The real reasons why you ain’t getting anything done.
I’ll be honest with you: I am currently writing this because I feel demotivated. Out of inspiration, call it that.
So I don’t know about you, but I feel like in that hotel scene in Inception, except I am being buried by the weight of my serious procrastination and my lazy ass is definitely not being saved by Tom Hardy.
Seriously though, how do you download motivation?
Sometimes I open my agenda, look at the endless to-do lists I scribbled in a rare productive mood, and I feel this giant alert message beeping inside my head:
ALERT! SHE IS TOO TIRED / LAZY / [INSERT EXCUSE] TO DO IT
And sometimes I mentally slap myself in the face and get around to do it. A couple of hours later and a few Snapchats later, sure, but it gets done.
Other times I just look and stare at my own words for hours, waiting for them to start talking to me like Tom Riddle (Voldemort) in Harry Potter, and possibly hypnothise me into this really productive robot that I wish to morph into when we will all be androids.
But sometimes it just doesn’t happen. The motivation just misses my house and goes somewhere else.
No matter how many motivational quotes I heart on Instagram and motivational videos I watch the motivation just doesn’t get there; and sometimes I need it so desperately to arrive that I even watch videos, listen to music, or look at people’s social media profiles, so I can get inspired.
Like today per example, I woke up after falling asleep to the incredible book by social entrapreneur and serious motivator Gary Vee, scrolled through my feed on Instagram filled with people getting stuff done and being this and that; and then I looked at my tired chubby face in the mirror and I was like: ‘Girl, you need to start doing something – like, actually doing, not writing about doing it and then falling asleep to House of Cards’.
So here I am. I needed to write more and this is what happened.
Today I am not talking about procrastination because I almost lost my hands typing away the longest post on how to beat procrastination once; no, today we are talking about something different.
Today we are talking about the biggest myths on motivation.
The three nasty misconceptions on being motivated that keeps us glued to the couch and dreading out to-do lists.
Let’s undress them and laugh at them, so we can finally stop believing that pinning a ‘just do it’ on our walls is going to make us start that company we have been dreaming about.
3 MYTHS ABOUT MOTIVATION
#1 WRITING YOUR GOALS DOWN WILL MOTIVATE YOU
Being a journal hoarder myself, and somebody who will plan even their naps and reading sessions, this truth hurts me more than anyone else, trust me.
I know that writing down what you need to smash through the week and having a visual image of where you want to be in X years maintains your sanity through the 9-5 rat race.
But seriously, all that writing, pinning, tweeting and instagramming will be useless, if you don’t actually get started on the work.
When I built this blog, I did it because I was avoiding my lifelong dream of creating a fashion brand that was beyond the purpose of being ‘stylish’ and ‘#ootd’.
I used to read start-up books, draft plans, research methods and spy on other competitors.
I wanted to get everything right before I made the first step, so I wrote every single detail of how I pictured the structure of my company; I spent hours looking at business plans and reading hundreds of article on how to get stuff done to build the ‘perfect fashion start-up’.
Guess what I was doing?
Everything but actually building the company!
And many of you are probably feeling the same; especially if you’re trying to fly solo, or get deep into something that scares you, you’d rather dream about it than actually get started on the truckload of work.
Because really, that’s what it is.
We would rather hide behind this rose-colored mist of motivational quotes and inspirational people, so that we can wait until we feel comfortable about how hard we will have to work.
Should you dump your motivational quotes art and dig deep into the work? Of course not, what you need to do is to sit down and have a real talk with yourself.
Think about this for a moment.
The end product – your massive dream – is a cake. All those inspirational Ted Talks, start-up books, podcasts and quotes on Instagram are the icing.
Getting the work done, showing up to the invisible office inside your head and analysing what needs to be done; networking and sharing your ideas – those are the ingredients of the cake.
Now, if you expected to bake a cake with only the cake and everybody to like it, you would definitely be somebody I would never dine with, and what Gordom Ramsey would define as an idiot sandwich.
The same thing applies to real life. To your own goals. To the company you’re trying to build, to the music you are trying to play and get out there, and so on.
You can’t expect things to be as simple as watching videos, otherwise anyone could be entrepreneur of the year.
You need to get the work done.
“I think a lot of people dream. And while they are busy dreaming, the really happy people, the really successful people, the really interesting, powerful, engaged people? Are busy doing.” SHONDA RIMES, A Year Of Yes.
#2 YOU NEED TO BE LUCKY.
Let’s blame this one on social media. Amidst the ocean of perfectly-edited travelling adventures, and book deals that pop up like DJ Khaled and I are popping truth on Snapchat, it’s no wonder why we all think that you need to be either rich, lucky or a machine of motivation to be successful.
That’s because social media is only used to show a fraction of our lives; and it definitely does not reveal those moments when we are crying about our overdue bills, or we are punching the computer screen because people keep unfollowing you.
So the only plausible explanation that our tiny human minds can come up with is.. that we are just unlucky.
And if we are unlucky; if we weren’t born with the right amount of looks, money and opportunities ratio, we realise that we actually need to get stuff done if we want to get where everyone else is.
So we get this massive idea.
