Alex Mathers

Alex Mathers

22-10-2022

13:00

4 subtle things that quietly drain your motivation:

Years of ‘not feeling like doing stuff’ made me learn a lot about what it takes to be ‘motivated.’ I saw that motivation is - counterintuitively - more about what you don’t do than what you consciously try to do. Here’s what I mean…

1. Fake dopamine spikes. Fiddling your trouser shrimp to strangers smooshing their genitals on a screen is not going to motivate you in the long run. Fake sources of dopamine are an extremely underrated destroyer of your passion for life. Why, Alex, why?

Because you get big dopamine spikes from crap like porn or playing video games, which slowly destroys the sensitivity of your dopamine receptors. Yes, this happens. Over time, you need more and more stimulation to get the same ‘hit,’ and this numbs you further.

You might get your fix online, but guess what? NORMAL life becomes boring to you. Being motivated to write, paint and create is now the last thing you want to do. Congrats, asshat - you’re officially a robot.

2. Waiting for motivation. ‘Motivation’ is not a feeling, an emotion, or something that seizes us like a lightning bolt from the heavens. Motivation is a DOING. It is a verb. It is an action - a lifestyle even.

You act in a way that a motivated person acts. Now you’re motivated. You’re doing creates your identity. It is kind of weird, I get it.

But most of us get it wrong, wait for inspiration like freaking Plato, and then wonder why three hours have gone by and all we’ve achieved is to extract three large boogers. If you want to be more motivated, get off your fat butt, and DO MORE STUFF.

This feeds the self-image you have as a motivated person. Act, even if you don’t feel like it. Just take a laughably small step. This is huge and will change your life

3. Making it about you. This is probably one of the most common and pernicious motivation destroyers here. Most of us are too focused on trying to be happy and ‘believing in ourselves’ and some other bullshit.

We don’t take action because we tell ourselves dumb made up stories about how we’re not ‘that kind of person,’ or ‘I’m not sure I’m ready yet.’ Blah blah, flippity blah. Stop making everything about you.

You’re getting in your own way and it’s selfish. Instead, focus on creating a system that is biased toward straightforward action. Want to get fit? Stop blabbing on about your ‘issues,’ and create a step-by-step plan to get into the gym every day.

4. ‘Shoulding.’ We naturally rebel - even if it’s unconsciously - against things we feel we ‘SHOULD’ do that we don’t want to do. We say, ‘Oh, I should go outside and run more.’ So of course we resist and moan, and find excuses.

We rebel against our own ‘shoulds.’ And if we do find a way to get moving, we’re resentful. That’s hardly a motivated state. Instead, we need to find a way to actually WANT to do something.

This can be done in two ways: 1. We find several valid reasons behind why something is a great idea. 2. We stop entertaining thoughts about why it isn’t what we want, and lean into small steps. This creates the momentum we need.

Now you’re in motion. Who will stop you? 🔆

RECAP 4 subtle things that quietly drain your motivation: 1. Fake dopamine spikes 2. Waiting for motivation 3. Making it about you 4. ‘Shoulding.’

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