Motivation.. Discipline.. Habit.. Obsession


A couple of weeks ago I received my Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) black belt from my coach Daniel Almeida.


That was cool ..


A great day.


I received my belt from my professor and also his professor who was in Australia conducting a BJJ seminar.


I was surprised ..


Really surprised.


Which made the day even better.


Then I had to give a speech ..


An impromptu speech ..




But it’s customary when receiving your black belt.


I didn’t have a speech planned ..


I was on the spot ..




Mind ticking ..


Thinking ..


Get over the shock.


A couple of things came to mind ..


  • Turning up
  • Discipline
  • Refocusing


Turning up ..


It seems obvious ..


But I believe turning up is more than half the battle.


Once you set a goal ..


Once you commit to a task ..


Once you’ve decided on an outcome you want to achieve ..


You must continue to turn up ..




Many things in life will hinder your attempt to reach your goals ..


If you can somehow ..


Someway ..


Continue to turn up ..


You’ll be well on your way to being successful.


If you’re ever not feeling it ..


Having a bad day ..


Or simply have no motivation ..


Employ self-discipline and get to training ..


Then you’ve won.


You’ve won because you’ve employed self-discipline.


You’ve won because you’ve overcome laziness, procrastination and lethargy.


You’ve won because more than half the battle is turning up.


Once you’ve turned up ..


Utilise the energy of other people around you ..


Get excited ..


Get motivated to train hard.


Soon enough you’ll be pumped and ready for a great session.


Keep turning up ..


No matter what.


Discipline ..


“Discipline equals freedom” as Jocko Willink says.


And he’s right.


Motivation comes and goes ..


Your energy levels rise and fall ..


Your personal drive ebbs and flows.


But discipline is your friend ..


It will be the difference between a consistent and sustained effort ..


.. and one that peters out and fails.


Cementing or ingraining a new action requires four phases:


  1. Motivation
  2. Discipline
  3. Habit
  4. Obsession


You first need the motivation to try a new task or set a new goal ..


The hint of motivation to actually get off your arse and enact a plan.


Discipline is then required to continue to turn up ..


When your motivation starts to wain ..


It’s your discipline that will ensure you maintain momentum.


Employ enough discipline ..


Soon enough a concrete habit is formed.


A good habit that is hard to break.


Just as hard to break as a bad habit.


Continue your new habit for long enough ..


Your consistent effort will turn into an obsession.


An obsession that even if you wanted to stop ..


Would be almost impossible.


You’ll get to a point that motivation is irrelevant ..


Discipline moot.


You must, need and will continue to turn up ..


Continue to train ..


Continue your consistent effort without a second thought ..


You have to ..


It’s an obsession.


Refocusing ..


What I’ve learned a number of times throughout my career ..


.. is how important it is to set new goals after you achieve a significant win.


You must refocus your energy after a mission has been completed ..


It’s paramount.


It’s paramount to ensure you continue to move forward ..


To ensure complacency doesn’t set in.


You’ve completed a goal ..


Awesome ..


Now utilise that momentum ..


Turn your attention to a new task ..


And win.


Again ..


And again ..


And again.


Something to think about.


Rhys Dowden

About the Author

Rhys Dowden is the owner of Operator Edge, a company through which he provides to his clients extensive mental conditioning along with military, self-defense, and strength training.

Growing up in Queensland, Rhys enlisted in the Army as soon as he was 18 and then served a little more than four years in the Royal Australian Armored Corps.

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