Motivation through other people

   I listened to this podcast today where Tom Bilyeu talked with Ed Mylett about some interesting ideas. One of the things that hit me hard was the story about the time Ed Mylett went to the doctor. He said that this doctor had a different approach in addressing the health issues Ed had. Instead of prescribing some meds and getting to the next patient, this doctor asked Ed if he has kids. When the doctor heard the affirmative response, he asked Ed if he wants to be there when his son graduates or when his daughter will get married. The answer was yes, obviously. Then the doctor said that if Ed wanted to be there, he needs to do exactly as prescribed, otherwise some strangers will be there instead of him. This was a huge emotional impact over Ed and something switched in his head. Now, whenever he doesn’t feel like going to the gym, he remembers that he needs to go so he can be there as his daughter’s wedding.

   What I took from this is that whenever we feel tired of something or we don’t want to do things, we should try to find motivation in the people around us. For example, you say you cannot stop your alcohol addiction? Think about your children or your spouse or your parents. Do you want to be there when huge events happen in their lives? Do you want to make them happy or you want to make them suffer? Do you want to hurt the people you love the most? I assume you do not want that so if you stop drinking, you’ll be there for them a longer time. You can become the strong shoulder all of them can rely on. You can protect them and make them safe as long as you’re there.

   I think this strategy is somehow related to what Mel Robbins is doing to overcome her fear of flight (in short, she thinks about something nice). The technique used is the anchor thought. Basically, an anchor thought is a powerful thought we can use to overcome hard times. When we don’t feel like doing something, or we feel some sort of fear, we can break that pattern with Mel’s 5 second rule and after that we can insert the anchor thought.

   I found this technique very useful especially when I have no idea what the next blog post should be about. I feel some sort of anxiety because this automatic thought comes in (“I don’t know what to write about”) and I want to skip a day. I don’t always use the 5 second rule to break the negative pattern, but I do insert one of my anchor thought and then I feel how the anxiety disappears.

    How do you make yourself do the things you don’t feel like doing?

27 thoughts on “Motivation through other people

  1. When I don’t feel like doing what I’m meant to do I create leverage through asking myself some really simple questions:

    1. How will I feel tomorrow when I don’t do the work I’m meant to do today? (The answer is obvious – I’ll feel shit.)… but that isn’t enough to get me moving most of the time…


    2. I always go through life with the mindset of not wanting to regret anything. Simply because regret, to me, is poison. This thought gives me strength to persevere and do things even if I don’t feel like it.

    3. But, I don’t only think of how bad I will feel if I don’t do the work, BUT I also think about how good I will feel if I do, do the work. I consciously know that if I do the work, I feel good after because I’ve come a step closer to my goal, and most importantly I’ll be proud of myself because I know that results don’t come from doing work when you’re motivated and ‘feel like it’, but rather from still doing the work when you don’t feel like it. Thats where the magic happens I believe.

    Great article, keep it up! 🙂

  2. Oh your blogpost was published at the right time for me! Normally I am really motivated and can do action on a high level. But if I got emotionally depressed I will finally be the opposite of a smoothly productive person. I am normally very friendly and try to be patient with the people I love around me. But if my inside is feeling bad I will act quite harsh and loose all my productivity. My house will get messy as my inside is and I feel guilty to not have everything in order and under my control. I will search for things i need …I think, I will forget where I put my stuff because my mind is always flying around. It’s like I am doing those things I have a routine with but the important stuff which I really need to do I will totally ignore. In the past that made my life more complicated. Because if you have a project with a certain deadline and wait until the last minute to work on that project it is more stress then you deserve. The anchor thought method is really helpful. You need to realize that in your life lots of things need to get done without overthinking it. In the past my thoughts to do something perfectly and planing everything probably prevent me chasing my dreams. A few time ago I changed my mindset and realized that the best is to integrate some tasks you need to do but don’t like to do right now into a timeline which you afterwards do something you totally love. If I always remind myself about my dreams and how I will feel if I achieve them, then my depressed mood will change to the good. Realising that everybody has happy moments and some sad moments too, it feels not as bad as before. Oh that was a lot, but perhaps you feel similar?!

