Why motivation is garbage!
So here’s the thing… motivation is garbage! There! I said it.
WHY? Because we have very little control over whether we’re motivated or not. Motivation dips in and out of our life whenever it pleases, and at the times when we aren’t feeling it, we choose Netflix over the gym, a slice of cake over a carrot or a night painting the town red over a well-needed rest.
And it’s about time we stopped relying on this faulty system.
In fact when I’m coaching, I often suggest that people forget motivation entirely. That we are all better off looking at life as an ongoing choice between two simple options:
I will do this thing.
I will not do this thing.
NOT: I will do this thing, but only if I feel motivated to.
It’s a subtle difference, but giving yourself a straight choice between doing or not doing gives you control. Control over something that you previously didn’t have control over. Great right?!
This is a trick I picked up during my time working with a Cognitive Behavioural Therapist. It works particularly well for sufferers of panic attacks. The premise is essentially the same, you give yourself a binary option between the two.
I am in an aeroplane. I am having a panic attack about the aeroplane crashing. Do I?
Contact the steward and tell them how I think it’s going to crash?
Choose to ride it out?
Simplifying the options stops the mind from going crazy with panic. You now have two simple choices.
It works well for panic and it works well as an alternative to motivation.
You either Do or you Don't.
Whatever you do, forget motivation.