Often I hear comments along the lines of “Victor, help! I just can’t find the motivation to ________“.
I have the answer to this dilemma but it may not be the one you’d like to hear. The motivation is already there, but it’s only there for things you truly want or need to do. If you have to find motivation externally then you don’t truly want to do it, whatever “it” is.
I can’t find the motivation to eat peas, I can’t find the motivation to live in Little Rock, Arkansas, and I just can’t seem to find the motivation to punch a time clock for someone else. Because I can’t “find the motivation” I don’t do any of those things and I don’t go looking for motivation to do them. Looking for motivation for something you don’t want to do is a waste of time.
You will either want to do it or not want to do it. When you ask for help “finding motivation” you are just pretending.
“I just can’t find the motivation to get to the gym“.
I can’t find the motivation to stop going to the gym. I’d rather die than stop going to the gym. It would take an act of God to get me to stop going to the gym. Even when I have no energy or “motivation” or my mind is focused on another project I’m still in the gym 3-4 days per week. And wouldn’t you know it? Each time I’m in the gym I see the same people and none of them have a motivation problem. Each time I walk by a McDonalds restaurant I see the same “type” of people and they don’t look like they lack the motivation to eat a supersized #2.
“I just can’t find the motivation to do any entrepreneurial work when I get home from my day job“.
Before I left my last real job I couldn’t find the motivation to stop working on my side project. When I was at my “real” job I was spending all my time selfishly working on my side gig and I would continue working on it all through the night when I was at home. I still can’t find the motivation to stop working independently. Thinking back on the punching a time clock, getting permission to be sick, and dealing with morons daily is enough motivation for me to keep working and making money independently. Looking at the ridiculous lifestyle I have now, compared to 6 or 7 years ago is just mind-boggling. I’m completely free now and I would rather die than go back to being a wage slave. I can’t fathom how people find the motivation to go to a soul-killing job every single day. To me that is insanity. Unless you love your work you should not do it. We live in such a special time in history that you are free to do nearly anything you want, I guess it just so happens that most people want to take orders and be given a paycheck. That’s fine for them, but they look like the living dead to me and I don’t need any extra motivation to not be like them.
“I can’t find the motivation to practice playing guitar“.
That’s because you don’t want to play the guitar. Stop pretending.
“I can’t find the motivation to lose weight“.
That’s probably because you’re a lazy slob. I can’t find the motivation to go on daily donut binges, as a consequence I’m not a fatass.
“I can’t find the motivation to wake up early“.
That’s because you have nothing to wake up for. I can’t find the motivation to stay in bed all day.
So how do you find the motivation, really find the motivation, to live your life the way you want to?
#1 Be honest
There’s no need to pretend you want to do something just because other people want to do it. All I want in life is to be jacked, make money, be free and be served by a sexy girl or two. I don’t need to find the motivation to accomplish these things, I’m driven to do them. I can’t not do them, and I don’t give much of a damn about anything else. You can call me small-minded, I only want a few things in life, I have them, I won’t let them disappear and it just doesn’t matter to me who agrees or disagrees with me.
#2 Go for it
You don’t need permission to go after what you want. If you require permission then you will not get what you want. You’ve got to go for it, you’ve got to take it, and you’ve got to stop caring what other people think. You’ve got to put a boot to the ass of anyone who is trying to naysay or stop you from achieving. Make your ears deaf to their nonsense.
#3 Don’t quit
What is it they always say? Quitters never win and winners never quit. I tried to do a million entrepreneurial gigs before and I quit all of them. There are only two entrepreneurial gigs that I never quit and I’ll be damned but I have lived off of the income from those two for many years. All the nonsense I tried to do before I didn’t really care about so sooner or later I gave up and quit.
I’m not the smartest or most capable man in the world, I’m not even the 2nd smartest or most capable man in the world. The only thing I have going for me is that when I am fired up I will never quit. I’ll go the edge of the earth for something I believe in. I will go broke for something I believe in. I will risk anything and everything for something I believe in. Because of this my life is comical in it’s abundance. I look around at everything I have and everything I’m able to do and I start laughing sometimes at what I have been able to accomplish and how I have paid for everything without having a job. I start laughing at how I used to sit in my tiny apartment with a notepad dreaming up ways to leave the rat race and be as free as I am right now. I’m not a humble guy but it truly is humbling to think about how my life turned out exactly the way I dreamed it would many, many years ago and it’s only because I didn’t quit two projects.
It is only when you have fire for a project that you cannot quit, there is no option to quit. Rather than trying to force motivation you should only work on projects that fire you up. You’ll save yourself a ton of time and heartache. If you’ve got to force motivation then you should just go ahead and say “no”. It’s only when you can’t stop working on something that you are going to get the benefit from it.
When you’re fired up about something, take it to the extreme.
There is no need to “find motivation”. The motivation is already there. Your motivation just may be different to someone else’s motivation. I see a lot of people who are motivated to watch television and eat potato chips all day. Fine for them. Is it fine for you?