Recently, I discovered a fun little secret… nobody feels like doing the work. To be more precise, motivation is not, as we have come to believe, an asset some people have that others don’t. Given the choice to work and the choice to bask in the sunlight, the majority of us would prefer the latter. Seeking motivation in order to successfully achieve something is the very reason we keep on failing. If we wait to feel like doing something, chances are we will never do it.
What we really need to seek out is determination, persistence, self-discipline, self love, courage, and instinct. When your alarm goes off in the morning, it is not your motivation that gets you on your feet, but rather it is your discipline. When you skip the chocolate bar, it isn’t your motivation that encourages you to put it down, but rather your self love and determination. When you run with an opportunity, it isn’t your motivation that lights the fire under you, but rather your instinct and courage. Hard work is about persistence, not about feeling like it. Nobody feels like it!
While I am still learning how to shift my mindset away from the stagnant wait for motivation, every small adjustment I have made has already impacted my life in a profound way. Knowing that motivation is a lie has been somewhat liberating, because I now realize that I don’t need to want to do something in order to do it. If I can weigh out the benefits of an action or decision in a rational way, I can put forward a step by step plan that gets me from where I am to where I want to be, and can follow through with it even when I don’t feel like carrying the burden of responsibility. There is no longer room for my mood. Surprisingly enough, it has worked out quite well!
Today, I didn’t feel like waking up early. I still did.
I didn’t feel like making breakfast. I still did.
I didn’t feel like a day at the office when it could be a day at the pool. I still marched on over.
I didn’t feel like writing a blog post. I still wrote.
I did feel like a $4 coffee, but I didn’t buy it!
I didn’t feel like doing my bed, so I did not do my bed. It doesn’t work 100% of the time! 😅
Why do things that you don’t feel like doing? Because they will lead to a valuable end goal that is important to you. It’s not about the wanting the work, it’s about wanting the results.
The alternative, doing only what you feel like doing, means that you won’t have the life you dream of having. Instant gratification comes at the cost of long term goals. Think about that next time you skip your vegetables.
And remember… we design our own life!