Motivation or Consistency

Motivation or Consistency? What will make you successful?

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Success is something every individual craves for. But it’s always a long road towards success. Short-term success includes being better than your previous self, being more productive than yesterday, etc. At the same time, long-term success is what most individuals seek, and it’s even harder to acquire. This brings us to a standstill. What’s the pathway towards long-term success? While most people debate that is it either motivation or consistency that brings the best out of us, it’s still something that needs to be addressed. In this writing, we’ll figure out the paradigm of success and how important motivation and consistency are in contributing toward success.

Motivation: A fire that ignites action

Motivation is the fuel in us that allows us to perform tasks we aim to do but lack courage. It is a quick fix for problems we don’t want to just carry out immediately. It is the driving force behind our actions that enables us to set and chase goals, make and create an impact, and overcome obstacles and hurdles. Motivation can be mainly of two distinguished types: intrinsic and extrinsic. While intrinsic motivation is the stimulus that comes from within ourselves and fosters discipline in our routines, extrinsic motivation is inspiration from external factors that lead to bursts of energy and work. A good example to explain these two types can be:

  • Intrinsic motivation: You go to the gym and find that ecstasy and peace during and after working out that lets you zone out of your worldly problems. This keeps you motivated to go to the gym regularly to seek that dopamine rush.
  • Extrinsic Motivation: You saw someone experienced in your gym pushing their limits, which fueled you to do the same in your workout.

Extrinsic motivation is usually short-term and works for a short period but gives huge boosts in terms of productivity. Intrinsic motivation lasts longer and can pave the way toward consistency and long-term success.

Short-term success and motivation

Motivation, either intrinsic or extrinsic, ignites the fire in us and acts as a powerful catalyst, enabling us to take immediate and sound action toward our goal. It can either be a personal growth goal, a pursuit for income generation, or a passion project. Motivation is the ultimate driving force leading us to that particular action of getting started. Motivation plays a crucial and pivotal role in short-term success. If a person is demotivated to kickstart a venture or to pursue their dream project, they may lack success in the short run.

motivation or consistency

However, motivation only works in the short run and does not sustain for long to be the sole reason to pursue something. Motivation ignites the fire in us. And that fire extinguishes on its own. Relying solely on motivation for “success” isn’t healthy or can be precarious. All that stimulus and highs would eventually go away once you’re faced with setbacks and failures. This is where consistency comes in. Serving as a bedrock in transforming short-term efforts into long-term success.


Consistency is the compounding of actions over a long period that yields results over the long term. For me, consistency is the sole reason for witnessing long-term success. While luck and motivation are argued to play their part in success, consistent efforts over the long run are the only significant cause of success. Unlike motivation where efforts are scattered yet in strong boosts, consistent efforts are small persistent habits that lead to disciplined routines and results.

Consistency and small actions over the short term seem vague and ineffective but their result is evident in the long-term where they yield success. This is where discipline over a routine pays off when motivation has subsided and bursts of energy have been calmed down by setbacks and failures.

Long-term Success and Consistency

For this to be more clear, I’d like to give an example of the human body. Suppose you go to the gym consistently daily. You won’t start noticing a change in your body the first day you hit the gym, neither the second nor the third, and so forth. It doesn’t matter how motivated you were on the first day or the second. You won’t see the changes immediately. This is where motivation wears off, and consistency’s role comes in. You’ll start to notice the change once you’ve at least consistently been showing up for a month and training your body with discipline.

working out at a gym

Similarly, in the long term, consistent efforts and working matter on a specific domain for you to be successful in it. It’s now about how hard you worked in the short term for it. Maybe you can gain some success for it, but true success lies in the long run with long-term consistent efforts. Now how can we settle the motivation or consistency debate?

So, Motivation or Consistency?

There’s not a direct answer to this, in my opinion. Motivation or consistency cannot be compared. Both are necessary but for different scenarios. Motivation, especially extrinsic, comes in handy when you’re aiming for short-term success. For the long-term, as said earlier, consistency is the key. But those consistent efforts must also possess some sort of motivational drive behind them. How can someone consistently work at something if they are not motivated for it? 

The motivational factor behind consistency is intrinsic motivation. People find joy in the particular work they do and the efforts they make. The enjoyment they get to seek in the long term is intrinsic motivation coupled with consistency. In addition, it’s not about Motivation OR Consistency. Rather, it’s about Motivation AND Consistency. They both complement each other well enough for you to embark on the journey of success. 

The road to success begins with bursts of motivation to pursue something, mainly extrinsic. That fuel allows you to go miles and have a headstart. Once that extrinsic motivation starts to fade away, you find the work rewarding and fulfilling. That feeling is the intrinsic motivation. The fulfillment in the task itself fosters disciplined consistent efforts that take you to the heights of success.

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