Being motivated is overrated.
I rarely feel motivated, yet some people would say I’ve succeeded online in business and writing.
Honestly, when people explain my tiny success as being nothing more than high motivation levels it makes me sad.
I feel short-changed. I feel like people are missing the point.
I want to scream, “I never feel motivated dontcha know.” If only they could see behind the scenes. They’d stopped thinking the wonder drug of motivation is what gets me up every day.
The silent destroyer of motivation
Even if motivation was the answer to achieving your wild goals, it’s damn hard these days.
The human body has a natural reward system dictated by dopamine. When we achieve a hard task or make progress in life, we’re supposed to get a hit of dopamine to our brain that feels good.
But that was before Big Tech.
They figured out if they create apps with flashy notifications, addictive algorithms, a rainbow of colors, and casino candy content, we’ll get the same dopamine spike.
This dopamine spike is normally harmless. But when your body is constantly hit with dopamine spikes from your devices it becomes addictive, according to research.
The result is a broken reward system. That makes us get high from unearned rewards. And that can make us lazy, entitled, and pretentious. “Pay-me-b*tch” has become a meme for a reason.
People want to get paid for value they’ve yet to create. Writers are some of the worst offenders.
While we face the tragic demise of dopamine-driven motivation, it’s not the main cause of why people give up on their goals and dreams.
The replacement for motivation (to achieve big goals)
When people ask me how to succeed online I often tell them what they don’t want to hear. It gets under their skin because it’s the truth.
They want hacks.
All I know, having achieved some big online goals of mine, is most people are impatient.
They chase rewards instead of being genuinely motivated by the goal itself. I love writing online. When I started I expected nothing to happen for at least 5 years. So when results were slow I didn’t care.
Writing was so interesting to me that it was enough. Anything extra, such as money, felt like a bonus — and still does to this day.
Writing still excites me. I think the next 5 years will be even better with all that Web3 will bring to creators.
How do you stay excited?
Stop picking piss-weak goals.
People often choose bad goals because they see others doing them or want to chase status, fame, and riches. Makes me sick.
When you choose goals based on what you care about, you don’t need motivation.
How to 10x the excitement
I don’t just choose goals that make me excited. I look for goals that become an obsession. That’s what writing is to me.
I can’t breathe if I don’t write.
If I go away for two weeks and don’t write, I become restless. That kind of drive is way more powerful than any other form of motivation.
Obsession is energy. Obsession narrows your focus and makes the goal a kind of heroin. No matter the barriers in your way, it’s easy to move obstacles out of the way and break free.
Question: what are you obsessed with?
Join the top 1%
Insurance executive Art Williams is known for his speech “Just Do It.”
He says everybody can stay excited for 2 or 3 months. Only a few can last 2 to 3 years. But successful people will remain excited for as long as it takes to win.
It’s easy to be afraid of your competition or be envious. When you stay excited for 5+ years about your goal there’s hardly any competition.
In the writing field, so I don’t miss any good stories, I bookmark writers I enjoy reading. I check their home pages regularly to see new content. I’ve done this for 8 years straight.
One thing is clear: most writers don’t keep writing.
I can count on one hand the people who still write at the same frequency as they did 8 years ago. Most of them don’t publish anymore. Sad.
When I think about success I pay zero attention to skill because most people won’t stay excited long enough to get anywhere near developing skill in the first place.
Why the 5+ year mantra will make you unstoppable
The 5+ mindset isn’t just about being a happy-go-lucky human.
There’s more to it. When your goal is 5+ years the repetition creates a habit. A habit is supported by a system you unconsciously create when you do the same goal repeatedly.
The system reinforces the skill. It makes the skill repeatable without the need for motivation.
When I sit down to write I’m like Pavlov’s dog. The music and desk I write on create the same environment I’ve had for the last 8 years. I’m conditioned to write despite whether I feel motivated.
Bringing it all together
None of this means you need to wait until the 5-year mark to get what you want in life. It can happen sooner than that.
The message is to lower your expectations, learn to be patient, chase goals you give a damn about, and become obsessed.
If you do that you’ll experience a level of progress and fulfillment most people wait a lifetime to get and never obtain.
Forget what everyone is doing because they probably will give up long before a person with the 5+ year mindset will. Use the mindset. Get the rewards naturally without dopamine intervention.