John NoceroBy John Nocero

In the closing minutes of their AFC wild-card playoff game with the Pittsburgh Steelers, the Cincinnati Bengals’ defense came completely unglued. Adam Jones and Vontaze Berfict, two of Cincinnati’s most fearsome defenders, lost their poise and incurred game-changing unsportsmanlike conduct penalties. As a result, the Bengals lost the game 18-16. Cincinnati has not won a playoff game in nearly three-decades and this loss was perhaps the most gut wrenching. Yes, the game was chippy – probably the chippiest football game I have seen recently. But Cincinnati let their emotions get the better of them.

They were motivated to win. They just weren’t disciplined enough.

Few people take the time to consider the importance of discipline. The reality is that very few people live in a constant state of motivation. Internal and external factors affect our mood and our circumstances daily. We all have times where we don’t feel like working. The key though is to not let any external factors affect what you get done. You have to succeed in spite of them, and you have to be disciplined enough to get your work done, regardless of your mood, be it apathy or in the Bengals’ case, anger. You can’t play when you’re mad. You can’t work effectively when you’re mad either.

The team is never about one person, who did something and who didn’t. If everyone doesn’t stay disciplined, bad things happen. It is not a one-time or one moment thing, it is an everyday thing. Rather than constantly seeking out motivation, your time is better spent cultivating habits that improve your productivity. Motivation comes and goes. Discipline is consistent.

Successful people are not looking for greater motivation. They are too busy working, even when they don’t feel like it.

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