Motivation is the drive you get when you watch an inspirational video or listen to a passionate lecture. Growing up, people acquire an increasing list of responsibilities. Young adults are at that time of life when most of them aren’t burdened with the full responsibility of their families, personal education and living expenses. Yet they’re old enough to understand that they have to put in a lot of effort into things they might not enjoy, like studying, working part-time and taking care of small tasks around the house. Responsibility can be hard to fulfil at this age when people haven’t yet figured out their passion, what drives them and what they would like to achieve in the long run.
Is anyone motivated enough to make it big?
So, people search for inspiration and motivation in speeches, songs and videos, hoping that they’ll find something that induces in them the drive they need to take on all the work that’s pending and become functional human beings in society. But how efficient is this search for an occasional burst of motivation? How many days are you motivated to work despite repeatedly reminding yourself that you’ve got a lot of work left and need to get started?
Why do I lose motivation so quickly?
Motivation is a feeling, and like most feelings, it only lasts a few hours. In these few hours, you’ll likely be able to sit down and work at a rapid rate and make some progress. After you’re done, you’ll feel pleased about how much you’ve done and feel sure that, yes, you’re back on track, and you’ll be productive from now on. Except you don’t come back to your desk again the next day. Or the next. And for the week after that.
What’s happened is, you’ve lost that passionate feeling of motivation.
Why you should stop trying even to get motivated
Any skill or project takes time to build. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither will your preparation for the semester be. A good result is built on consistent work. You’re never going to ace your subjects unless you practice them, day after day. You’re never going to create anything spectacular unless you spend hours every day on it, thinking and making mistakes and then rebuilding on those errors till you reach completion.
Consistency is the key. Ten hours of hard work today and zero working hours in the two weeks after that is not even a quarter as effective as two hours every day for two weeks. If you’re building your life up only on days, you feel motivated, and you’ll never get anywhere. Stop searching for motivation, for it is fleeting. Find discipline instead.
Discipline > Motivation
Build a habit out of working a couple of hours every day for three weeks. Once a habit is built, it’s hard to break. This characteristic of humans can build and keep good habits too. Change is hard, and it’s uncomfortable. Growth is desirable but scary. Let the fear of being who you are today for years on end outweigh the fear of all the effort required to change and be better next month. Only then can you truly be driven to grow?
So how do you get to work? You do it. And then you repeat doing it, again and again, until it’s wired into your reflexes and not working is more challenging than working. You’ll never slack off again.