Stop Trying to Motivate Yourself and Do This Instead
- DAN NORTH
You’re not always going to be motivated.
The thing about motivation is it comes and goes, it’s not always there for you. Kind of like Reese Bobby with his son Ricky, except hopefully your relationship with motivation isn’t that distant.
Come to think of it, motivation is a crappy word.
If you really want something, you don’t need to motivate yourself to get it done. It should be automatic.
If you feel you need to motivate yourself to do something, whether its career-related or fitness-focused, it might be wise to take a close look at your priorities and start thinking about what’s truly important to you.
Look, I get it. We’re not always going to “feel like” doing the task. Occasionally, instead of doing what you know you should be doing, you want to say fuck it and lounge. I get it.
This is why motivation sucks and is a short-term way of thinking about your health. You don’t need to find motivation. You don’t need to watch a bunch of motivational YouTube videos. You don’t even need to watch another Tony Robbins or Gary Vee speech on why you should get your ass off the couch and move.
First, you need to find inspiration.
You need to be inspired. Yeah, I know, cheesy af right? But it’s true!
Take a moment and think about something that you absolutely love doing. Is it reading? Is it cooking? Is it playing with your kids?
Now, whatever it is, I’m willing to bet that you when you’re in the middle of doing it, you forget about all the other bullshit going on in your life and completely lose yourself in the moment.
Growing up, that thing for me was martial arts. Taekwondo, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Muay Thai, wrestling…I couldn’t get enough of it. I’d bike 2 hours to the gym, train for another 2 hours, then bike back home. That was a typical summer day in my early teens. I was so engrossed in my love for training, that my punishment for acting like a shithead (which was probably more often than I’ll admit) was my mom not letting me go to the gym.
So, what’s your thing? What inspires you?
The thing about inspiration, in or out of the context of the gym, is it has a pulling effect on you. You feel drawn into it.
If you’re doing something that you truly fucking love, it will pull you in.
If you’re doing something you could care less about, and you need to find “motivation” to do it, it will push you away.
So, how do you find inspiration?
It’s different for everyone, and you’re probably not going to find it in this post. Actually, I can guarantee you won’t. That’s entirely up to you. When you find it, you’ll know (again, cheesy af).
Second, you need to develop grit.
Grit is different than motivation. Grit is having the courage to put your foot down and say, “I don’t care how I feel, I’m going to get this done no matter what.”
Grit keeps you going when the going gets tough. And if you feel like times are tough right now, you’re not alone. It’s shitty. But we need to grit the fuck up and get it done now more than ever (third cheesy installment of this post, but it’s true).
In an attempt to summarize…
Find something (or someone) that inspires you.
You’ll know you’re inspired when you lose track of time in the middle of an activity. You forget about all the troubles and struggles in your life. You completely lose yourself in the moment and focus completely on that one thing.
After you find inspiration, naturally you’re going to develop grit. Because you’ll find any way to make it happen and get it done. When you’re inspired by something, you know why you’re doing it. When you know why you’re doing it, you’ll figure out how to accomplish it. When you don’t know your why, you’ll make excuses to avoid it.
Where inspiration is the road map and points you in the right direction, grit is the fuel that keeps the engine going.