How to Find the Motivation to Succeed

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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?

-Victor Pride

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Comments

  1. Great post. My motivation to succeed comes from the disappointment and anger I feel towards myself when I accomplish nothing of note for an entire day. I have high standards of myself, and to fail to meet them is simply not an option.

    • Ditto. It’s not that I find myself particular inspired by what I am doing – often a grind is a grind. But not doing anything worth a damn brings only shame.

      One of the areas where I have slid is keeping my routine. When I was in good habits I was fiercely productive until I hit burnout point by trying to meet unrealistic extremes. With this in mind what I recommend is structuring and adhering to realistic goals and timesheets.

      I have found it very easy to waste time sitting around being angry at not doing something productive, but having little idea of what I could constructively be doing. Powering through tutorials with an hour-by-hour routine though makes good traction.

      G

    • Got to agree with YouSoWould. If I don’t achieve something that day I feel depressed. Yesterday was a Saturday and my day off, but by the evening I hated myself for wasting it. The further along I go the worse it gets.

  2. wow great Post again, Vic!
    Regards from Germany, making BoldandDetermined.com popular around here !

  3. Vic, there’s a problem with the home page of your site.

    The feminist post is still the main post and I’m sure this article is meant to be

  4. Great post and has once again fired me up.

  5. Daywalker says:

    “Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan Press On! has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.” J. Calvin Coolidge (30th President of The United States of America)

  6. Awesome post Victor.
    Try, fail…repeat! Keep doing it until you have found what lights you up and you will succeed like a bad ass. Fortune Favors the bold.

  7. Victor, your blog is excellent. I bought 30 Days of Discipline and Body of a Spartan – both are brilliant.

    I have a quick question, though…

    What time to do you go to sleep?

    Following your advice, I set my alarm to 6am. However, I’ve been going to sleep at 1am or later, which only allows for 5 hours of sleep. If I keep this up, I’m concerned the lack of sleep will affect my muscle gains.

    (Out of interest, when you sleep late and wake up early, do you let yourself nap during the day?)

    Thanks for any advice you can offer.

    • Victor Pride says:

      Joshua,

      Currently I do not sleep more than 5 hours per night and I get to bed late. When I am following the 30DoD plan I try to get to sleep around 11. Yes, I often nap when I wake up so early.

  8. Italian G says:

    Henry Rollins finds motivation everyday to play with himself in the shower.

  9. Vic,

    Can’t thank you enough for all your wisdom. I studied abroad and caught the travel fever. I don’t want to go back. After following your articles for months, I started a website and got my TEFL degree to teach English. Once my semester is over I am going to travel and teach English. Being free is the best goal anyone can shoot for.

    -Eric

  10. RX-78 Alex says:

    Great article. I’d only add one caveat: if there is something you have trouble finding the motivation to do, but it keeps nagging and bugging your soul and you can’t let go of it even after trying to “stop pretending,” you are probably being held back by some deep fear, uncertainty and doubt issues that you need to confront; whether through forcing yourself to face your fear, or engaging in CBT, etc.

  11. WTF???? Your insane brother!!!!!! Finally someone that tells it like it is!!!! I’ve always thought like you but never had the guts to let it out!!! I am 33 own my business and make 7 figures all because I stop being a bitch and went out and claimed my piece of the pie!! Balls to the wall!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  12. this is so right on! you have said something that i also believe in from heart, but probably have not admitted to myself (bcoz this is regarding a similar kind of issue bugging me, i found myself not getting motivated to do it).. this post will surely help me in that…

  13. Victor, do you ever run into someone who is more concerned about their time and piece in their mind than money or status? I’m just curious because I think I’m that way. I just dont place much value on things like cars, size of my house, or what brand of clothing I’m wearing or how much it cost. Dont get me wrong, I still have a lot of class, dress nice, good physique. On the flipside of the coin my Ferrari is my physique. I tend to take it to the curb and I’m relentless in my efforts. But peace in my mind is the main priority. I enjoy alot of things like fishing with my son, going to the mountains, walking along the riverside. I’m afraid if I take on anything else it will take away from the time I spend doing the things I enjoy and I will slip in the areas that I truly place emphasis on. I enjoy my job, the money is ok but could always be better. I guess I’m just the kind of guy who could drive a Buick instead of a BMW and not really care much.(yes, I already have a beamer…ok its my wifes, LOL) But my issue is there are certain benchmarks that deem someone as successful in Western culture, but those same status symbols that deem someone as successful are ruining people at the same time. I feel like I see through things many people dont, which is why I’m just more at peace being simple and just enjoying the gym. Anyways, do you understand where someone like myself is coming from with that? Because I often wonder if I’m fucked up for thinking like this or not.

    • Hey John Doe,
      I know that I’m not Victor, but if I can jump in to add some advice. I think what you are going through is simply settling for the status quo. If you are afraid to lose what you have then you can never gain anything more. As much as it is a cliche, only when you have lost everything do you have the freedom to do anything. I don’t think you’re fucked up because I think the same way and I go through this blog to change everything. I am still a young guy and everything is going my way as I had envisioned, but there are areas of my life that I want to improve but I get into the mindset of being stagnant. Let’s move forward brother!

