Perhaps the biggest misconception about motivation is that it’s something that simply happens to you. We tend to think of motivation like it’s some sort of impersonal force that may or may not bless us with its presence. We tend to assume that if we don’t feel motivated, there’s nothing we can do about it.
The reality is that we can take specific actions that will increase our levels of motivation.
There are two types of motivation:
- Passive motivation comes from absorbing the ideas, creations, and success stories of others. When you read an article about a woman who started in poverty and is now a multimillionaire, it can motivate you to make changes in your own life.
- Active motivation comes from taking action. When you start working on a task and see the progress you’re making and the things you’re learning, it inspires you to take more action. The truth is, getting started is often the hardest part. Once you’ve started, your motivation levels significantly increase.
If you want to be more motivated, you need to make it happen.
Yes, do things that will increase your passive motivation. Read books and articles that inspire you. Watch videos that light a fire in you. Listen to podcasts that make you want to get up and get going.
But don’t stop there. Take decisive action and get started on the goal before you, even if you don’t feel like it. Create the wireframe for the website. Write the first chapter of your novel. Put together the outline for the presentation you’re going to give.
The more you take action, the more you’ll be motivated to continue taking action.
As James Clear, bestselling author and productivity expert says:
You don’t need much motivation once you’ve started a behavior. Nearly all of the friction in a task is at the beginning. After you start, progress occurs more naturally. In other words, it is often easier to finish a task than it was to start it in the first place.