Being unmotivated is the key to success. That’s right, I said it. I think being unmotivated is what will make or break achieving your goal. Confused? Let me explain…
Let me start by saying, “My name is Andrew and I’m a motivation junkie.” It’s truly a high like none other. When I’m motivated; I have the midas touch. Everything I do turns to gold. I’m checking boxes left and right. I reach new levels of creativity and even the mundane tasks I hate are fun and exciting.
Now don’t get me wrong. I’ve got nothing against motivation or inspiration. When you catch that lightening in a bottle go with it and enjoy it! What I’m talking about is when that motivation wains (because it always will). There are varying timelines of how long motivation lasts, some say 2 weeks others say 1 month. But it always fades. And when it does; what then?
I liken motivation to coffee (my hard drug of choice as the 6am-ers know). Caffeine is there for when you need a quick pick me up. Like an inspiring speech or exuberent coach that coffee gives you a java jolt to take you up a notch. Unfortunately, before long coffee becomes a necessity. It takes more and more just to accomplish the baseline. And when you don’t have it? It becomes a crutch and often times an excuse. “Well I didn’t have any coffee today so I’m not going to get anything done.”
The successful people I’ve met don’t rely on motivation or even inspiration. If you think professional football players are “inspired” to watch hours of film or CEOs are “motivated” daily to file reports I have bad news for you. They are professional who rely on themselves and their work to keep them on top.
Their sucess relies in heroic feats are built on a foundation of simply doing the work. Odell Beckham Jr. practices those unbeliveable catches every practice instead of going home. Steven Pressfield writes every single day only to throw away most of what he’s written. These preofessionals go in accepting their job and knowing there will be barren deserts of time with no hope of an oasis of motivation. They plan accordingly and keep moving forward. Always moving forward. Always showing up.
Like stoic philosophers they accept the good with the bad. “Oh I feel motivated today? Great I’ll kick ass. Nothing going right today? Oh well, I’ll show up and do the work anyway.” I tell my athletes constantly that not every day will be the best day of your life. Don’t let the threat of “a bad job” or even [gasp!] “failure” stand between you and the work. Show up, lunch pale in hand, and do the work. Forget about the mirage of the destination. You’ll have plenty of time to enjoy it when you get there. For now, show up and take the step in front of you.
No matter the job, the project or the goal; don’t get addicted to the motivation drug. It will inevitably leave you worse than it found you. Your success hinges on your unmotivated self.