    • Try reading Walden by Henry David Thoreau. I had to read it in American lit, changed my mind about materialism. A Spartan wouldn’t own a lot of shit anyways.

      You can still drive a BMW, just buy it when it’s 8 years old.

      here is a link for Walden, its free http://www.gutenberg.org/files/205/205-h/205-h.htm

    • Victor Pride says:

      “Victor, do you ever run into someone who is more concerned about their time and piece in their mind than money or status?”

      Every time I look in the mirror. I don’t care what kind of car I drive, I don’t wear any clothing with visible labels, I don’t care about any of that shit. My TIME is the most valuable thing I have. I don’t work for money, I work for time and freedom. Money is nice, of course. The pursuit of money is a fun game, but peace of mind is worth more than all the tea in China.

  14. That’s the thing. Most people have no motivation to get out and do their own thing. This is because they are where they’re meant to be. The world needs followers, and it needs cogs in the wheel.

    But most of these people hate their jobs to death. That’s a shit situation — depressed where they are, no motivation to go elsewhere. I think this all-too common situation comes from just not thinking right. Even if you’re in the 9-5, you can still get fired up about it, you can still take life by the fucking horns and love what you do, even if it is serving customers burgers.

    Just as in primitive societies, you’d help out your tribe, and they’d reward you with access to resources. It’s the same nowadays. You’re providing value to society, and in return you get money. It’s not meant to be fun. It’s not about you. But it is meant to be fulfilling.

    If you only realized that you are providing value to society, however minor, you might have a bit more motivation to get up in the morning and clock in. You might not feel totally fucking dead inside.

    Just my thoughts.

  15. I think you’re off here. You seem to believe that motivation is some intrinsic thing — yet most people WANT accomplish their goals, but they fall short. This isn’t for a lack of “willpower” or “motivation,” or because they have to “try harder”. It’s because they haven’t established habits and systems to take motivation out of the equation. To say you either want something or you don’t — and that’s why you’re not doing it — is shortsighted.

    • Nice thoughts and i highly recommend eat that frog by brian tracy for anyone with procrastination issues, because I think it is about practicing how to do something you don’t want to do even when you don’t feel like it. you will be suprised how much your brain will reward you for it to!

  16. Holy Crap Victor, I’m one of those liberals you speak of and ‘tho I live off the grid I’m still jacked in to a 9-5 job. Thanks for telling me what needs to get done. I’ll always be a bleeding heart but less affraid to knock some out of the way.

  17. Man Reader says:

    This blog kills, dude, Thanks for doing it. Really really good stuff. New daily reader here. This stuff is gold.

  18. Man Reader says:

    “…. I can’t find the motivation to go on daily donut binges, as a consequence I’m not a fatass.”

    LMFAO. This blog is made-me-spit-my-coffee funny. #epicwinning, brother.

  19. When you’fe fired up about something, take it to the extreme:

    you mean “you’re”. thanks for this article. I couldn’t stop adding the spanish version of this in my vocab ANKI, I guess I’ll benefit from spanish then.
    cheers

  20. I’d add write it down and review your goals daily.

  21. Basically, people who are really motivated i.e. really want something have this because they either really love themselves, or really love other people. So they either really want to help someone or really want to accomplish their own desires. Personally, I am low motivated because I do not believe either myself or other people, either my pleasure or suffering, or other people’s pleasure or suffering matters. It would be kinda nice to make more money and lose some fat, but I know that the result would be feeling “So what? It’s all futile. We are all mortal. This all doesn’t count in the big picture. Nothing does.” So of course that is not very motivating. I haven no idea why do you want the things you want. Or anything else, really. The only thing I want is to not need to want things. I would love to live in a medieval society where my station and duties is defined at birth and I do not need to want things myself, but I am told of I do X Y Z it is perfect and even meaningful on the cosmic level because it pleases god. So basically I would be given a direction at birth with a cosmic, meaningful dimension. Today, when we are all atheists, it is very hard to find a reason to find meaning in anything.

  22. Francisco says:

    Hello Victor,

    I’m 18 years old I quit porn and masturbation and its been about 3 months. Anyway I want to continue that way fighting that good fight. But sometimes I find myself really close to messing up. And I need to know how do I control my sexual desires because sometimes it flares up once while — my hormones.

  23. What is your other project?

  24. Awesome post. So incredibly true, if you cannot find motivation the you are not meant to find it. You need to follow your heart and passion!

  25. votsvoboda says:

    I want to masturbate to your blog it’s just amazing

  26. Elliott Jones says:

    Dear Victor,

    What a fucking bad-ass post. How do you find such wisdom in the casual observation of the truth? No project can ever reach its full potential unless you have your all behind it. Life would be a waste to do it any other way.

    ~EJ

  27. Amazing peace of writing, especially liked the sentences
    “I can’t find the motivation to stop going to the gym.”
    “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 can’t find the motivation to stay in bed all day.”

    Superb, simply superb. These phrases/sentences highlight the way our sub-conscious works. :)

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