1. step – MOTIVATION
What is a motivation?
Throughout my coaching sessions, I came across many answers to this question. Most of them sounded very similar to this: “motivation is when I feel like doing something”.
It is interesting how after asking those people whether they “felt like doing” their planned activities, the reply was: “ehm, somehow I never feel motivated when I need to do stuff.”
Do you know why they never felt motivated at that moment?
Because motivation doesn’t exist.
How else can you explain that it’s never there when you need it the most?
I might have an explanation for that, or actually, Mel Robbins does and here is what I’ve learned from her.
Why doesn’t motivation work?
To understand why motivation doesn’t work, we have to dig a bit into the history and biology of humankind.
Our brains were programmed to stop us from doing anything that could harm us. Our survival is the number one mission of the human and animal brain.
The issue is that our environment has evolved extremely fast and the human brain didn’t keep up.
We are in 2019, having amazing technologies, living in beautiful houses, having warm water and stable jobs, so much has changed – but not us, not our brain.
When we are about to do something as small as wash the dishes, the brain is unable to recognize how “dangerous” washing the dishes is now in 2019, and how “dangerous” it was in the Medieval age.
Our brain perceives all actions that are “out of our comfort zone” as a “danger” as something the brain must protect us from.
The strongest weapon of our brain?
Believe it or not, it is hesitation.
Let’s go back to that example of dishwashing and show you how the brain process usually looks like.
Human brain thinks washing dishes is a “danger” (Saber-toothed tiger could eat you while you are washing your plastic cup in the river, right?) – brain doesn’t see the difference from b.c. 2000 and 2019.
Your brain knows only one thing – you are attempting an action, an action is “danger”, action could hurt, and I (brain) need to protect my host (you) from any possible harm.
So what does the brain do? It uses its epic weapon – hesitation.
Once the hesitation kicks in, you start to think: “hmm, maybe I could do the dishes later, or tomorrow (or never).”
So even though you might have felt motivated to do a big cleaning and wash the dishes; the moment you were about to start, the brain again won this battle and successfully stopped you because the mission of your survival will always be superior in your brain aside from anything else.
Do you see now why relying on motivation is probably something you don’t want to do?
Subscribe to get notified when the HOW TO Stop Hesitating 3-step guide is released.
Now you might be wondering: “But Sarah if motivation doesn’t exist? How do I make myself do things?”
No worries, now when you know you that you don’t have to wait for motivation – for “feeling like doing it,” here is how it’s done.
2. step – DISCIPLINE
Now when you know how deceiving, and non-existing motivation is, you can as well forget it and learn self-discipline instead.
It is common for people to think that discipline, persistence, focus, honesty or self-love are traits to be either born with or not.
I do not share this belief. Yes, you might be born with certain predispositions, but that’s about it.
Everything mentioned above is the skills and abilities that anyone can learn.
No one is born with them.
Each and every one of you has the right to learn them and acquire them for yourself.
Self-discipline is the ability to control your feelings and emotions and overcome your weaknesses.
Being disciplined will make you “do things” no matter whether you feel like doing them or not.
This way you never have to rely on motivation again, and the lack of it won’t be the reason for not finishing your tasks or achieving your goals.
Read the full 3-step guide on HOW TO Self-discipline when you finish this one.
3. step – PURPOSE
If there is one thing that drives people forward, helps them “feel like doing” things, and makes being self-disciplined a lot easier, it is having a purpose in life.
Once you know your purpose, life gets somehow less complicated, and you start seeing the light at the end of every dark tunnel.
A purpose could be described as the meaning of your life; it is the ultimate goal, the bigger picture behind all tiny puzzle pieces.
A real authentic purpose shows you the direction and gives you the strength to deal with problems and solve situations. A purpose is your best friend when you are aiming for your goals.
Can having a purpose make such a difference?
Just imagine there is an article about healthy eating habits you must write for school or work, and you just don’t feel like writing it at all.
Why should you write it though?
