The Myth of Motivation Part Two
What’s can seem like a cruel joke at times, is the epic irony of energy.
It’s the perplexing reality that we feel good when we’re spending energy, not so good when we’re recuperating it.
That irony is a dilemma my friends; as it can sell most of us short in life if we are not aware. It may be why we spend so much time trying to motivate ourselves in every way short of what will truly motivate us with relative consistently. That is, learning how to harness and proactively maintain optimal energy levels.
Today, we’re living under the grand delusion that we can keep going each day, and take on more and more of what the market throws at us. On top of life and career, we now have Facebook, which deserves it’s own mention, iPhones and Androids, which give us unprecedented access to information and opportunity to stimulate ourselves and keep going in the face of our tiredness.
The result is we get more and more fatigued.
Besides the obvious coffee and energy drink markets, “motivation or psychology” itself, in the way the market sells it, is to a stimulant today. We listen to people to pump us up through all variety of useful and insightful ideas that will keep us going. Through our toughest periods, we seek stories highlighting heroics that inspire us to keep going; some of which are downright inspiring indeed, and potentially necessary in a cloudy situation.
Inspired thinking is essential to motivation but is only part of the equation.
When it comes down to it, if you’re tired, meaning running low on vital energy; unless you’re faced with an emergency and or a motive that is so compelling, chances are even with all the inspiring stories and insights in mind, you’ll likely to procrastinate until you feel more “up” to it; when you have a surge of energy to drive you through.
The exceptions to that natural pattern that may drive you forward, even in a state of exhaustion or fatigue, are…
- To avoid a negative consequence, you can’t live with, or
- Being faced with a rare opportunity in plain sight, to achieve a positive outcome that you just can’t resist or avoid taking.
I’m not criticizing motivational speakers as this is a useful service. I do my share of it and enjoy it. It’s also why I tend to talk about motivational ideas in the context of lifestyle. It’s for the very reasons I am talking about in this post series; divorced from the energy to act, motivational thinking only goes so far.
I actually refer to motivational talks more as inspiration, because only a person can zero in on the real motives that are driving them dynamically; and more importantly, only the individual can take the steps to reenergize their body/mind to act on such motives, which is real-world motivation.
Taking the steps to re-energize one’s body-mind is the vital but often missing piece in the realm of motivation and it’s why this post calls attention to The Myth of Motivation—Psychology can’t cover up fatigue. If thought is not attached to proactively renewing your personal energy and power, it’s hard to stay motivated.
It’s why the core messages in a Performance Lifestyle are about…
- Learning how to harness your energy starting with understanding the secret science of optimal energy.
- Optimizing the way you live (including the way you think) to maintain the optimal energy levels we need to thrive today.
Yes, part of a performance lifestyle is having the supportive and optimistic thinking that takes you where you want to go, but one of the last things anyone wants in life is to suffer from a lack of motivation in the face of good reasons to move forward.
That’s what can and does happen when you’re suffering from constant fatigue. And worse, to experience that fatigue because you nobly responded to all that life serves up, full out, only to rely on sleep alone to carry you through the day when in today’s world, it’s not enough.
This is why it requires a lifestyle to deliver whole-life performance. An understanding of energy and both the mindset and skill set to harness and maintain high levels of energy and health to perform well in the world and achieve your goals.
The primary purpose of your lifestyle is to achieve your goals.
The reason you would want to learn how to restore high levels of vitality and optimize the way you live to maintain that vitality is the achieve your goals, in life and business; maybe even a sport, recreational pursuit, or performing art.
These are the positive outcomes that motivate us in a very big way and help us get over the avoidance of negative outcomes that we discussed in part 1 of this series.
Achieving your goals and the results that follow are what enable everything else to happen in our lives.
Accomplishment and the achievement of any goal require “the power” to create, innovate, and follow through on turning “thought” or “dreams” into reality. It means you must have enough personal energy. It’s literally vital. It’s more important than most of us realize and it’s the big new subject that’s changing everything.
Today, we are waking up to what motivational speakers such as Tony Robbins, Bob Proctor and spiritual / inspirational leaders like Deepak Chopra and countless others for years have called “the power,” “the giant,” or “the spirit” within. It’s the unlimited potential we all have etc. These are not just inspiring words, they are pointing to the unlimited, intelligent energy of the universe we all have access to, but not all at once.
In other words, in a human body-mind, there are in fact limitations to your potential and ironically it’s your body-mind itself. It needs to be recharged, regularly and routinely to stay powerful.
It’s not motivational psychology alone that inspires you to act. It’s the vital energy that enables us to maintain the best psychology. When you learn how to harness that energy, we go beyond the myth of motivation that says you need to simply dig deep, get your thinking right and make it happen; to be unstoppable. Do that and I assure you, you will be stopping soon.
We discuss that phenomenon in our book, The Curse of the Capable.
I get it. Sometimes we have to dig deep, which means think in a way that harvests some of our reserve life force to power action, even when we are tired. That’s where many great stories come from and they are heroic, but you can only depend on heroics on rare occasion.
As a general mode-of-living, depending on heroics and outside factors to drive us or to motivate us is not healthy and may not be the most productive either. Outside sources of motivation won’t enable you to function or perform even close to what you are capable of if you don’t have enough personal energy. They’ll appear to give you energy at first, then you’ll face reality.
To experience high levels of human performance in a sustainable and relatively consistent way over the long haul of our existence; to overcome fatigue and literally unleash our energy potential in a smart way that is manageable; first and foremost, we need to get ironically comfortable with fatigue. If we don’t you’ll stay tired all the time.
It’s the epic irony.