Lacking Motivation? Instead Of Waiting For Inspiration To Strike, You Might Want To Try This Instead
It's a fallacy to think we need to be inspired in order to get motivated, says Mark Manson. The real trick is to start first - and then the magic will come
It’s not always possible to feel fired up. When it comes to the magic of motivation, the only thing we can actually rely on is the fact that we can’t rely on it all.
Our enthusiasm levels fluctuate throughout the day, waxing and waning with our circadian rhythms. All being well, they run their natural course and we feel the fire in our bellies again.
Other times our “down” spells can go on for what feels like a lifetime.
We stare at blank screens, with blank minds and zero idea how to get back to that place of inspired action we had before.
And this, says author Mark Manson, is where we can make a vital mistake.
We wait for inspiration to come.
We wait for that magical feeling, that breakthrough idea, to be “in the right frame of mind” in order to begin.
The thing is, while it might very well come eventually, we potentially waste a lot of time waiting for it, he says.
Manson’s advice is simple: just do something. Anything — literally.
As he writes in his blog:
"Action isn’t just the effect of motivation, but also the cause of it."
The "Do Something" Principle
Ideas don’t come just by looking at a screen. Taking action on something — even if it is unrelated — he suggests, is the missing ingredient.
It’s what gives us a kick-start.
The way we feel from taking action on something then motivates us to take action on other things, which then motivates us even further.
The three components of Action, Inspiration and Motivation then form an endless loop (ideally), each feeding off each other.
But the key to always remember, he writes, is that the action part is the catalyst. It’s always the first step.
Action is what is required in order to get inspiration or motivation.
Manson, a former life coach, calls this the “Do Something Principle”.
It’s a simple piece of advice which he has given to his clients — and to himself — and he swears by it.
So the next time you’re sitting in the proverbial waiting room and the flash of inspiration still hasn’t arrived, try taking action on something — either on the task at hand, or on literally anything else instead.
You might find the wheels of your creative train will start to grease themselves.