How to stay motivated?

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Motivation is for the average.

You watch a motivational video and are pumped to change the world. The first two days you have had the most productive days of your life. And the third day you are back to normal. It’s like the pill Bradley Cooper consumes and the effects of it wear off after 24 hours, in the movie Limitless. We are not endorsing you to watch the movie here. 

The after-effects of motivation can be plotted as follows. 

Your motivation skyrockets and comes back crashing to the ground, bringing you back to your default lazy state. 

If you need incessant motivational videos to accomplish a task then you are not serious about things. You don’t need it bad enough. You can’t have your goals tied to motivational videos. They are temporary pushovers.  They only make you extrinsically motivated at best. Extrinsic motivation is a tiny emotion. That is why it doesn’t last.

You are not internally motivated. Here I would like to introduce a mental model, “Logotherapy”. Nothing motivates a man more than an internal desire. If you want it, you will find a way to get it. That drive is a predominant factor.

No doubt, motivational content feels good to read and see. But it doesn’t add any practical advice to your life. Most of the video sums up to be around hard work, positivity, etc. People will continue to pay heed to them and relish them rather than set an example themselves.

There is a reason why the views of motivational videos are high on YouTube in comparison to that of Skill learning. Everyone wants to be regaled, no one learns to learn.

Here’s a pro tip- Only listen to those people who give you actionable advice.

When you are feeling low and don’t feel like putting in the work, that is the testimony that you are on the right track. That feeling of discomfort is what you need to make an ally.

Success is defined by how persistent you are in doing the uncomfortable things.

Here are a few tips-

Add visualization and affirmations to your thought process.

If you want to lose weight but after your one week of working out vigorously (a novel task motivation), you don’t feel like going and working out. This is a troubling time. You will find excuses for not going to the gym like it’s too late or 4 days a week is ok. 

To overcome this, you should visualize being fit and in top shape. Affirm yourself- “I am a fit person.” “I like working out.” Your goal will act as an incentive that will propel you to do the work. That motivation content will not help you at all. 

Fall in love with the process.

If you are watching a series, you suddenly face an internet problem or the website you are streaming causes troubles. You go to another website, or you try to refresh it. And God knows what you do not do to resume the series. This same attitude is necessary for your important tasks. You have to develop this. 

List down your goals- This is the primary thing. Write down your goals on a piece of paper. Place them where you can see them regularly, maybe paste them on a wall. This will remind you of what you should do. The trick here is that your goal should serve as a motivation. Appreciate your progress. And most importantly, only compare yourself to your past self.

To quote Martin Seligman,

“Just as the good life is something beyond the pleasant life, the meaningful life is beyond the good life.”

Being extrinsically motivated can give you a pleasant life because it leads to temporary success. But if you want to lead a meaningful life, you should strive to be intrinsically motivated and have the burning desire to learn and be a better version of yourself. If that internal drive is missing, it gets hard to sustain the energy to keep going and we don’t want that to happen, do we?

To sum up Intrinsic things last long, external things perish. 

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