When we like our results then everything's gravy BUT, what if we don't like our results? I'm going to talk about why being able to correctly decipher what your thoughts arefrom what's real is the first step in changing your the results you're getting...
Why Motivation Is A F*ckboy
“Motivation is the f*ckboy of emotions. It lights you up, with dazzling glimpses of possibility and promise. And then it ghosts you just...
“Motivation is the f*ckboy of emotions. It lights you up, with dazzling glimpses of possibility and promise. And then it ghosts you just when you need it most.” - ,Kara Lowentheil, master coach extraordinaire
I’ve talked before about how I spent a whole month trying to ,hack my morning routine so that I could carve out time for all things creative, including writing.
Well, it’s 7:34am. I sat down about an hour ago to write this week’s post on motivation (LOL) and in that hour, I’ve customised a PAX wardrobe on the IKEA website (that I have no intention of buying) with painstaking attention to detail. Safe to say, my motivation to create today is loooowww.
Motivation is defined as a desire to do something. It’s an interesting force to contend with mostly because of how much we rely on it as a measure of whether we do the thing or we don’t. What’s interesting for me is how much I can look forward to doing something and then when the time comes I just can’t be arsed to get on with it. Back in the day, I’d have assumed a lack of motivation meant that perhaps I wasn’t as keen on the thing I was going to to do as I thought I was. I know now how misguided that view is and I try not to think about what would have happened had I just done things anyway.
There are a few factors that play into human being doing things, the biggest of them all being the human brain. Our brains have always worked as hard as they can to keep us alive and protect us from discomfort, from pain, from danger. In the days of mammoths and cavemen, danger stress signals sent to the brain usually meant imminent death was likely. These days as society has evolved, danger stress signals can occur at the thought of going to the dentist.
Once you understand this brain product feature, you may start to see your mind a little differently. You start seeing a lack of motivation as the f*ckboy it really is. It tempts you with promises of a future where all your goals are achieved but as soon as it’s time to put in the work, it vanishes into the abyss.
For me, this morning was a great example. Even though I enjoy writing and I find this week’s topic interesting and I’ve carved out a good chunk of uninterrupted time just for it, I still found myself distracted and unmotivated to just do it. Cycling is another example. ,I love it so much, it’s my happy place and my 3rd favourite way to spend a day. BUT, I cannot stress how hard it is to not cancel on a planned bike ride the morning of because CBA. Once I’m on the road then everything is grand but getting to that front door is my soul’s own personal everest.
There are a myriad of less fun things that need doing that I’m significantly less enthused about or prepared for but have to do i.e. going to the dentist, cleaning, leaving my house, most types of physical activity, any sort of “work”. The list goes on. Imagine thinking motivation gets things done when those are some of the things on the “get done” list. I’d be a toothless hermit living in squalor on pennies a day if I only did things I was motivated to do.
So if what we’ve all been told is a lie and motivation is not the key to success, then what is?
Here are the steps I took to finally bash this article out (and go to the dentist), they’d apply for most tasks so perhaps they’ll be helpful for you too:
- Really listen to the ‘warning’ your brain is trying to send you when faced with with the action you have to take (i.e. “no Lumes, don’t write anything, you don’t even know where to start, you’ll be uncomfortableeeee!)
- Thank your brain kindly for the warning (i.e. cheers brain but you’re overreacting, we won’t die from being uncomfortable)
- Take one tiny step towards the action (i.e. I wrote one sentence), celebrate the success of completing that tiny step (i.e. I made a cuppa), and repeat the pattern until you’re in flow and the task is done (i.e. sentence, 5 mins of Youtube, sentence, quick stretch, sentence, etc).
BONUS PRO TIP: When I listen to the warnings my brain is trying to send me, ,they sound like this. I encourage you to give yours a voice too. Works a treat.
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I sat down about an hour ago to write this week’s post on motivation (LOL) and in that hour, I’ve customised a PAX wardrobe on the IKEA website.