Motivation is bullsh**
I’m sure we’ve all experienced the “different person in the morning when the alarm goes off syndrome”. You know when you set an alarm the night before while telling yourself that tomorrow will finally be the day that you wake up at 5am, fly to the gym, eat a hearty low-carb breakfast, and read an entire chapter of that book you’ve been putting off for the last two weeks.
In reality, your alarm rang, you clicked snooze and woke up right before work with a bagel in your hand… what happened there? Most often we set our next day’s agenda with the motivation we have in the moment, but, as soon as the next day becomes our now, the motivation is lost. This is why motivation is a forever process; we cannot expect to bottle it up and keep its potency forever.
I used to believe that motivation was the missing link between my current position in life and where I wanted to be. I felt that if I just had enough motivation I could move mountains, but the only thing I moved was my butt from the couch in the moment. I thought motivation was some everlasting elixir that would keep me in motion forever. Little did I know that motivation was no more than a mental shower. Yes a mental shower. Motivation is like a shower, it only lasts for a single day, if that.
What I did not realize in my days of “self-help addiction” was that I could not use yesterday’s motivation to fuel me for the present moment; I had to continuously find sources of motivation which became as tiring as a one legged race. It’s important for us to create deep, lasting reasons for our actions. The acclaimed Simon Senec says, “you must find your WHY”, otherwise known as your inspiration.
Motivation alone will never last, however inspiration is the internal source of consistent action. Whereas motivation can give you the courage to do something momentarily, when someone is truly inspired, they will have a fire within them that burns for an eternity. Think of the great artists that are now physically gone, but their work continues to touch this world hundreds of years later; they are often called “inspirations”.
One man’s inspiration can carry forth to the next and so forth. Motivation is important in moments of intense action, but the energy that allows up to continuously reinvent ourselves is inspiration, either the inspiration of another being of the inspiration of nature’s beauty. Whatever our source of inspiration is, the fact that it is greater than our own will power is what gives it its potency.
You will always be willing to do more for your child or loved one than you will for yourself (i.e. you would save your dog before yourself) this is the equivalent of inspiration. Inspiration is something that moves you internally. A self help book or a pump up anthem may be able to conjure motivation, but the lasting inspiration needed for true growth is something that comes from within and manifests itself outwardly.