Fuck Motivation

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Motivation is fickle. You wake up one morning, well rested, with fresh ideas and have a kick-ass, productive day. Everything seems to be going your way. You go to bed that night thinking that you’re on top of the world and nothing can stop you now.

The next day is a bit different. You wake up, feeling a bit groggy, finally stumbling into the shower. You forgot to grab your clothes to wear for the day and your motivation seems to have suddenly vanished. The day isn’t great. You bounce from one distraction to another, never really achieving anything meaningful.

But how could this be? Just the day before you were on top of the world. How could one day’s difference seem like an eternity? It’s probably because you relied too heavily on motivation getting you through the day.

Motivation is a great thing to utilize when it’s there. Days full of motivation are some of our most productive and enjoyable days. But what do you do about the other 364 days of the year when the motivation winds don’t seem to catch your sails?

Instead of relying on motivation to get you started on something, just try doing something. Then watch the motivation follow.

Don’t want to write an email? Try writing it, even if it’s full of nonsense. Just get going. You don’t have to send the fucking thing, just write it. Delete it if it sucks. Have some errands to run? Try doing the easiest ones first to get the ball rolling.

Motivation will fail you every time you rely on it to get things done. Try acting first, in the smallest of ways, then you’ll find that the motivation will eventually catch up.

An Argument for Non-Fiction

most-influential-booksI’m surprised when I meet people that are against reading non—fiction. I think, “what could be a better use of time than reading something that is both practical, and real,” as apposed to filling my head with a story about people who never existed. I understand the need for entertainment, but I wish that non-fiction was given the credit it’s due.

Non-fiction opens you up to a world of thoughts and ideas in someone else’s head. Instead of dancing around the facts in a story arc, you’re really getting to the point and diving into the mind of the writer.

The beautiful thing about this form of writing is that, the writer, if at all good, has spent a significant amount of time thinking about and collecting what they know after many years of research and compacting it into one book that you can consume in a matter of days. 

As far as knowledge building is concerned, there’s no better way to consume information. Articles online are mostly attention grabbing, useful-information-sparse time wasters that leave the reader either craving more or filled with useless information.

Of course there are many non-fiction books that aren’t worth reading. And I think that is up to the reader to decide what is worth reading. I think we should read whatever is grabbing us at the time. Not everyone needs to read the same popular books, but rather be guided by what they are experiencing in their own lives. Read to better understand your own path.

The Path

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I jumped on a train out of boredom. I didn’t know where I was going. In a country where I can’t read the language or communicate with the people.

But I was bored so why not.

I road the train for a few stops until I felt like it was time to get off.

I walked out confidently and through the exit of the station.

I took a left hand turn because it seemed more interesting than what going right had to offer.

I kept walking until I seen a bridge on my left side at an intersection. So I took the left. Am I going back at this point?

I walk to the middle of the bridge and look out over the river where 2 boats are sitting (waiting to load stuff I assume. Perhaps oil from the smell of it.)

After a brief wondering a continue my journey over the bridge and through a seemingly poorer neighborhood. Unkept parks, dirty looking buildings, etc.

Then after taking some random turns based on nothing but my “instincts” I found some street markets and wonder through them. Looking for nothing and not wanting anything I could just walk past everything without feeling I missed something.

When I was younger, maybe 11 or 12, I can recall going places and making random decisions just because they felt right. My intuition seemed to be well calibrated as I usually found enjoyment in the turns I’d make. Or maybe I enjoyed what I did post-turn because I had a good mindset. Maybe either way I went I would have enjoyed what was there because I was generally happy with just about any instance.

That feeling seemed to fade after a while. Not really sure if I’m making the right turns in my life and whether what I’m doing is the best thing I could be doing in the moment.

I definitely developed a fear of missing out. Years later after my first recollection of FOMO I discovered this expression. At first I didn’t think it applied to me. I was in denial. This is exactly what it was. I was deliberating over a thousand different choices and ultimately choosing none in most cases.

Since then I’ve learned to just live in the moment and to not worry about what else I could be doing. Just following the path.