By Ann Sheybani, Guest Writer
Do you need to be motivated to take action?
Nope. In fact, there are lots of times you’ll absolutely NOT feel like taking action when you promised yourself you would sit down and write. These very moments, I’m here to tell you, are the moments you’ll need to take action anyway.
Otherwise, you’ll stand around filing your nails while the world passes you by.
I love writing, I really do, but I’d rather clean toilets than sit down to face a blank page. Actually, I’d rather trot down to the kitchen and eat the pan of raw vegan brownies my writing student just brought me.
I’d also rather dig into season two of House of Cards on Netflix, which I’ve just discovered, and forget about the fact that I don’t have a clue what I’m going to say next. Preferably with the aforementioned brownies.
But I digress.
Motivation, i.e. good feelings, is not required to take action. You act anyway, regardless of how uninspired you feel. Think of motivation as a perk. Sort of like popcorn at the movies. Nice to have, particularly with a crapload of salt and butter, but not necessary to enjoy the show.
More often than not, motivation arises after you start. After you get going.
After you start to write and get in the flow. And suddenly you don’t know why you didn’t want to start earlier. You feel good; you’re motivated; you’re on fire. The motivation, the good feelings, followed the action.
Here’s the funny thing: Motivation and action are co-arising phenomena. One doesn’t necessarily precede the other.
Sometimes, like when you’ve got lots of time and space, you can hardly wait to get going. Sometimes you can write for an hour and it feels like a day. That happens. It will happen.
So how do you take action during block time when you don’t really feel like it, or if the motivation hasn’t come somewhere during the process?
Remember your why
Why you’re working on this book in the first place. Dial back into the goal, the vision, the destination. The very reason you decided action was required in the first place. Connect regularly with your Why.
Decide you’re going to do something once—like write for two hours three times a week. Don’t revisit your decision to act; don’t bitch; don’t re-think; don’t re-evaluate. Just do it.
Make it a habit
Make it routine. Write from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. on Thursday and Saturday nights. Be predictable. And boring. It’s good for you.
It means that whenever your scheduled times come up, you know you’re going to get something done. And sometimes, that’s just all you need. To get something done, the rest will follow.
Stop waiting around for the perfect moment
Don’t wait for all of the planets to align and the angels to show up singing a show tune.
The people who are getting the results you want? Who are doing the things you wish you could be doing? They’re not riding the motivation pony, man.
They’re following a routine and doing the things they don’t feel like doing. That’s just how it works.
So, stop waiting around. Your time is right now. Get on with it, the motivation will follow.