“The whole idea of motivation is a trap. Forget motivation. Just do it.” This famous quote by John C. Maxwell has always been in the back of my mind helping me to fight against one of the biggest traps that all of us tend to fall into.
The trap I am talking about is motivation. We all rely on motivation to help us throughout the day, but relying on it too much can lead to disaster!
Sure, when we are motivated things are going good. We get stuff done, we feel refreshed at the end of the day, and we know that we did something worthwhile.
The only problem here is what happens when we are not motivated. Nobody is motivated all of the time and everybody (including me) has a lazy side.
When we are not motivated we do not feel the need to get things done and we see no results. We achieve nothing and have nothing to be proud of.
A jogger who only jogs when he is feeling inspired to jog will have to be an extremely motivated person in order to stay healthy.
If you have all that motivation inside you everyday then congratulations you’re probably the luckiest person on the planet.
The problem is most of us can’t wake up every single day at 6am saying “Oh boy time to go for a 2 mile run” with a smile on our face and excitement in our hearts.
Our lazy side is always there to create opposition to success. If we want results we can’t just rely on being excited about working and inspired all the time.
How to Overcome Lack of Motivation
If you cannot rely on motivation then what can you do to still get the things you want to accomplish in your life actually accomplished?
The only thing we can do is fight through it!
To actually get things done in life you have to just knuckle down and do it. Set aside some time to go for a jog, write a book, paint your picture or whatever it is that you want to do and then when that time comes along go out and do it.
If you don’t feel motivated to do it then you are just going to have to be a man, get off your ass and do it anyways!
Don’t think about it! The more you think about it the more your lazy side will come up with excuses to why you shouldn’t do it. Believe me your lazy side is smart and it will use every trick in the book to get you to stay lazy.
Your mind will tell you that you cannot jog this morning because there are clouds in the sky and it might rain. It will tell you that you can’t call a possible business partner because it is 7pm and he probably doesn’t want to hear from you, it will tell you all sorts of things to get you to change your mind.
But if you have set aside the time to do it your only option is to ignore what your mind tells you and just do it.
There comes a time where you have to admit that logic can be used against you to make anything sound bad. But the only logical thing in life is that you will not accomplish anything if you avoid taking action. So take action already!
But I’m an Artist, I Need Inspiration
As a writer I understand where this is coming from. As an artist of anything, writing, painting, musician, or whatever you are using the creative juices in your brain to try and create a masterpiece.
This is why artists often say to themselves, “I do my best work when I am inspired, best to wait for inspiration.”
This sounds very logical, but it doesn’t help you get closer to your goals.
How do you think Picasso became good at making paintings? It wasn’t by waiting for inspiration and working only when he felt motivated.
No! Like any artist you only become good at something by doing it. To become a painter you must paint, to become a writer you must write.
You must do these things whether or not you feel motivated to do them.
You may have certain “aha” moments where you get a spark of inspiration that lets you create a masterpiece.
But this “aha” moment will not come unless you are constantly working and living your life around what you want to do.
Even if you do get a great spark of inspiration without putting in the work beforehand you will still need the skills and experience necessary to put it into motion.
This skill and experience only comes after years of working and making accomplishments.
Motivation Does Not Determine Success
Motivation is what most people rely on to help them make a better life for themselves. They do not want to work unless they are motivated. They do not want to eat right or get the exercise they know they need unless they are motivated. They want that spark to come and bring everything into action.
Sad to say, the spark never comes! Or more precisely it never lasts long enough to keep you moving for days, months, years on ends.
Motivation does not determine success. What determines success is your ability to drag yourself out of bed and just do what you know needs to be done even when you have absolutely no motivation in your body and you feel like slacking off.
Motivation will come, but it is up to you to get things started and to bring that motivation back when it wonders away.