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Ironing out the Motivation Dilemma

There aren’t any good reads about motivation. Or how to work towards that constant flow to whatever is on your agenda. A consistent, internal drive that will fire up that spark plug. From crossing obstacles to digging through the dirt we want to attack. Or finally filling that bucket of soap to clean those windows.

The latter, you can outsource. But we are not all in that position to financially support a window cleaner.

Many of us believe motivation is a prerequisite to getting into action. Without it, nothing will ever happen. So we wait for the perfect moment; grabbing onto a millisecond of mental pureness where motivation is constantly peaking and fuels that must-do, left, right, and centre, front and back.

I hate ironing. 

It is one of these pet peeves I wholeheartedly admit as being pure evil. My shirts always come back with more creases and pleats in places, I never thought were possible. If I wait for that twinkle of motivation to unfold my ironing board and warm up my steam-powered iron…

…I can wait until I weigh an ounce.

Is motivation a reliable source to shrink that ever-growing pile of shirts? Guess you do not need an answer from my side. Today, tomorrow, or next week, motivating myself to make myself more presentable will hardly come. I know I have to do it. 

And sadly, shirts don’t iron themselves.

There simply is no perfect moment to start, whatever you despise or desire to become. Because we still connect that perfect moment with getting fully motivated. We have a goal (a closet with nicely ironed shirts) and a path to get there (ironing board + iron + electricity + some chemical stuff to make ironing easier).

But when not motivated, all the above will either eat dust and will not happen.

It is that first step, that leap of faith and knowing what the outcome needs to be that drives motivation. This thing we call action. I still hate ironing, but as soon as I see the results literally unfolding in front of my eyes, the notion that I can do all other shirts drives me to succeed. The finish line is sweet and dopamine-rich.

Dreading to attack those love handles and those six times one-packs based on motivation is not what’s cutting it. “I will start next week / month” or “I will look into it” doesn’t cut it, because you know just as well as I do, it won’t happen. Excuses aplenty because motivation is not there. It evaporates before you know it.

And just like my non-ironed shirts, your bags of visceral and subcutaneous fat continue to pile up. More work is on the horizon. A new shiny object arrives which is by far more tempting. While we postpone the inevitable.

Don’t wait. Just don’t. 

Forget pre-action motivation. Don’t rely on it. It is never constant.

Now, let’s take on the dishes…

Opportunities don’t happen, you create them | Chris Grosser

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