Day #1 = So there are some days when getting things done is easy. The motivation is there. The task is well thought out. And you are just ready to go! And go you do! And stop you don’t! And as you approach the finish line, your accomplished-feeling bucket fills right up. And that feels good!
Day #2 = Then there are other days when getting things done is not so easy. The motivation is not there. The task is unplanned. And you are just ready to sit back down on the couch. And sit you do. And stop you don’t. And as you look down the long road to that finish line that you are NOT getting closer to, your I’m-a-lazy-loser bucket fills right up. And that feels like garbage.
So what’s the difference between day #1 and day #2? Why is it sometimes so easy to get stuff done and then other times so easy to just lay on the sofa? Why does motivation wax and wane and is there something that can be done to keep it waxing?
There are a few answers here but the largest and most important one is outcome. Just how important is the outcome to you? Is it something that really matters or something that has no real importance or significance to you?
For example, let’s say that your partner (that you live with) asks you to mow the lawn this Saturday while he/she’s at work and you say ok. Then Saturday rolls around and you’re lounging on the couch, watching your favorite mindless television program. You know you said you’d cut the grass, but you really, and I mean REALLY don’t want to. You’re tired. It’s hot outside. And the pollen makes your eyes itchy. WAH!
You seriously, and I mean SERIOUSLY consider just saying you forgot. You think of a million reasons why you CAN’T mow the grass and you work hard to remind yourself just how valid all of your arguments are. And they are super valid. And you think, “I got this!”
But then you remember your partner. And you remember that you said you’d do it. And you think about the look on his/her face, coming home from work and walking through the door after seeing the uncut lawn. That uncut lawn – the single thing that was asked of you. The single thing that was yours to take care of. Or not. And you are clearly choosing not right now.
But that face. That face that you love so dearly. That face that has a smile that lights up a room. That face that today is full of disappointment. That face that today is full of frustration.
So you turn off the TV, get up, put on your grass-cutting sneakers, break out the Airpods, and get started. You decide to do it not because it’ll piss your partner off if it’s not done, but because it’s the right thing to do. Because you made a commitment. And because, afterwards, you will feel good about doing it and your partner will feel good that it got done. It’s a win-win. Screw that secondary gain bullshit. A double win is a double win. Take them as often as you can.
Because you, yes YOU deserve to feel like a winner.
Because you, yes YOU ARE A WINNER.