Motivation is temporary, habit is permanent.
Lately, I’ve been reading a lot of self-improvement books, primarily because I want to improve myself so as to succeed in entrepreneurship. After reading lots of books, I realized a common theme - most successful entrepreneurs are highly disciplined.
Basically, they develop repetitive habits that help them run their business for a long period which eventually results in success. Now when I look back into my days of JEE preparation, I realized that indeed, more than motivation for getting into IITB CSE, the key driving factor was discipline. I had developed certain study habits that helped a lot:
- Sleeping timeline, latest by 10 PM.
- Waking up early by about 6.30 AM.
- Studying without distraction from 7.00 AM - 11.00 AM.
- Planning my next day before sleeping.
I hope you get it.
The JEE results were not due to huge motivation. The JEE results were due to the development of right habits (the above ones). The 2 are quite correlated but if you observe carefully, it takes a lot of motivation to develop a good habit. However, eventually your motivation may die down, but the habit that you’ve acquired will stay with you for long.
As a simple example - in my 2nd year of college, I was diagnosed with a problem in one of my teeth and that required root canal treatment. The doctor suggested that I should brush my teeth not only during the morning (which I did) but also before sleeping. He mentioned that this is very much important for me to make sure that other teeth don’t get affected.
Ever since I have been brushing my teeth daily before sleeping. Do you think it is due to motivation? Yes, it was due to motivation initially because the doctor clearly mentioned that my other teeth may suffer. However, 3+ years down the line, I don’t think I am “motivated” to brush my teeth every night. Rather, I’ve acquired a great habit that automatically helps me keep my teeth clean.
I believe that to do well in academics, one should develop a habit. Your motivation for studies may die down. However, if you have developed the habit of succeeding in life, it will stay with you forever.
If I were to describe JEE preparation in a few sentences: it isn’t about Physics, Chemistry or Mathematics. It is about learning how to discipline yourself to develop the right set of habits.