The Importance of Forgetting Motivation and Using Willpower Instead
“Do not train a child to learn by force or harshness; but direct them to it by what amuses their minds, so that you may be better able to discover with accuracy the peculiar bent of the genius of each.”
One of the tools people assume they need before working out or starting their business is motivation. They mistake motivation as a pre-workout juice to get them moving. However, a common mistake people usually make is solely relying on motivation to get them off the couch and start their journey.
But what is motivation?
For the average person, motivation acts as a source to move them towards a particular goal by using their mental energy to reach it. And with that mental energy, people use it to return back to the gym, approach that cute girl, or prevent themselves from eating a hot pocket.
The only downside that comes with motivation is the fact that it acts like a battery. It starts off strong, but the longer you use it, the more energy you drain from it.
So what is the proper way to stick to your goals?
Make a plan to build your willpower. And that starts with properly managing your daily routines. Initially, anyone who starts a goal will have a lot of energy to think of ideas and experiment with them. But as time continued and they saw just how hard it is to get really good at something, their interest for it dies.
For instance, if you wanted to play the piano, it’ll be exciting at first. But as time continues and you see how difficult it is to sound like Beethoven, you lose interest and give up.
However, like a phone battery, you need to recharge your motivation by constantly putting in the time and effort to keep your interest alive. You have to know why you want to do something, and remind yourself of those reasons whenever laziness gets the best of you.
If you wait for good emotions to start anything you want to do, you’ll never get far. You will have days where you’ll feel excited about writing a book or hitting the gym. But you’ll also have multiple moments where you’ll want to hide under the blankets and do nothing. You’re going to have moments where you’ll be too fatigue and exhausted to reach that keyboard.
Before you know it, you’re conjuring up excuses as to why you shouldn’t do something. This is problem that always occur whenever you allow your emotions to take control of your actions. For most of your life, you’ll never feel like doing anything that your emotions find displeasing. Most people will never find positive emotions by imagining themselves doing something that requires too much effort.
My emotions usually like to freak out whenever I want to approach a stranger. It tells me to stay away and ignore them as if they had the plague. And most of the time, I’m really tempted to follow those direct order. But I ignore those petty emotions because my willpower knows it’s necessary for me to socialize.
Make a connection between your direct thoughts and your intuition. Ignore what your emotions tell you because all it’ll tell you to do is eat tasty junk food and act lazy. Oh, and let’s not forget about procreating to pass your genes on.
It’s your willpower that slaps you across the face and forces you to do what’s necessary. It’s your willpower that acts as the mother inside your mind and nags you to complete those irritating tasks.
Motivation does boost your spirit to work on something occasionally, but solely relying on it on a daily basis is a mistake. Motivation come from “feeling good” emotions as willpower acts as a discipline.
And when you do come across a moment where you’re too tired to work on something, you’ll question your life purpose and forget the reason you started in the first place. You mistake being fatigue and unmotivated as a sign of no longer being interested in your passion. And when this happens, most people usually give up and look for something new to do.
But bare in mind. Never mistake being bored or exhausted as a sign that you’re no longer being interested in something. Take it as a sign that your motivation has finally reached a 1% battery life, and you need time before it recharges.
So until then, you’ll have to rely on your willpower to keep you focused. It won’t be fun and you’ll probably hate whatever you’re doing. But you’ll know why you’re doing it and what your end game is.
Maybe your end game is to own a business so you can quit your job and stop reporting to your irritating boss. Or maybe you workout everyday in the hopes of making your ex regret the day they left you. Point is, keep track of your end goal so when you’re about to give up, you’ll be reminded by it and continue going.
When my friend began lifting weights, he worked as a chef. With the amount of hours he worked, his motivation and energy was usually below 30%. So relying on his motivation alone would had set him up for failure. Instead, he focused on the type of body he always wanted by the time he had arrived to the gym.
You might not want a beach body. Heck, I don’t even care about a beach body. But if you do want something that requires a lot of work and time to obtain, forget about motivation and use your willpower. As great as motivation is to have, you’ll eventually fail if that’s all you used.
Never put all your chips in one basket, and make a habit of setting some time everyday to work on your goal despite what your emotions tell you.
All it takes is 67 days to fully develop a habit and make it part of your everyday routine. Start small in those 67 days and gradually build yourself to the stage you feel comfortable in.