  3. I don’t have a problem finding motivation for doing the things I like. But I don’t like housework and I’m not that fond of cooking. The motivation to get these things done is simple: My love for my husband. I want him to come home to a clean home and a well-cooked meal. I want him to be comfortable and not to have to think about it. I want him to take it for granted that all will be well when he gets home and that he can relax and unwind. He is my motivation.

  4. I’m very organized and thrive on having lists, so simply putting tasks on my to do list or my calendar makes it more likely that I’ll actually do them.

    1. That’s interesting. And if you don’t put it in your to do list or your calendar you forget about it or what do you think it’s the reason behind?

  5. I take away the choice. A good example is I use to snack at night. Bad habit. I started intermittent fasting where I only eat between the hours of 12-8pm. (I eat late dinner) Even though I was the one who made this schedule I don’t eat before 12 and I don’t eat after 8. I took my option away.

      1. Only when scheduled had to be adjusted because I was going out for dinner with others and sticking to the schedule was impossible but when I came home no snacking.

  6. This made me think of something the one and only Simpson episode that made me cry. It was the episode where they were explaining why they had no photos of Maggie at the house. I could tell what touched me, but if you haven’t seen it it’s more moving when you watch especially since Homer really really really didn’t want to change his dream, but he did.

    I know for me personally that when fear used to kick my butt the only way I could do things that I didn’t want to do was to invision myself happy and at peace afterwards. Like look what you get if you just push past your fear and that didn’t make what I was doing easier, but it made it bareable.

  7. I find that as a mom of three children and three pets and countless houseplants – thinking of them gets me to do what’s needed- it’s the balancing of taking the time to do what I need to do- write – that’s where the challenge comes in for me.

  8. You do what you gotta do because it needs to get done – it’s called responsibility. If you don’t gotta do it, and you don’t wanna do it, then don’t. You make positive changes in your life because it is YOUR life and you don’t do it for anyone else but yourself. It pisses me off majorly when I get told that “it’s not all about you” – when it’s MY life, it damn well is all about me. “Cause I ain;t no use to anyone one else if I’m no use to myself. (Is this off topic or did you just push a button LOL)

    1. That’s powerful. I totally agree with you. It’s our life so it’s my decision of what I want to do with it. But sometimes we don’t feel like doing something about us and we need to do it because it’s more harmful not doing it. For these moments we need something more powerful than us…

      1. Did you ever use one of those cheap-o glue sticks? They work in the moment but they aren’t really permanent. Well outside motivation is like that – works in the moment but it’s not sustainable for the long run. Nothing is more powerful than the ego – for good or ill. Consequences can be a motivator but we are also choosing which consequences.

      2. I did use some. Those cheap shits suck. For me, sometimes my own ego stands between me and evolution because I think I’m good enough when I’m just a learner and for me to get better requires to accept that I make mistakes. My ego doesn’t like that.

  9. It depends on what it is. I’d much rather have no funk from cleaning litter boxes, than what happens if I don’t. Anchor thought.
    If I don’t feel capable of dealing with someone – even if I know that at some point I’m going to have to – I may take a “time out” to sort out my feelings and issues. Sanity break.
    If I don’t feel like cooking a dinner – we have sandwich stuff. Alternative options.
    There are too many situations to have a single response here.

    1. That litter boxes thing is funny because today we just got a new kitten. Actually, the kitten found us. We did a little one day road trip and we stopped at some point because it was an awesome view and a small kitten (somewhere around 6 weeks old) came to us. It was in the middle of nowhere. We looked around and no momma was there so we adopted it.

  10. Everytime I wanted to go to gym, I always have the urge to say no because of how far that gym in my house and how troublesome it would be just to go there. Reading this shifts my mind about not going to the gym. Everytime I’ll think about not going, I’ll think that I’ll go to some important events.

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