Just Do It, Even if You Really, Really, Don’t Want To

18 May

2013_01_11_Calvin_Hobbes_Project_Management

This article, titled The To Motivation: Giving Up, by Olive Burkman, a writer for New York’s The Guardian, resonated with me.  The basic idea is that the key to being motivated isn’t psyching yourself up to be motivated, it’s just taking action–even if in you’re head you’re saying things like, “I hate this.  This sucks.  I’d rather be anywhere but here.”  The idea is twofold: the process of taking action will lift you out of your doldrums, and that often what stops us from moving forward is the idea that we can’t do something until we feel like doing it.  Somehow, the need to feel “passionate” about what we’re doing (which was originally inspired by the idea that feeling strongly will get you through hard times) has become a barricade.

This need for emotional engagement before action connects to the American style of praise and happiness.  We’re very concerned that children feel good about themselves.  Praise=confidence=feeling good and being productive=success=happiness in the American equation of life.  But what if we reversed the formula?  What if being productive=feeling good=happiness?  How many times have we said, “I really didn’t want to do that, but I feel really good now that it’s done” ?

 

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