I stopped relying on motivation and took control of my creativity

Life, if well lived, is long enough — Seneca

Fuck motivation. I’ve been staring at a blinking cursor for seven months, trying to write the perfect blog post. 237 mornings, I’ve scribbled “write a blog post” on my thin, yellow legal pad hoping motivation would visit just one more time.

I was scared of writing a shitty post.

So I told myself I was busy. Didn’t have the time. Had a couple of ideas in the air. I’d get to it to it when I was motivated.

We all share a dirty secret.

Anyone who’s ever said they’ve “been too busy” is a liar. They’ve been too scared. Including you. Especially you.

Life is long enough. We say it’s short because we never make the time to live.

Being busy is a pleasant way of saying that.

Motivation is an excuse to do great things without promising to be great in the future.

It’s like, you look at the clock and realize the day is gone. It’s 8PM and sure, you did stuff, but you’re not quite sure what and AT BEST it wasn’t even important.

If you rely on motivation to accomplish dreams, you spend most of your time waiting.

Another day driven through on cruise-control. You look around and think— “I am the only one? Am I the only person on EARTH that’s been left out of some secret? How does everyone else have it figured out?”

I’ve spent 77% of my life in school, yet I was never taught how to do taxes or systematically find focus.

We learn how to solve math problems, but we never learn how to program our minds and cling to motivation as the answer.

I lost 10 pounds in January. It’s not the first time I’ve had to do it. I’ve failed over and over again. “I’m not MOTIVATED enough. I wish I had the DISCIPLINE I used to have”.

The excuse is a lie, because the formula is always the same. Throw away junk food, exercise more, eat less carbs. The rest works itself out.

But without a system, relying on motivation alone, you’re fucked.

How I systematically win a tiny bit everyday

It’s not sexy to say, but most greatness is planned. Calculated. Worked out chunk by chunk. Created in the absence of motivation. It arrives slowly and without gusto.

Throw away motivation. Harness a system, a morning routine, a ritual.

Here’s mine:

  1. Wake up, immediately drink glass of water
  2. Write a quick journal entry, practice Lumosity
  3. Yoga, meditate, watch a TED talk
  4. Write down 10 ideas to keep my idea muscle strong
  5. Plan out, step-by-step, the 3 most high value things I can accomplish today. Low value work gets brushed off onto a todo later list. (I’m a fan of these legal pads)
  6. Use the most badass uber-simple timer to work in 45 minute chunks with 20 minute breaks in between (renewal is important).

You can copy mine or make your own. Just stop relying on motivation.

P.S— you can print out this post and rip it up if it’s shitty