You may not need motivation
Motivation is an interesting problem these days. We don’t have the drive, we feel we’re not motivated enough, we’d like more, we’d like it to be easier. We even might feel like quitting. Maybe for good reason. But maybe not.
How do you tell?
If you’re reading this, chances are you have something in your life that you’d like to be more motivated about.
A fit body?
A better job? A raise?
Something more spiritual?
A personal project?
Just more happiness?
There may be multiple things. For now, just pick one and call it “I want X”. To get X, you probably need to do some Y.
So “I want X” is more like “I want X and would like more motivation to do Y so that I get X.” Replace X and Y with what you just picked.
Say it in your head and then listen to it.
“I want … and would like more motivation to do … so that I get ….”
How does it feel?
Take a few seconds to just listen to yourself. With no judgment, good, bad, why-the-heck-am-I-doing-this, no opinions about it, no thoughts about it if you can.
Now, if you’ve chosen an X which is actually true to you, especially if you’re struggling for a long time, I’m going to suggest something.
You may not want X.
Say this in the back of your head. And for a few seconds, listen to it.
“I don’t want X”.
How does it sound? How do you feel?
Like a kid who just wants the toy from the store?
Scared by the thought?
Simply feel like rejecting it?
Does it, on the contrary, feel true?
It’s so, so hard to just listen. But how did this feel?
Your X. You might want it.
What kind of “I want it” is this? How strong is it?
Or you might, just as well, not want your X. Which is not right or wrong.
You might not want to get fit.
You might not want a better job, or a raise.
You might not want more money. Or more time.
You might not want that girl in your life. Or that guy. Or that friend or relationship.
You might not want anything spiritual. Or happiness.
There are happy people who are not as fit. Or have as much money or time.
There are rich people who do not want spirituality in their life. Or a relationship.
There are people who have all the time in the world, without any possessions. Meditating, writing or doing mathematics.
But you know this. Any of these may be boring or just plain wrong to you, but that’s what they want.
What do you want? What do you not want?
My suggestion to you is this: you may not need motivation.
There’s such a wealth of videos, books, tunes, movies, lyrics, and how-to articles with pictures. All of them try to push motivation down your throat.
Did you watch them? Listen to them? Read them?
Were they effective? For how long?
What all of them seem to fail at is giving long-term drive. And of course they can’t.
Because they can’t tell you what you want.
What you want is rarely crystal clear. But going through the small exercise above has helped me personally.
I may not want my X. This is pure gold. I’ve just saved time, money, frustration, failures, and more. Or it may be that I do want my X. And once I know I want it, there’s little I need. Somehow I’ve never lacked resources.
I could work for it for dozens of hours straight. Thousands in the long run.
I could, in seconds, give up what I was doing and jump in the car to go help someone important to me.
I could travel a thousand miles to keep a surprise and the promise of an unforgettable weekend with a loved one.
No “motivation” required, because, inside of me, I had everything I needed.
Sometimes the exercise is hard. Sometimes it’s easy or totally silent or a split-second snap, in the back of my head. But it works for me.
What do you think and feel? Do you need motivation? When? What kind? I’d love to hear about it.