Today’s electro-centric world is a gladiatorial fight till the death for getting your attention.
Don’t believe me?
Ask yourself the last time you sat through all of the commercials during a night of television. Or, imagine the last time you sat through the commercials in your car on the radio without flipping the station.
We live in a world that is obsessed with multitasking, which doesn’t work according to this article over at Psychology Today.
We want everything right now all at once. As a result, we have created a culture of instant gratification.
And that’s to be expected in this day and age. Imagine our ancestors plowing away at their fields with a sickle day in and day out! With all of the technological advancements available to us, it’s okay that we are a little scatterbrained. I’m just glad that we have the Internet, which allows us to communicate with our clients and set up meetings via Google Cal instead of sending a telegram or snail mail.
Since we have the luxury of using technology, we forgo a lot of the heavy lifting just because we don’t have to put forth as much effort as we did in the past. Even just a couple decades ago, agents used to have to actually memorize their showing locations, or ask for directions. Agents had to be extremely motivated to make sales calls, because there were no pocket-sized cell phones with unlimited texting. Imagine, actually having to mail pictures to your clients, or sit down with them to flip through a physical photo album!
As real estate agents we can either be disciplined or motivated. And while both scenarios will lead us to the same result, they are ultimately two different paths which don’t guarantee the same rate of success.
What is Motivation
Motivation is what you read about in success magazines and hear on the news. It’s somewhat, generally speaking, new, and gets people really excited. Therein lies the point.
Motivation is all about your mood, thoughts, and feelings. When you are motivated you are uplifted. You want to actually be doing what you are doing in that present moment. You need the satisfaction of accomplishing that goal at that time. You are enjoying yourself and recognize that the task at hand is the next necessary step towards creating your greatness.
Have you ever been really fired up about a particular networking event, or business meeting? It feels like that’s the only thing that’s happening on Planet Earth–nothing else matters.
Motivation inspires us.
We are excited about the next move, and so we take action accordingly.
But therein lies the problem—we rely on our excitement to fuel our actions.
What starts out as one of the greatest feelings in the world, quickly turns sour. As soon as we have the motivation to do something, we lose it. And while this may not always be the case, motivation is based on this overriding principle: in order to do something, we must feel like doing something.
What’s Discipline All About
Discipline is all about committing to your craft, despite the emotional state that precludes the work. When you are disciplined, it doesn’t matter that your head hurts, or that you are feeling tired–you work anyway.
As twenty-first century real estate agents discipline can mean a variety of things.
It can mean remaining positive when things go a little haywire.
A disciplined agent has a focus, a routine, and a plan for what needs to be done–and she does it, every day.
Just like any good dieter will tell you, it’s okay to cheat every once and awhile. Taking your kids to the zoo one Friday afternoon won’t make you a bad agent. But playing hooky from work and not taking your client’s needs seriously will. It’s up to you to know the difference between a well-deserved break, and being undisciplined.
Motivation primarily deals with your emotions. You feel like you are on the verge of becoming the best agent in all of New York, so you decide to call the babysitter and schedule a dinner on the town for that big client in hopes of making the deal go through faster.
However, the important question isn’t just what you do today, but what did you do last week? And, what will you do next week? Success is a summation of multiple variables and pieces. Discipline keeps you on the right track.
You see motivation is important because it can get you out of a bad slump, or push you into new levels of commitment. What it can’t do is commit you to being disciplined.
Being disciplined doesn’t stem from being motivated. A disciplined agent, knows that if she doesn’t finish her work by 7 pm on Friday night, that she will probably end up putting it off until after the weekend is over on Sunday.
Which One Is Better: Motivation or Discipline?
Motivation is what will get you out of a jam, it will build you up when you are down, and what will help you to push past barriers you never knew were there before.
But it is 100% dependent on your mood and emotional well-being. Catch the common cold, and motivation flies out the window.
Everything you have worked for hinges on your motivation staying up to speed with your work ethic. But the two aren’t the same. You see, your work ethic is totally dependent on your ability to do the work. It shouldn’t be contingent on your feelings, or your inspiration.
As agents, sometimes we get a gut feeling to call that client, or to show a certain house–that’s inspired thinking and that’s an excellent trait to have. You should act when you feel motivated, and excited. But not feeling eager or motivated shouldn’t deter you from your work ethic.
It Comes Down To Habits
In order to appreciate the differences between motivation and discipline, we need to examine the real culprit: habit.
Habits are what we routinely do without thinking. Like buttoning up a suit jacket, we don’t even think about it. If you have a few hours every morning where you go into the office and put your head down it’s easy to continue doing that. However, if you waste time with coffee stops, and email, and reading articles online every morning, it’s more likely that you could end up trading morning motivation for distracting actions.
Habits trump motivation, and discipline can change your habits.
How Do You Change Your Habits?
Believe it or not, you can actually change your habits. You will need a combination of motivation and discipline in order to rewire yourself. By changing some basic thought processes you can create massive results in your business and life.
First, you need to adopt a beginner’s attitude. Be able to forgive yourself for failing in the past, procrastinating, or any of the negative self-talk that is holding you back.
Additionally, get used to the idea of starting before you’re ready.
Next, be brave enough to either journal about your habits, or share progress updates with an accountability partner. Just by writing or talking to another real estate agent who understands the daily grind, you will make progress towards lasting change.
In fact, you can also use technology to accelerate your habits. I recently just added a gamification app that periodically quizzes my online course students about pertinent questions in real estate. This helps them to get updates on content and form better habits to help them become Million Dollar Agents.
Using your smartphone to help you, rather than distract you is one of the biggest steps towards becoming better at time management.
Work smarter, not harder!