Hi, I'm Joel! How many times have you heard somebody say, “I know I should do it, but I just can't get motivated to start”? I feel like that all the time. You know, whether I'm trying to sit down to write or get organized to go outside and play with my son, there always seems to be a high level of inertia that makes it easier to just keep doing whatever I was doing before.
But a funny thing happens - if I can just break through that inertia in some small way and start, all of a sudden it doesn't seem so challenging anymore. It’s like standing on a dock waiting to jump into a lake: you can stand there and psych yourself up forever but as soon as you lift off, it feels easy. With my writing, as soon as I can start typing, even if it feels like I'm typing garbage, I'm more motivated to continue. And with my son, if we can just get our shoes on and get out the door then all of a sudden momentum is on our side.
This is an illustration of one of the best success insights that I’ve ever heard: motivation follows action, not the other way around! And a lot of people believe the opposite, they think you have to feel motivated in order to do something, but my experience suggests otherwise. In reality, we start to do something and then we feel motivated to continue. And it's kind of wonderful, don't you think, that we don't have to feel a certain way in order to act? We can just make a choice.
So the next time you catch yourself saying, “I need to find some motivation,” try taking an action. Whether you're trying to start that new project or get out the door to go to the gym, take an action. It might just be the best way to find the motivation you're looking for!