The villain always wins the first Act.
If you’re going to tell a hero story — and believe me, that’s what yours is — you need to have a Long Dark Night of the Soul.
It always takes a good beat down before the hero realizes they had it in them from the start.
That’s just how it works.
In the Real, we go through a couple of these a year. Maybe more.
When the bedroom ceiling starts to become the most interesting thing to watch.
When two bags of chips and a tub of ice cream start to look like a well-balanced breakfast.
When the old drugs don’t work like they used to. And the new ones are making it worse.
It’s time to switch it up. Time to make a plan.
Time to double-down and get pumped up for the come-back.
Time to realize what matters, and that the answer was there all along. Even if we didn’t want to admit it.
It’s time for a montage.
It’s alright to have a little cry first, though.
We get all sorts of nonsense stuck in our heads that stops us from getting what we want.
One particularly nasty one that trips people up — especially when starting something new — is thinking that they’re too bad to start.
But as my incredibly wise running coach says, “You’re never too bad to start getting better.”
No matter how bad we think we are at something. No matter how unfit or unhappy or unskilled or unmotivated we feel.
We’re never too bad to start getting better.
And starting is half the battle.
What we think of as motivation is actually inspiration.
The problem with inspiration is that it’s fleeting — that’s just how it works.
We might watch a movie or read a book and be uplifted or watch someone else doing what they love, and that inspires us: “I want to do that.”
Sometimes that inspiration trickles into action. But pretty quickly, the reality of the task ahead squashes the inspiration out of us because inspiration alone isn’t enough to get motivated.
We get motivated by being specific about what we want and then going after it. We get motivated by taking small, specific actions towards our goals.
Choose to take action, and you’ll find that your motivation isn’t too far behind.
Did you know that ‘motivation’ is a pretty new word?
It’s only been around for about 150 years, probably less.
Shakespeare had no idea what it meant, and he made up a bagful of silly words.
Before the English picked it up, nobody was motivated to do anything, and so nothing got done. Everyone just sat around in their top hats, feeling sorry for themselves…
Ha! Of course, they didn’t.
They just didn’t rely on motivation to take action. In the past, people did things because that was the thing that needed to be done, even if they didn’t want or agree to them. There was no choice. You just did.
We’re so lucky that we get to be ‘unmotivated’ because that means we’re doing something that we don’t have to do. We have a choice.
Choose to take a step forward today.
Choose to do the hard thing, and you’ll find that your motivation isn’t too far behind.