Turns out we have got motivation all wrong. In fact, motivation is garbage. And that’s okay. I could tell you why, but I wouldn’t do nearly as good of a job as Mel Robbins. She is the author of The 5 Second Rule: Transform your Life, Work, and Confidence with Everyday Courage. The title is long, but five seconds is short. Not so short that they can’t change your life, though. Read on and let this sink in. It’s an idea that will never leave you once it hits.
Mel Robbins: “Motivation is Garbage”
“At some point, we all bought into this lie that you’ve got to feel ready in order to change. We bought into this complete falsehood that at some point you’re going to have the courage. At some point, you’re going to have the confidence. And it’s total rubbish, frankly. You have these incredible ideas and what you think is missing is motivation…that’s not true. The way our minds are wired and the fact about human beings is that we are not designed to do things that are uncomfortable, scary, or difficult. Our brains are designed to protect us from those things because our brains are trying to keep us alive. And in order to change, in order to build a business, in order to be the best parent, the best spouse—to do all those things that you know you want to do with your life, with your work, with your dreams—you’re going to have to do things that are difficult, uncertain, or scary.
Which sets up this problem for all of us: "You’re never going to feel like it.”
You only feel motivated to do things that are easy. Why is it so hard to do the little things that would improve your life? The way that our minds are designed is to stop you—at all costs—from doing anything that might hurt you. The way this all happens is it all starts with something super subtle that none of us ever catch, and that is with this habit that all of us have that nobody’s talking about: We all have a habit of hesitating.
We have an idea…and instead of just saying it, we stop and hesitate.
What none of us realize is that when you hesitate, just that moment—that micro-moment—that small hesitation sends a stress signal to your brain. It wakes your brain up and your brain all of a sudden goes:
‘Oh, wait a minute, why is he hesitating? Something must be up.’
So then your brain works to protect you. It has a million different ways to protect you. One of them is called the Spotlight Effect. It’s a known phenomenon where your brain magnifies risk to pull you away from something that it perceives to be a problem.
And hence, you can truly trace every single problem or complaint in your life to silence and hesitation. Those are decisions.
We’re never going to feel like doing the things that are tough or difficult or uncertain or scary or new, so we need to stop waiting until we feel like it. You are one decision away from a totally different life. Your life comes down to your decisions, and if you change your decisions, you will change everything.