Don’t wait until you “feel like it.”
Motivation comes from taking action.
When you start taking action, motivation follows.
If you’re always waiting for inspiration, that’s a problem. Action very often precedes motivation. Once you start doing an activity, motivation starts to kick in.
In the book Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy Revised and Updated, Dr. David Burns writes about how action often comes before motivation.
Prime the Pump for Motivation
Which comes first — motivation or action? Motivation does. If you want to get motivated then start taking action. When you take action, you prime the pump for motivation.
“If you said motivation, you made an excellent, logical choice. Unfortunately, you’re wrong.
Motivation does not come first, action does!
You have to prime the pump. then you will begin to get motivated, and the fluids will flow spontaneously.”
Procrastination Comes from Waiting for Motivation
It’s easy to fall into a bad cycle of procrastination. If you wait for motivation first, you may never get started. Instead, you have to get started, and then motivation follows.
“Individuals who procrastinate frequently confuse motivation and action. You foolishly wait until you feel in the mood to do something. Since you don’t feel like doing it, you automatically put it off.
Your error is your belief that motivation comes first, and then leads to activation and success.
But it is usually the other way around; action must come first, and the motivation comes later on.”
Key Take Aways
I think this is a powerful bit of insight. It reminds us of a few things to keep in mind:
- Don’t wait for inspiration to take action; take action and inspiration follows.
- Build momentum. In other words, starting with smaller hurdles first can build motivation.
- Schedule time for key activities versus wait until you’re in the mood.