Motivation Is Bullshit

The Script wrote, “I’m still alive, but I’m barely breathing…”

A wise person responded, “Then maybe you should be seeking medical attention, instead of writing notes to no one.”

I’m currently sitting in a coffee shop in Sydney called Bourke Street Bakery. Insane flat whites and sausage rolls! Give it a look if you find yourself here.

Anyways, I laughed out loud this morning while grabbing some espresso when I read this little quote, and I’m usually not one to start the day off in a cynical sense, but it got me thinking about how often we tend to rely on outside sources of motivation to give us a kick start to take action. Or maybe it’s an internal motivation that comes from a drive or passion to work on something. Maybe it’s motivation or a will power that comes from a goal you set for yourself or a deadline that was given to you by someone else – A boss or co-worker, perhaps.

Either way, relying solely on motivation, pardon me, is Bulllllshhh*T! Nonsense, silliness. Motivation, will power, incentive, inspiration, whatever you choose to call it – It is the donkey and the carrot syndrome. Where a donkey will follow it’s trainer wherever they would like it to go based on where they point a carrot hanging from a stick. As long as that carrot is in front of the donkey, it will keep moving. The problem with relying on that form of motivation is that we are not donkeys, and we do not have trainers with endless amounts of carrots to follow. You’ll get to a goal, accomplish that goal, or not, and there is never going to be an endless amount of motivation or will power to keep you pushing forward. No matter how excited you are about something in the beginning – You set goals, you constantly push towards those goals, but eventually you wake up one morning and a thought pops into your head. Ya know, that run can really wait until tomorrow morning, or I will be able to write that paper over the weekend. Your will power starts to wain. Eventually you wake up a few months later and realize you haven’t even started on the paper. You have not been on a run in the last 60 days. And you end of feeling crappy because you weren’t motivated enough to accomplish your goals.

Well, I’m here to tell you to STOP! Stop relying on motivation to get things done, stop relying on will power to get you moving. And I’m here to tell you it’s not your fault if you slip up or totally fall off a goal or target you were working on! Be able to completely forgive yourself and do not, even for a second feel guilty about falling off the horse. Studies have shown we are not designed to run solely on inspiration or incentive. In fact, sometimes it actually creates the opposite affect and we work less. This is because we are human beings and we have brains. Your brain is not designed and has not evolved to want to go on a run or want to make the next sales call or want to have a challenging conversation you have been putting off. Our brains are designed to accomplish one main thing – Keep us safe and keep us alive. That’s it. That’s all they care about doing. Keeping us safe and alive. Pretty basic, but also extremely interesting. Guess what is not safe? Anything challenging or hard. Anything new or unknown. Anything you need to push yourself to do to accomplish what you want in this world, what you want out of life. You are fighting your brain every step of the way and you’re relying on motivation to try and win that fight. I’m here to tell you, it’s not going to work.

So, Sean – If our brains are designed to keep us safe and instantly come up with 100 reasons NOT to do something when we have an idea – What can we do to push forward? What can we do to follow our dreams, and conquer our goals without solely relying on our fleeting will power or inconsistent motivation? To be honest, I don’t fully know. I go through the same struggles as everyone else when it comes to these issues and I have my good days and bad. And I am still learning every day. But one thing I have done is come up with a new vision for myself. A new major idea to push forward that takes my brain out of the equation so to speak. Or rather, takes my insequiries, my hesitation, and my need for motivation out of the equation. If we are all going to die one day – Stay with me.. I promise it isn’t that dark, but if we are all going to die and no one is immune to that fact, then the time we have on this planet is temporary. A brief look at history shows it to be extremely temporary. If our time is temporary then I only really go back to two main questions in order to live a successful life:

  1. What is the quality of experience while you’re here? Meaning, are you present while enjoying time with friends and family? Are you not on a device, but actually engaging in the time you spend with loved ones?
  2. How many people are you able to help?

That’s it. Those two questions are what I have started to go back to when my motivation seems to be strained or inspiration starts to drain or I am having a bad day. I simply take myself and my self-serving brain out of the equation and I focus on others. Trying to have the best quality of experience and trying to help as many people as possible. And, let me tell you, the experience has been incredible.

So today, when you are struggling to start the project, struggling to find the “right time” to get to the gym, trying to stay focused on the conversation in front of you remember that will power is not your fault and ask yourself how can I help and how can I make this experience amazing?

Alright guys, that’s it for me. If you found value in any of this please share it out with your friends, send them this link so they can sign up for the newsletter, tag me on Instagram @cronan.sean & @lifereadyfoods, and go have an incredible weekend, and make it happen!

Best,
Sean

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