because I knew that I needed to show up for myself and for what I wanted in life. Of course, self-control didn’t come easy when all I wanted to do was be on my phone when I knew I had an assignment or two to complete. It was challenging living a life that I pictured differently in my head until I had enough of it.

What helped me become disciplined was holding onto the feeling of receiving a 100% on a project and feeling accomplished after a workout. It’s so easy to get into our heads when we are in the process of completing something because it can be hard to see our full potential sometimes. Keeping your eye on the finish line is my best advice.

All that talk about, “it’s the journey that matters” is not what’s going to get you where you need or want to be. It’s the drive and promise to yourself that you will do what you need to do so that you don’t fall into a rut.

Being disciplined isn’t easy and it comes with its hardships because we are creatures of habit. If you want to see change, give yourself two weeks. Challenge yourself to live life like how you see it in your head. Forget about the insecurities, forget about the extra 10 minutes in bed and just go for it.

Don’t let yourself live life in the passenger seat until you don’t recognize yourself anymore. Remind yourself of your goals every day and do things that make you happy to live a healthy life.

Remember, you are your only competition.


Follow Jacqueline Aguilar on Twitter



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Jacqueline (she/her), born and raised in Arizona, is a senior studying digital journalism and information science & eSociety. She spends her days with her two huskies, Chemino and Roma. Jacqueline enjoys hiking and is a coffee enthusiast!


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UA COVID-19 Test Tracker

Daily (11/24)
1,344 22 1.6%
Total (8/2)
60,367 957 1.6%
Includes tests since August 2, 2021
Data from https://covid19.arizona.edu/updates
Updated November 24, 2021