The video above is taking the viral world by storm. It features motivational speaker and author Mel Robbins explaining why motivation is garbage. And after watching it, I couldn’t agree with her more.
We commonly resort to thinking people who don’t execute on their ideas simply aren’t motivated. They’re lazy. They lack self-confidence. They just don’t want to do it. This couldn’t be farther from the truth.
You already know what you want to do in your personal life and in work. You already know why you want to do it. By all societal standards, this makes you “motivated.” But here’s the secret – knowing what to do, and why you want to do it will never be enough to make you do it. Motivation is garbage.
Nike Neglected to Tell the Whole Story
If the slogan for life was “Just do it,” we’d all be much happier. We’d all have everything we want.
But it’s not that simple. Think about all the things you want – why don’t you just do it? Because even though you know why you want to be an entrepreneur, you don’t feel like taking that risk. Because even though you know why your big idea has merit, you would feel hurt if it got shot down. So, you never open the doors. You never tell your boss. You never “just do it.” And nothing in your life changes.
That’s because when you put your feelings and thoughts in the ring to duke it out, your feelings will win every time. If you don’t “feel” like doing it, if you feel like it’s too risky, if you feel you could be ignored, then you’re not going to do it. Period. Not because you don’t know what to do and why, not because you’re not “motivated,” but because you can’t conquer your own feelings. Because you can’t outsmart your brain. Because you decided, all on your own, not to act.
Motivation is garbage.
5 Reasons Why You’ll Never Be Motivated to Change Your Life
Have you ever asked yourself why you can’t do the little things you know will change your life? To the point where they’re so simple, you almost start to wonder what the heck is wrong with you?
I have. Many times over. I could never figure it out – I couldn’t understand why doing the things that would change my life for the better were so hard to do. Even something as simple as finding 15 minutes a day to read a good book. But after listening to Robbins, what I couldn’t find reason in finally made sense. And I want to share what I’ve learned with you, in the hopes that you’re search will come to an end as well.
Here are the five reasons why you will never be motivated to change your life:
1. You hesitate. A new idea for a business, a product, a new paint color in the living room, whatever it may be, springs into your head, and then it happens – you hesitate. You start thinking about what you’re thinking about. This sends a stress signal to your brain, prompting it to wake up essentially. And herein lies the starting point for the whole problem. Your brain will recognize these hesitations as indicators that something is out of the ordinary, and will start to go into protection mode.
2. Your brain will stop you before you can start. Your brain is designed to protect you from things that are scary, uncomfortable, or difficult. But to change, to do the what you want, you have to do things that are scary, uncomfortable, or difficult. Enter protection mode – your brain will discourage you from doing these things even before you do them, every single time.
3. You’re only motivated to do the things that are easy. Change isn’t easy – it’s scary, uncomfortable, and difficult. Because of how your brain works, it will magnify the risks associated with change. It will discourage you from acting on new ideas, because your brain initially perceives them as problems. And it’s designed to protect you from them. This makes the problem even more complex – you’re never going to feel like doing the things you know you should do. So, you won’t. You’ll stick with what’s easy and familiar.
4. You keep waiting for motivation. Technically, you’re already motivated. You already know what to do and why you need to do it. So, why don’t you act? Because you keep waiting for that moment when you’ll feel ready. That moment when you’ll have just enough courage to do it. You keep waiting for motivation to find you, to spring you into action. Well, I have bad news – it’s never going to come. So, you’ll just keep thinking about it. You’ll never start doing, until you stop waiting for the motivation to do it.
5. You let the micro-moment pass you by. You have mere seconds between the formation of a new idea, and when your brain will kill it. This is the micro-moment in time when your idea has the potential to go from thought to reality. According to Robbins, you have five seconds, specifically, to physically act on a goal, or your brain will kill it. Most people will never be able to control their micro-moment – to act rather than remain passive.
Why Does It Matter to You?
At one point or another, you’ve thought to yourself, “I know what I need to do, I just need to find the motivation to do it.” This is a great way to set yourself up for failure – because motivation is garbage. You’ll never find the “motivation.”
Instead, start thinking “I know what I need to do, I just need to take the first step to actually do it.” You need to take control of the micro-moment. Robbins has been explaining this psychological shift for years, through her concept of the 5 Second Rule. Her TedX Talk on it has been viewed almost 10 million times.
If you want to pay off your credit card debt, cut them up. Right now. Want to reach your full financial potential? Start at square one and write down your monthly savings goal. Ready to lose weight? Set an alarm that prompts you to go to the gym. Have an ideal life you want to live? Cut out the first picture for your vision board. Have a business you want to start? Write down the name of the first person you need to call. Whatever it is you want to do, take one action right now to help you achieve that goal. When you take action, you start to build new habits, and erase current ones.
But until you realize that motivation isn’t enough to make you act, your life will never change. When you keep waiting for that perfect moment in which motivation will find you, your life will never change. If you don’t stop hesitating, if you don’t take control of the micro-moment, your life will never change. Until you stop thinking and talking, and start doing, your life will never change. You’ll wake up 10 years from now and still be in exactly the same spot. How miserable does that sound?
Instead, make the decision to act in a way that changes your life. Changing your decisions changes everything.