The Best Motivation "Hack"

mental health

Lack of motivation is normal.


The nature of life is that we often don't feel like doing something until after we do it.


It's a slog to put on your gym shoes, but you're happy you did it midway through spin class. It's a drag to peel yourself off the couch to prepare dinner, but before you know it, you're whistling while you work. You're dreading this morning's meeting, but as soon as it starts, it doesn't feel so bad.


It's infuriating, isn't it?


The problem is that we believe we should feel motivated in order to do something.


If we don't feel motivated--and we have nothing forcing us to go do something--we usually take it as a sign that it's not meant to be. Life is already full of chores. If you don't need to add more to your plate, why would you? Especially when there's Netflix, Doordash and the Kansas City Chiefs. It's time to CTFO, not do more work.


We all need a break. We need downtime. We need fun.


But if we want our life to be great, we also need to move forward on the important stuff, whether we feel like it or not.


And what I find absolutely fascinating is that it's actually healthy for us to do stuff that we don't want to do. It strengthens the part of our brain responsible for willpower. We want our willpower center to be strong, and the only way to do that is to purposefully engage in activities we don't want to do (or abstain from doing things we really do want to do).


Having a strong willpower center is important. You can't do great things or hard things without it. How many times have you crumbled under the weight of extra responsibilities, or newly acquired pressure, or scary news that comes your way?


When you strengthen your willpower center, you become better at handling all of this. You start participating in life in a way that guarantees greatness. It feels counterintuitive, but it's healthy and necessary if we are going to experience the greatness that life can be.


You’ll still have downtime. You’ll still have fun. You’ll still be able to CTFO and watch the game. You’ll do all of that without feeling guilty or exhausted from the inner battle of knowing that you should be doing more with your life. You’ll actually be able to enjoy yourself because you turned yourself into a badass who knows how to do hard things.


Practice taking action in the midst of not feeling motivated. It's how you grow.