What To Tell Yourself When You Don’t Feel like Doing Anything
“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.”
― Calvin Coolidge
You ever debated with yourself before doing something you didn’t want to do? Whether it’s working out, eating healthier or even getting off the couch, you managed to conjure up a thousand excuses as to why you shouldn’t do it.
I know whenever I need to go grocery shopping, I question the ups and downs to it. The reason I normally procrastinate grocery shopping is because I know the moment I get up, I’ll need to travel to the store, fight for a cart, search through an endless supply of food, and wait in a long line before getting my weekly supply of food. Just the thought alone is tiresome.
But you might deal with other concerns you know you have to do but simply don’t because your thoughts aren’t aligning with your emotions yet. So how can you overcome this irritating barrier?
Every time you need to complete something, instead of saying, “I want to do this,” replace it with, “I need to do this because,” or “This needs to be done because of this or that.”
For example, suppose I knew I had to buy groceries but was too tired to get off the couch. Initially, I’ll probably tell myself I could buy fast food instead. Sure, that’ll satisfy my temporal needs, but I live by a ton of unhealthy fast foods restaurants, which doesn’t do me any permanent good.
So before I stay committed to that choice, I’ll tell myself, “I need to go grocery shopping because it’s literally the only way I can eat healthy in my neighborhood.” And if that thought process isn’t persuasive enough, I give myself a stronger argument such as, “I need to go grocery shopping, or else I’ll end up spending a crap ton of money on burgers and fries.” (Seriously, medium fries cost like $2.99 when an entire bag at the grocery store costs like $2.)
Give yourself a purpose to the actions you need to take and upgrade your argument the lazier you feel. When humans get comfortable, they don’t want to break out of the cycle in exchange for doing something tiresome. But being comfortable isn’t going to fill your stomach up or start that business you have in mind.
Sometimes you have to do a few things you simply don’t want to do and by being consciously aware of those reasons will get you there. When you’re feeling lazy, you don’t feel like studying or working on your project. But you convince yourself to do it unless you want to fail or receive bad grades.
Apply that logic to any task you want to do when laziness slaps you in the face. Tell yourself “WHY” you HAVE to do it versus “IF” you WANT to do it. Envision the consequences if you choose to neglect those tasks.
Imagine if this question was brought upon Superman after he encountered an alien who wanted to destroy the planet. But on that day, Superman felt a little lazy to do any savings. He could easily tell himself, “I should save the planet before this alien destroys it,” but he’ll probably fight halfheartedly and encounter a few problems along the way. But if he tells himself, “I have to save the planet because my girlfriend is going to be super pissed if she doesn’t have a place to stay,” he’ll suddenly find the energy to give it his all to stop that alien.
You may not be in a planet saving position like Superman, but you can still apply that logic to whatever you don’t feel like doing. Laziness is an irritating bug to exterminate. So make life easier by thinking of legit reasons to why it should be removed.
If termites invaded your home, you’ll instantly find the willpower to terminate them before they caused major damage. That same principle should be applied to any other major concern you know you need to uphold.
When I envision myself avoiding my grocery shopping days, I see the consequences of eating unhealthy and gaining a ton of weight because of it. Ironically that isn’t the part that scares me most. It’s knowing I’ll have to increase my exercise sessions just to lose that irritating weight.