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The Problem With Motivation

Motivation is a fleeting emotion and not something you can just choose to have. It's not something that we can buy. It's not something that is hidden. So why do we say we need to "find motivation" to eat well/exercise/get that project done/etc? Relying solely on motivation in order to get things done is not going to get you far. Yes, sometimes we will feel motivated and that will make something like losing weight be easier in that moment. It can make things exciting! But as emotions do, this feeling will ebb and flow. So why solely put your success at the whim of an emotion that isn't within our control? The Greek poet Archilochus known for composing on the theme of emotions said, “We don't rise to the level of our expectations, we fall to the level of our training.” Another way to read this is if we rely on emotions like motivation to run the show without an actual structured plan in place behind the scenes, then when that motivation fades and we fall to the level of our training where will we be left? This is why in my programs I always focus on habits first and build those as a foundation on which to fall back when things might not go as planned. Of course I still always strive to keep motivation as high as possible, and let me tell you that seeing progress is one heck of a motivator! So by building these systems in advance, we are in effect increasing our chances to have higher motivation later. Planning ahead and going through the "training" can help create a snowball effect of results and motivation and even more results! And if motivation fades? Then we still have that strong foundation to work as damage control. And when the earthquake passes, you are still standing and can continue building when others have toppled. So if you're tired of starting over, it may be time to rethink your process and first create a foundation upon which to build your future success. 🏛

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