“Feeling like it” is the greatest barrier to success.
Sure, we all have big goals and want to achieve them. But things get busy at home, the boss at work needs you to do more, and emails keep seeming to enter all your different inboxes.
- So we lack mental clarity.
- Our attention is all over the place.
- And it’s hard to find the energy to execute goals after hours once the workday is over.
The weekend looks like a safe haven, but even Saturday and Sunday can’t help. They’re needed for recovery. So big goals get delayed and we feel like crap for that reality.
Three types of automated motivation can solve the problem and help you achieve your biggest goals.
#1 — The most overlooked form of motivation
This is going to piss off a lot of people. Here we go…
Habits, self-improvement, goals, passion, purpose, and visions are B.S. Each of these pillars of the popular motivation blueprint is so silly. They require you to think about your big goal.
You’re supposed to do a thing, to buy into a framework, to practice it daily, to be disciplined, and to basically force yourself to achieve the goal. Am I the only one that thinks this is bat-sh*t crazy?
The best form of motivation is automated and it comes from an obsession.
I am obsessed with writing online. It’s all I can think about. I don’t need to feel motivated to do it. There is no choice. I either do it or life isn’t worth living. I spend every minute thinking about how I can do it more.
I waste time optimizing my calendar to push all the nonsense out of the way so there are more hours to write. Writing is like a drug. I’m addicted to it. The magnetic pull is so strong there’s no chance I can kick the habit.
Obsession isn’t something you try to tame.
It’s the opposite of motivation. You’re too motivated to do it. It’s a wildfire you want to reign in rather than a fire you need to light inside of you.
Obsession makes work-life balance seem ridiculous. An obsessed person doesn’t want balance at all. They just want to spend more time being obsessed. It’s one reason many obsessed people hate 9–5 jobs.
They don’t do it to be cool. They just need to remove the 8-hour boat anchor jammed in the middle of their Monday to Friday.
Instead of balance, obsession makes you push the limits. You want to go for longer, beat your winning streak, and take on bigger challenges.
Obsession is more like chaos — and it’s automated motivation.
Instead of trying to be motivated, find something you’re obsessed with and let it take over your life.
#2 — The spark of creativity creative geniuses experience regularly
Many people have heard of flow states.
But if they haven’t experienced flow or find it as hard as trying to trap lightning in an Evian water bottle, then its magic is lost.
Flow states remove the need for motivation.
When you get good at creating flow states the need for motivation disappears. To feel the limitlessness of time that flow states offer all one needs to do is:
- Get a good night’s sleep
- Wake up early in the morning
- Drink coffee
- Hit the gym
- Take a warm shower
- Start doing the smallest task connected to a big goal
That boot up sequence should eventually lead to a flow state.
Hours will feel like minutes. Your hands will do the typing. Your body will do what it’s born to do. Your brain will have no issue coming up with ideas. Your thinking will become as clear as water flowing through an amazon rainforest river in the middle of a sunny day.
All of the creative geniuses I’ve studied use flow states as a replacement for motivation. The goal is flow, not a specific outcome. They trust flow to do the work rather than their intelligence or skills.
So if you want automated motivation then practice getting into flow states.
#3 — The controversial replacement for goals and habits
James Clear made habits popular the same way Elon made being a jerk popular on his tweet app.
If you go on platforms like LinkedIn, you’ll meet crazy types who claim all you need is a goal or habit and every problem in life will be solved by the cult figure dressed in white.
Habits and goals are BS. They’re forced.
Most of us know what our goals and daily habits need to be. That’s the easy part. The hard bit is actually keeping our promises and not letting Netflix brainwash us with a new season of Ted Lasso.
The hard part is resisting temptation.
The answer to goals and habits is to prioritize systems. Goals and habits are nice to haves. Systems turn on your brain’s auto-pilot mode.
The system is the “how.” It’s the software tools, accountability partners, and minimum viable metrics that dictate what must be done.
Systems don’t have shoulds. Because shoulds rarely produce results. Systems are driven by pre-defined commitments that were agreed upon years ago.
Use systems to override flimsy motivation.
Once you tap into automated motivation life gets easier.
Obsession, flow states, and systems aren’t widely talked about. But they’re the secrets to turning shoulds into musts.
Willpower is finite. Energy is hard to harness. Rely on automated motivation from now on and watch your big goals become a reality.