How to get motivated to do literally anything
We have all said this at least once in our life, “I have so much to do but I don’t have the motivation to do it!”
What is motivation really? According to the Oxford Dictionary meaning, 'Motivation is the reason why someone does something.' People feel as though there is going to be some fire burning inside them and this urge will come to them to get to do something. I don’t want to break your bubble but that isn’t going to happen.
All of us including me put off things to do for a later time due to the lack of motivation. We are just giving procrastination a better name maybe to not feel so bad about ourselves. We need to stop lying to ourselves about “not having the motivation”
I will simplify what Mark Manson has written in his book ‘The Subtle Art of Not Giving A F*ck’, He says that most of the time we are so worried about the 10 things we have on our to-do-list that we don’t even focus on doing anything and end up spending all our time in worrying alone.
He says that if you are stuck on a problem, don’t sit there and think about it; just start working on it. Even if you don’t know what you are doing, the simple act of working on it will eventually cause the right ideas to show up in your head.
We all always think that if we are motivated, we will take action but actually and realistically, it’s the other way around. If you're going to take some action, the motivation is going to come to you. Do something, do anything but just start somewhere.
Let's say I have 5 chapters to study by the end of the day and I know it is going to take about 6-8 hours of my time. Instead of stressing about “Omg I have to be studying for 8 hours. How am I going to do it?” and soon after you probably will find me procrastinating because of the “lack of motivation”
How about we look at this differently? I know I have to study for 8 hours but let me start with 10 minutes. This is Mark Manson's ‘Do Something’ principle. Just pick up the book and start reading, writing or just even start by cleaning your desk to make a study environment.
You will notice that once you start doing something, the motivation will follow. It’s a small success that’s going to keep us going. If you just start for 10 mins, you're going to want to keep going. Mark also mentions Tim Ferriss. Tim Ferris is a novelist who has written over 70 novels. When fans and reporters asked him how he managed to write 70 novels, he said, “Two Hundred crappy words a day, that’s it”
From this, we know it's not about motivation, it is about being consistent. Writing the first 200 words will give him the motivation and inspiration to write another 400 words and by the end of it, he has 70 published novels.
This ‘Do something’ principle can be used for anything in life. If you decide you want to be a better friend, all you have to make is one marginal change which is to maybe start listening to what someone is saying or call up a friend. It’s the little things you do that will add up and bring you results.
While we are at the whole motivation topic. I’d like to talk about the 5-second rule by Mel Robbins. Mel Robbins is one of the highest-paid female speakers who has her own show but that’s not the point. In the lowest points of her life, Mel Robbins came up with the 5 Second Rule. No, it's not the rule where you’ve dropped food and you have to eat it in 5 seconds. (That’s a scam by the way)
Anyway, Mel Robbins 5 second rule is based on science and research. She says that it takes our brain 5 seconds to dismiss a thought and go back to our safe cocoon which is our comfort zone. It means that if I have a thought, “Hey I will go to the gym today”, if I don’t act upon this thought, my brain is going to come up with some reasons and I am going to end up sitting on the couch eating that bag of chips yet again.
The solution to this is whenever you have a thought, let us take the gym example again. Whenever I have the thought of going to the gym, I am going to have to count backwards to myself,
As soon as that counting is done, I'm going to have to get up and do something about it. Get to my feet before my brain goes into that cocoon of doing convincing me not to do it. I should grab my shoes into my gym bag and just leave the house.
Linking this to the ‘Do Something’ principle, you're going to act upon your thoughts and then the motivation will come to you. If you're reading this and getting inspired and thinking hey I am going to do so many things and be productive today. GO. Just get up and do it before your mind convinces you not to!