Move First, Motivation Later

A realization about motivation:

When we feel “motivated”, it is an after-the-fact sensation. We must first MOVE and ACT, then consequently we will feel motivated.

Get out of the house

For example, if you wake up in the morning, of course you’re not going to “feel” motivated. That is why it is probably best to have a cup of coffee and leave the house, walk around, THEN you will “feel” motivated afterwards.

How to get motivated in your photography

Or in the context of photography, best to go out for a walk, and move a lot, then discover “motivation” to photograph stuff.

The goal isn’t to feel motivated, the goal is to move, act, and do stuff!

This is the funny thing: we like the hormonal rush of “feeling inspired”. But this is my thought on the physiology of inspiration:

  1. You are doing something enjoyable, interesting, and challenging/fun for yourself.
  2. In order to solidify this behavior and rate it as “good”, your body sends a hormonal cocktail of serotonin and all the ‘feel good’ chemicals to tell you: “Hey buddy, this is a good behavior and activity, keep doing it!”
  3. We get addicted to the “feel good” or serotonin and these other hormones, and in order to “get our fix”, we continue to engage in this positive behaviors/actions.

In short, perhaps we are serotonin junkies.

How to motivate yourself to write

My ghetto standing desk at home. Plastic box on top of my kitchen counter.
My ghetto standing desk at home. Plastic box on top of my kitchen counter.

My thought:

Only write when you want to write.

This notion of ‘having’ to write everyday (or writing an arbitrary number of words, let’s say, a thousand words a day) is silly. I think it comes from this notion of:

If you aren’t always being “productive” and doing something, then you are sinning.

Or, perhaps in modern times, we are afraid if we aren’t always busy and doing something, we will fall behind, and become less competitive in the marketplace. Therefore, what drives our desire for productivity is fear.

But there is a hierarchy of “worthiness” of ideas. If you write simply for the sake of writing, the writing will probably be no good (goaded on by fear or guilt). Like Nietzsche says, trust no idea which is birthed indoors. The only ideas that have value which come to us while walking, dancing, frolicking, or deadlifting.

Motivation isn’t the goal; doing stuff, acting, and creating is the goal!

Perhaps ‘motivation’ is the red herring here. The goal isn’t to “feel” motivated, but instead– it is to continually challenge ourselves. To do it in a spirit of play, fun, and to strive to self-evolve ourselves to a new level.



Never stop fighting for what you believe in!

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