What does writing this article has to do with anything and why should you bother?
Now imagine your ultimate purpose would be to lower the number of people struggling with heart diseases in the world.
Writing this article for your class could be the first step!
Maybe you could also try to write a few online health magazines to publish your article, or you could post it yourself on platforms such as Medium, and it could change someone’s life immediately!
How amazing is that?!
Connecting the life purpose to everyday activities and tasks was the key for me to “do stuff” no matter how I felt that day or how annoying that particular TODO was.
The moment I defined my life purpose I began to create the life I always wanted and there was no need for external motivation.
What was my “motivation” story?
I came up with the idea of the SELF DEVELOPMENT SPACE after Christmas 2017.
I drafted the entire project idea on a napkin paper (on many napkin papers), and I was so excited and so motivated that I was sharpening the project concept for three days in a row.
When January 2018 begun, I kept the part-time job that I had next to the school, and I dedicated the rest of my days to creating the content for the SELF DEVELOPMENT SPACE.
One month went by, the second month as well and the so-called “motivation” started to fade away.
I loved my idea, I loved the project concept, but there were so many tasks and steps to take before the project would see the light of a day that I felt very discouraged.
By March 2018 I knew this project would take at least another nine months to be fully finished.
My laptop started to be filled with files and files of content, web designs, logo drafts, HOW TO guides, and yet I couldn’t see any tangible outcome.
No one in my life knew what I am working on all the time and why am I not going out or start a “normal” full-time job.
To say I started to feel demotivated would be an understatement. I felt miserable.
Why should I continue? Where is it leading anyways? What if it doesn’t work?
My self-discipline was moving me forward, but I wasn’t feeling “motivated or driven” anymore.
Then it hit me…
I forgot the purpose of my project. I got so caught up with the work itself that I lost the focus on purpose, on the “whys” behind my work.
Every single time from that moment when I started feeling a bit off while working on the project I took a moment to remind myself of the purpose.
A moment to imagine that thanks to this or that task which I am working on right now, one day, when it is all done and launched, one day, my content can change someone’s life and help them overcome their mental obstacles and become their desired version.
And yess, that’s worth it!
Now imagine what would happen if I worked on the SELF DEVELOPMENT SPACE only when I felt motivated.
Let me save your time and tell you right away – I would have never pushed the project creation for more than two months, let alone for 365 days.
I had self-discipline in my pocket to use when motivation faded away because I was expecting it to happen.
Well, let me tell you again – with no motivation and good discipline I could never push the project for longer than six months!
But with having the concept of my project as my current life purpose – I will push it for as long as I have to until I have hands, legs, and brain to do so!
My purpose has become the ultimate drive in my life, and it can do the same things for you.
Put your trust in life purpose and forget motivation. That is the advice coming straight from my heart.
If you haven’t found of defined your purpose yet, you can check the ultimate 3-step HOW TO Find Purpose and change it today.
- The Zero Motivation Challenge – are you ready to try your will and self-discipline instead of waiting for “feeling like doing things” in order to achieve your goals? Be brave and get the ZERO Motivation Challenge to test your abilities and finally get stuff done!
10 Powerful Ways to Master Self-Discipline – Deep Patel – the author of A Paperboy’s Fable: The 11 Principles of Success and his article is another excellent source for understanding the concept of self-discipline. Deep Patel shares my belief that we aren’t born with self-discipline and he is offering unique and useful tips for learning it.
Self Discipline: The Secret Weapon That Will Make You Unstoppable – in this article, Stefan James – internet entrepreneur, life and business coach, is sharing his tips for conquering self-discipline and is explaining the vital difference between being a master and a dabbler in life.
5 Reasons You Should Have a Life Purpose – is a 2. part of the 7-part series on how to find life purpose provided on the Personal Excellence website. Reading this article will lead you to the understanding of why having life-purpose is essential and what are the incredible benefits of having it.
Are you ready for your self-development journey?
Interested in meeting the self-development community?
Looking for encouragement? Check our quotes.