Motivation. How do we keep it?
Zig Ziglar once said, “People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing, that’s why we recommend it daily.”
But of course we don’t need to bathe. Long ago, weeks would pass by before someone took a bath. But that’s a another story.
I find my motivation wavers greatly day to day, even hour by hour.
One moment I’m on top of the world feeling that I could take on anything, then the next moment it feels hopeless, as though the world is against me.
I can’t seem to keep up. Just the other morning I’m lying in bed thinking, “Man, I just don’t want to get up. I want to stay here as long as I could.”
Then I decided to get up to start my day, and all of a sudden, I felt like, “Today is the day I get shit done!”
So perhaps, if you want to stay motivated, it’s just to start. But I’ve found that that has a short lifetime. It’s hard starting when you can’t finish it.
So I try to always keep starting. Forget whether I may finish it. So there’s a lot of unfinished stuff around the house, but I find that at least some things get finally completed.
Cleaning. Finances. Filing. Reading. Writing.
I just start. And keep starting. 5 minutes a day. A section at a time. 50 words a day. And I get something done.
I just try to make it a habit so I don’t have to tap into my will power reserve to get anything done.
Because will power is in short supply.
I’ve experienced it myself. When I have to use my will power to get something done, like cold calling for example, I find myself snacking on sweet stuff.
And I allow myself to, not that I think I should reward myself, but that I would rather use my will power to do something that has more value for me.
I will burn those calories sometime later when I exercise.
For now, I save that will power to get stuff done.
No matter how much motivation you have, you need the will power to do the things that you really don’t want to do.
I’m tired of hearing people talk about passion, and when you’re passionate about something you’re always motivated to get stuff done.
I’ve got loads of passion.
But I’m not passionate about doing my taxes. I’m not passionate about cold-calling people.
I do those things because I have to. It’s part of the entire thing for me to get to do what I really want to do.
Learn cool shit. Build cool shit. Do cool shit.
That’s what I want to do. And help others do the same in the process.
Life’s about discovery. that’s what I’m passionate about.
Motivation comes when I’m doing the things I want to do.
De-motivation comes when I have to do the things I don’t want to do.
So what do I do?
Do the things that require all my will power in the morning. then I could do the things I want to do after lunch, when all my will power is expended.
What is sad about that, is that I could get away with it, because I set my own hours.
Those who work find that they are stuck in a position when they may have to use all of their will power to do the things they don’t want to do for someone else. But when the time comes to do the things that will get them to where they really want to go, they have no will power left.
So that guy who really wants to do social services, and is doing that degree in the area, has no will power to face classes or study, even though he really wants to do it.
Or that gal who wants to really write a book but at the end of the day just don’t have the will power to open up her computer and write just one page.
Are these people unmotivated? No, I don’t believe so. They’re trapped.
So what should they do instead?
Go to bed early, and get up at 4 am. Then study, and write all they could before the day has started.
It may mean that their job at work gets harder. But if this gets them closer to doing what they really want, then why not.
Of course it takes some will power to get up earlier, so just start by going to be 5 minutes earlier, then getting up 5 minutes earlier every day.
Soon you will be reach your target and getting to do more of what you really want to do.
Don’t let people tell you that you’re not really passionate about something and that’s why you’re not motivated to get it done.
They don’t live your life so they can’t judge you.
But if you really want to do something else, then start by doing small things to get you there.
All the best on your journey.