The Cycle of Drive

How to Hack Your Own Motivation and Get More Done.

Delaney Jaye
Oct 22, 2019 · 3 min read
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Graphic by Author.

I believe we have the cycle of drive backward.

No matter what you’re trying to accomplish, I’m sure you understand how difficult it can be to work on a project when you lack inspiration or motivation.

We like to wait for a romantic spark of inspiration to light us up and get the juices flowing. This enlightened inspiration then motivates us to act, so we take hell-bent for glory action.

Then, the feeling predictably and inevitably starts to fade. Along with it, we start to slow our pace, the fire dims, and we eventually come to a complete stop.

Once we’ve stopped, it’s really hard to get going again — all of that momentum we had built up is gone — so we linger and wait for another spark of inspiration to jump-start our engines.

But what if that inspiration doesn’t come when you need it?

We (myself included) often use “not feeling motivated” or “I just need some inspiration” as an excuse to stay stagnant.

This leaves us relatively helpless — victims of an unfair system that only blesses us when it chooses.

What if we can hack this inefficient cycle of wishing and waiting?

The good news is: we can.

Flip the cycle and look at it from a new perspective.

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A New Perspective.

If it’s a true cycle, any piece of it pushes us forward to the next.

Why do we choose to start with the pieces we can’t control?

If you take a hard look at the cycle from a new perspective (and flip the arrows), you’ll notice a few things: 1) of all the pieces, action is the only one you can control, 2) action can drive the rest of the cycle forward.

It’s the only piece of the cycle you have any control over, so take the reigns & run with it.

Even if you don’t know where to start, even if you’re feeling unmotivated, even if you don’t completely know what you’re trying to do.

How do you start? Keep it Simple — Don’t Overthink.

If you want to write a book, sit down with a pen and paper or your laptop and start writing. If you want to film a YouTube video, turn on the camera and start filming. If you want to be a chef, pick up a knife start chopping food in the kitchen. If you want to be a programmer, go to the library and get a beginner’s guide.

It doesn’t matter if you have no idea what you want to cook, write, program, or film. Don’t overthink the end result as an excuse not to start. You’ll figure it out as you go.

The Result

What will happen is: Your actions will lead to a small accomplishment.

That small accomplishment will give you the warm fuzzies — a tiny little flame. It feels good to accomplish something (anything).

This flame will grow — motivating you to keep going.

Eventually, that flame will spark, generating inspiration. You should ride that explosion like mad — feverishly accomplish as much as you can.

The spark will eventually fade back into a small flame.

Keep going anyways — push the cycle forward with action — keep adding oxygen to the fire. The cycle will continue where it previously would have stopped.

That’s how you hack the system — taking control of your productivity and motivation instead of remaining helpless (and book/business/website/whatever-less) to the elusive spark.

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Delaney Jaye

Written by

Marketing Strategist with a passion for travel, nutrition, & mindfulness. Grad business student @ the University of Oxford. Read more > www.delaneyjaye.com

The Startup

Medium's largest active publication, followed by +730K people. Follow to join our community.

Delaney Jaye

Written by

Marketing Strategist with a passion for travel, nutrition, & mindfulness. Grad business student @ the University of Oxford. Read more > www.delaneyjaye.com

The Startup

Medium's largest active publication, followed by +730K people. Follow to join our community.

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