Why motivation doesn't make a dent?

If you are anything like me, you give reasons for your unproductivity. It is human to be reasonable. When you are wasting time and loitering around stuff, you want give a sensible reason behind the time waste.

For creatives like me that reason usually is motivation. We take it one step forward and say we don't have anything inspiring to motivate us into action. We procrastinate happily.

After giving this reason 1000s of times, I was genuinely interested to know how motivation works. I wanted to know the genesis of motivation and most importantly I wanted to know why it doesn't make a dent in my life?

The first eye opening idea that hit me hard is everything I understood about how motivation works in a human performance is wrong.

When the myths got debunked I truly understood what it means to be motivated.

Today, I want to share with you what I learnt from about motovation from the trinity. (neuroscience, cognitive science and behavioral science). There are three core ideas to share.

Creating Motivation

  • Motivation doesn't produce success but actually success produces motivation.
  • To get something done we expect a mystical energy called motivation to lift us up. In reality when you get something done the mystical energy called motivation comes to us.
  • Motivation is mystical. Success is real. Reality works. Just do it and that is only way to create motivation.
  • The progress-motivation loop (yeah that sounds chicken and egg) gives us enough dopamine to keep going. The loop starts with progress and ends with motivation. Progress makes us feel good which inturn gives motivation and not the other way around.

Focus on Progress

  • Success doesn't happen based on our goals. Success is based on our progress.  Think about it, even without a goal progress can be made but without progress a goal cannot be met. Ground yourself in the process that helps you going forward, the finish line is not far away.
  • A goal is only a wish-list without the necessary process. Focus on process and not goals.
  • Your systems and routines take you farther than goals and plans. If you need run a marathon, then have a process to make it happen. Have a system which helps you track and adapt your progress. Have routines that keeps you going.

Work with Human nature

  • Change your language. Make your language personal and internal to you. The language must stem from your identity. It works. We are freedom freaks. We don't like to be controlled by anything outside us.
    For example, I can't have a pizza sounds like you are doing something not in your control and is forced on you. Instead say I don't have a pizza for X reason. That keeps your motivation high. H/T Jeff Haden.
  • Our brains like variety. It is a processing machine. It likes to have good input for remix. Focused too much on one thing makes you variety less and boring. Being mutifaceted and multidisciplinary keeps your motivation high. Wield your circle of competence and circle of curiosity equally. You can't be doing only one thing all your life. The more variety our brain processes, the better motivated you will be.
  • Mastery is a hard thing and all rabbit holes are deep. I am not against pursuit of mastery. All I am saying is see if you can learn something else which adds to the mastery. A better pursuit is pursiut of betterment in my opinion. The tiny doses of progress everyday keeps you ON.

The more I understood about motivation I stopped waiting for motivation.

I started focussing on making progress everyday which gave me more motivation. The loop hasn't stopped.

Action impacts action. Motivation doesn't.

🥂 to progress!

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