In a Fight to the Death Who Wins – Passion or Discipline

passion vs discipline

Over the last six years of trying to achieve the dream of becoming a published author, I’ve thought a lot about motivation. About what keeps us die-hard writers pushing through rejection after rejection (I’ve faced 100’s) to write book after book (BLOOD MOON was my fourth attempt), all in some mad hope that ONE DAY our stories will make it into the hands of readers.

I think it comes down to two things: passion and discipline. But is one more important than the other?

I’m going to say yes. An emphatic yes!

Lots of people are born with or discover a passion. Something we can’t live without, something that is directly rooted in our souls. That is passion. For writers, for me, that is creating and telling stories. For as long as I can remember, words have been fire in my veins.

But without the the discipline to mold that passion into success, the fire will putter out under the stress of real life and become a hobby or just ‘something I like’ or ‘used to do.’

On the road to success, passion is the car and discipline the gas. Passion gives us a direction and a reason to go, to move, to try. Discipline to work at it every day, even when it’s hard, frustrating, ridiculous, is the means by which we push forward and arrive.

The two men behind the popular Chicken Soup for the Soul books, Mark Victor Hansen and Jack Canfield, had a passion for inspiring others. They took their small idea and created a book. The book was published. But they did the work of turning it into a success. When the first book was published, they committed to doing five things EVERY DAY to help get the book on the New York Times bestseller list. Their sales now total in the BILLIONS.

Without discipline we get NOWHERE. The discipline to work hard is the difference between being successful and being average. So in a fight to the death, DISCIPLINE takes the prize every single time.

What helps you stay focused, stay disciplined? Do you agree that passion can’t get far without discipline?

SHARE NOTES: @TeriHarman, #amwriting

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2 thoughts on “In a Fight to the Death Who Wins – Passion or Discipline

  1. I agree that discipline is essential to lasting success. I’ve seen a lot of talented people fail because they didn’t have the discipline to grow their gifts. However In many cases, it’s less about working harder and more about working smarter. I think the key to success is really effort focused in meaningful ways combined with the passion of a vision and the discipline to do the work. For example, you can have the discipline and passion to play the piano for hours every day, but if you aren’t learning new things and improving your performance, you’re not going to achieve your dreams. Which is why I am now going to sit on the deck with a Diet Coke and contemplate my navel until I can figure out how to work smarter!

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