Absolutely no motivation? We’ve all been there. That’s why there’s a whole industry built around motivation and how to find it.
Maybe you don’t have motivation because you don’t know what you want to do yet. Find your passion they say. Figure out what you love and do that.
But when you don’t know what that passion is, or what you love doing just yet, motivation can be hard to find.
So what happens. When we don’t know what to do we don’t take action. Because how can we do something, when we don’t know what to do?
Obviously, this isn’t working for us.
Here’s one simple idea I found in two books that have helped me solve the no motivation riddle.
And this one will be a short post because this principle is simple and straightforward.
What we think motivation looks like
Mark Manson talks about this in his blog post and book The Subtle Art of Not Giving A F*ck.
Emotional Inspiration → Motivation → Desirable Action 1
We wait for inspiration to come to us. We wait to stumble upon the thing we love to do like if we wait, it’s all going to fall into place. And maybe it has for some people but for most, it’s not that easy.
That’s where we think we’ll find motivation. After we’ve had inspiration.
It’s a Catch-22 of sorts. But the thing about the motivation chain is that it’s not only a three-part chain, but an endless loop: Inspiration → Motivation → Action → Inspiration → Motivation → Action → Etc. 2
I’m guilty of this too. Courses, books with promising life changing titles. Just waiting to discover the inspiration to get us going.
But we get stuck in the loop.
What motivation actually looks like
“…interests are not discovered through introspection. Instead, interests are triggered by interactions with the outside world. The process of interest discovery can be messy, serendipitous, and inefficient. This is because you can’t really predict with certainty what will capture your attention and what won’t…Without experimenting, you can’t figure out which interests will stick, and which won’t.” 3
If you haven’t read her book Grit – get on it.
She explains that passion is something that’s found through experimenting. By action.
And she proves this through her own story. Before she became an award winning psychologist, Angela was a high fly corporate advisor and then a school teacher.
But all of this drove her close to what she found she loved – researching grit.
Taking advantage of this knowledge, we can actually re-orient our mindset in the following way:
Action → Inspiration → Motivation
The conclusion is that if you lack the motivation to make an important change in your life, then do something, anything really, and then harness the reaction to that action as a way to begin motivating yourself. 4
While they’re talking about different ideas – motivation and passion – the principle is still there. Action trumps all!
Motivation is created through action. Finding inspiration or your passion can only be found by experimenting and trying different things. Otherwise how else would we know?
We all have days where getting up and doing something seems a lot harder than what it is.
Good old imposter syndrome has most of us by the kahunas at times!
But through my own experience – right now writing this. The only way out of no motivation and trying to get the best out of the day is by simply doing something. Anything.
Infuse your life with action. Don’t wait for it to happen. Make it happen. Make your own future. Make your own hope. Make your own love. And whatever your beliefs, honor your creator, not by passively waiting for grace to come down from upon high, but by doing what you can to make grace happen… yourself, right now, right down here on Earth. – Bradley Whitford 5