Motivation is an Illusion

      The hair stands up on the back of your neck, you can feel your blood pressure rising, a seemingly uncontrollable energy boils up from the depth of your stomach and spills into your chest, heart, and mind.  The power of motivation is real, but it is not sustainable. It is merely a window that lets you see the power that you possess for a brief period of time. That window will close. And when it does you need to keep on grinding. Motivation will not help.

     Feeling motivated or desirous of something better than what I have now is misleading. It does not get me to where I want to go. Action does that.

       Feelings are fleeting. The feeling of being motivated is something that comes and goes as all emotions come and go. Feeling sad? Wait a a minute, or an hour, or a day, or a week, or a year, and the feeling will pass; usually after you do something different. Feeling hot? Well winter is coming and you will soon be cold. Are you lusting after someone? Wait a week or so and I am sure that your feelings towards them will change.

       Being motivated is a feeling. It is an emotion that is fleeting. It will not stay with you for a long period of time. If we rely on it to be what drives us forwards in tough times then we are tricking ourselves into giving up. That feeling is not always going to be there, and when it is gone you should still be doing the things that will make you successful. Your daily habits are what make you successful. What you do over and over again will make you a failure or a success. The people you surround yourself with day in and day out will make you a failure or a success. Success is determined by what you do and more importantly WHY you do it.

      Too often I rely on motivation to tell me what I truly desire. When this happens I can work intensly for a short period of time, but in the long run I give up. I stop when my motivation wanes. I stop because I feel like I am no longer passionate.

     You aren’t always going to feel motivated. If you only worked on your dream when you felt motivated than your dream would go unrealized. Your desires would go unfufilled. Unhappiness would be difficult to escape.

      Work on your dream when you don’t feel like it. When you are unmotivated use that as a cue to be productive. Even if that means writing 100 words, or doing 30 minutes of research, or going for a walk. A lack of motivation is no excuse for being lazy.

       Ralph Waldo Emerson once said “Do the thing and gain the power.”

       He did not say “Get motivated and gain the power.”

       He said “Do the thing”

       It could be going on a trip by yourself. It could be going on a date. It could be learning a new skill. It could be taking the first step to starting a new business. Whatever it is do it.

       Kevin Spacey, a fine actor and a quotable man, said that:

       “To be ambitious, and to want to be successful is not enough. That’s just desire.”

       Don’t be the person who just has desire. Be the person who has done something. The person who has done something and failed at it is much wiser, more interesting, and vastly more attractive than the person who has thought about doing lots of things but ended up sitting at home.

       To be that person getting shit done you must be mindful of your daily habits, your thoughts, and your actions. You cannot be ignorant.

       Ask yourself “What am I doing that is hurting me? Where is my life headed? Are the people I associate with helping or hindering my progress? What are my long term and short term goals?”

       Spend time in contemplation.

       Listen.

       And then once you have listened you must do the thing. Every day.

       Even when you aren’t motivated.  

       ESPECIALLY when you aren’t motivated. 

       Good Luck.

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