We start thinking that we need to find motivation to achieve success and be like them.
We need to be the kind of person who applies motivation to every single aspect of their lives. The one who wakes up at 4:30 AM and does crossfit. The one who stays up until 3 AM and builds a business from scratch.
We look at those people with admiration; our big eyes swelling from how inspired we are, and we just convince ourselves that we just need to follow their footsteps.
We wake up early – or at least, we try. We buy the books, do the hustle and grind like Gary Vee tells us to do.
But then nothing happens.
One day we wake up exhausted from all the hustling and grinding, and we just sigh and think:
I am just so demotivated. I am so unlucky, why can’t I be like those people?
We convince ourselves that we are just not on their level; that if we had the right office set, the right camera and that perky butt – we would rock like them, free products and job opportunities thrown at us.
Let me shatter your depressed dream right now. You’re probably right.
Certain people are born with better opportunities than other people. Rich people get richer, attractive people get the likes, and the ones with the contacts obviously network better than your sorry ass stuck inside your parents’ room.
I am not here to tell you that it’s not true; because we are here to challenge our asses, not to coddle each other.
But let me tell you one thing that we’re doing wrong here.
The time you’re wasting on being jealous of other people and putting yourself down is the reason why they are there and you’re still there.
I know that you don’t want to hear it because it hurts knowing that you are doing something wrong; it’s kind of like when you let your friends look over your work and they say that it’s nice, but their face is scrunched up like they just swallowed a whole lemon.
But you need to hear it, and you need to tell yourself every day that hiding behind envy and low self-esteem is pushing you away from actually doing things.
It’s not about making your luck. It’s not about finding your motivation.
It’s about finding the discipline. Finding the flow of the commitment you have for your goals.
#3 YOU NEED MOTIVATION
As I said earlier, I started this blog to avoid my own fear of starting what is now Vixi Official, my eco-fashion label.
I found a long-lost passion for writing; I made friends, landed some incredible opportunities and I am more focused than ever. However, it’s not by motivating my ass that I got to challenge my ass.
Motivation doesn’t bring me to write for hours every day; nor money, or fame.
Discipline is what drags me here to write for hours, without even thinking about the how’s and why’s.
Discipline is what gets me to stick to my training even when I’d rather shoot myself into space and get lost in a time-warp like Matthew Whatever-His-Last-Name-Is in Interstellar.
Discipline is your mom telling you to wake the hell up and go to school.
Motivation is the other parent telling you that you can go to school, if you feel like it.
Seriously, I can’t stress the importance of the difference between discipline and motivation enough.
This article explains it better than me.
Motivation is like manually winding up a crank to deliver a burst of force. At best, it stores and converts energy to a particular purpose. There are situations where it is the correct attitude, one-offs where getting psyched and spring-loading a metric fuckton of mental energy upfront is the best course of action. Olympic races and prison breaks come to mind. But it is a horrible basis for regular day-to-day functioning, and anything like consistent long-term results. (Wisdomination)
Motivation is looking for the right opportunity; the right moment, and the right mood to actually getting things done.
It’s setting yourself to failure, because let’s be honest, it is very unlikely that you will be waking up feeling like you can workout, work and do stuff on the side every single day of your life.
There will be days where all you will want to do is hide in your room and re-read the Harry Potter series, or do a marathon. Of your favorite shows.
And then you’ll feel like crap because you can’t be like those motivated people; it’s almost like your own failure at getting stuff done is caused by things that you can’t control, right?
You will give up, feel like crap because you gave up; you will identify with that feeling and complain for the next following days until your so-called motivation comes back again.
You are starting to see the ridiculous part now?
Then you are ready to meet your best friend.
Let me introduce you discipline.
…the ability to give yourself a command and then follow it.
Discipline isn’t just built in one day. You can’t find it on Instagram, nor you it’s in a podcast.
Discipline is a series of daily habits over time, honouring a commitment you stuck on your face that will stay there until you will get to the finish line.
Discipline can’t be taught, because it depends on you and yourself only.
The trick isn’t in being productive, or challenging yourself, because again, there will be a time when you won’t feel like it.
The trick in being disciplined is in how badly you want to get to that goal and how willing you are to give up your time to get there.
The person who wakes up early to go for a run doesn’t need to get motivated to get there, because they have understood from the start that they have to do it, if they want to smash their time.
They have to commit every single day, if they want to reach that opportunity.
They have to make sacrifices; give up their time drinking with their friends, or watching that tv show for hours – it’s an everyday commitment. It’s a no holiday kind of thing.
And it’s not something that can be taught, or acquired through a book, or your parents yelling at you.
It all comes down to one thing, one thing only.
Being absolutely in love with what you do and what you want to achieve.
If I didn’t absolutely love writing, I wouldn’t be writing this, nor update my Instagram with long captions every day.
If I didn’t have a goal in mind for another side of the fashion industry, I wouldn’t be so passionate about my label.
If you are not absolutely enjoying your thing, you won’t wake up early to get it done. You won’t say no to your friends to stay home and do it. Because it’s not your priority.
So make it your priority. Ditch your motivational quotes. Stop looking at other people’s work, and start grinding on yours.