If You Need to Hear Motivational Words to Work, Don’t Do It

Forcing yourself to find motivation is a big sign you’re doing it wrong.

Dimitris Leo ⭐
Jul 31 · 5 min read
Image for post
Image by Michal Jarmoluk from Pixabay

I don’t like motivational videos. I don’t like to keep searching for motivation every day. It’s unsustainable. It screams of short-term commitment.

Some people use motivational words and videos to go to the gym. Others use them to work harder. They dream of a perfect body. They dream of millions of dollars. They dream of mansions, they dream of cars.

But if you’re doing something only for the rewards, it will be impossible to keep your motivation in the long-term.

Anything worth doing will become hard at some point. It’s a fact of life.

Nothing comes easy. There’s always a learning curve. Even if you’re a natural, if you want to realize your potential, you’ll have to work hard.


Can Motivation Be Sustainable?

I’ve had to learn this lesson the hard way. As a computer science BSc graduate, I decided to build an application for a friend. A mobile gaming app.

But I don’t enjoy gaming. So my motivation was the potential of success. I had the skills, I had the time, so I decided to give it a go.

It was doomed to fail. I couldn’t sustain the motivation for the time needed to complete the project. I couldn’t sustain the motivation to keep working for something I wasn’t personally interested in.

Here are the lessons I learned from that project. If you’re interested in starting a project of your own, you can read my mistakes so you can avoid them.


My Reason for Working

I’m not afraid of failure. But I always try to learn as much as I can from it.

So after this failed attempt, I analyzed my mistakes and I know now this.

I should be doing my work out of duty, not money. I should be doing something that I would feel guilty if I didn’t do it. Monetization is important, but it can’t be my purpose.

I feel guilty if I don’t write articles. I feel guilty because I believe in what I’m doing.

So any time I don’t feel like working, I feel a productive guilt.

A voice inside me says, “You could be writing right now. You could be learning valuable lessons from these articles. You could improve your writing. Why the hell are you not doing it?”

The motivation is instant. It’s sustainable and comes from within.

I like writing. I like producing content.

Of course, money plays a big role in my life. Money means freedom. I need money to pay the bills and put food on the table and my belly. I need money to feel secure and happy.

But money is not the only reason.

I would write even if I didn’t earn a penny. I would write less, but I would still share my thoughts and life lessons with you.

It’s something that is completing me. I’m learning more about myself as keep on sharing my thoughts with you.


Motivational Words Are Usually Shallow

Your motivation to work can’t come from something shallow. Can you force yourself to do work you don’t enjoy for years? What would be the reason?

To have millions? Sure, having millions is nice to think and dream about. But when you dislike your job, it won’t be enough to keep you going.

Motivational words try to get you to do something out of fear of missing out. Missing out on your potential. Missing out on your dream life.

I prefer to do my work out of duty, not fear.

If I’ve learned a valuable lesson in my life, I would feel guilty if I didn’t share it with you. If I had a thought that could help even one person, I would feel guilty not to post it.

One idea can act as a seed. People read something, and they start thinking. It’s a sacred procedure, and I’m proud to be contributing to it.


Discipline Isn’t Sustainable Either

Some people prefer discipline over shallow motivation.

If you can discipline yourself to do the hard work, you will find success, they claim.

Yet, how can you consistently discipline yourself if you’re the disciplinarian?

People try this all the time with diets, and they almost always fail.

Why? Because your feelings and moods will at some point win over your discipline.

And this is especially true if you don’t have a real purpose behind your work. A reason that matters to you. Something stronger than your everyday feelings.


Find Your Why

It’s very important to understand what motivates you to do your best work. If you don’t find the reason, you’ll always run around in circles.

There has to be a reason. Think of the word why often. It will lead to great things.

In my case, to feel complete with a career, I want it to fill these criteria.

  • Being my own boss.
  • Able to work from anywhere in the world.
  • Has the potential to make six figures in 1 year.
  • Enjoy the everyday work.
  • Helping people.
  • Being proud of my work.

This is why I’ve chosen to become a content creator on the internet. It has the potential to fill all the criteria. And this is why coaching is a career that I’m tempted to try.

I’ve written more extensively on picking a career. Here is an article that can help you if you’re looking for your dream job.


Conclusion

If you need to be inspired and motivated by a video, you’re probably doing it for all the wrong reasons.

You’ll probably fail at whatever you’re trying to do if you need to be motivated by external factors like motivational videos.

I’m not saying I haven’t watched them myself. I’ve motivated myself that way to go to the gym. But I quickly realized it’s not sustainable.

And if you’ve been reading my articles for a while, you know that I’m big on sustainability.

You will not be able to keep going if you don’t have a reason to work. You will not be able to keep going if you don’t enjoy your everyday struggle.


The Ascent

A community of storytellers documenting the journey to happiness and fulfillment.

Sign up for Elevate Weekly

By The Ascent

A weekly tip to live a better, more sustainable life and help humankind live up to its fullest potential. Take a look

By signing up, you will create a Medium account if you don’t already have one. Review our Privacy Policy for more information about our privacy practices.

Check your inbox
Medium sent you an email at to complete your subscription.

Dimitris Leo ⭐

Written by

On a mission to make the world a kinder place. Writer on Self Acceptance, Compassion & Improvement, Mental Health, Psychology, Leadership, Fitness and more…

The Ascent

A community of storytellers documenting the journey to happiness & fulfillment. Join 105,000+ others making the climb on one of the fastest-growing pubs on Medium.

Dimitris Leo ⭐

Written by

On a mission to make the world a kinder place. Writer on Self Acceptance, Compassion & Improvement, Mental Health, Psychology, Leadership, Fitness and more…

The Ascent

A community of storytellers documenting the journey to happiness & fulfillment. Join 105,000+ others making the climb on one of the fastest-growing pubs on Medium.

Welcome to a place where words matter. On Medium, smart voices and original ideas take center stage - with no ads in sight. Watch
Follow all the topics you care about, and we’ll deliver the best stories for you to your homepage and inbox. Explore
Get unlimited access to the best stories on Medium — and support writers while you’re at it. Just $5/month. Upgrade

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store