Last week I was in this weird state of mind.
It happens maybe twice every week. I get bored with everything. I’m just walking around in my apartment and I keep thinking the same thoughts over and over again.
Suddenly the future looks very bleak. I get into what I call a consumption mindset. I’m consuming food, consuming tv series, consuming Facebook and Reddit and 9gag. There’s just nothing left, no creativity, no motivation, no zeal. Completely apathy.
When this happens, I now know there’s only one thing I can do. Every cell in my brain shouts at me to just lie down, but instead I put on my sneakers and walk out the door. And I start running.
After 30 minutes I feel better. It’s as if my body signals my brain Hey Boys It’s All Good, He Took Action, and rewards me with a changed emotional state. Actually this might be exactly what happens, scientifically.
Waiting for changes in your emotional state simply doesn’t work. Motivation comes after action, not before.
I can’t count the number of times I’ve been sitting in front of a white screen waiting for inspiration to hit me. I’d go to the refrigerator and eat whatever sugary goodness it brings. Then I’d check if Casey Neistat posted another 10 minute inspiring video and watch that. Then I’d watch an episode of Mr Robot and repeat the cycle. A whole day wasted with a vague promise of productive work – later. Always later.
Put the first word on the page. Break the task down to the smallest possible components. Then take the first component and just do it. This small win will propel you on your journey.
Take action, and motivation will magically follow, even though you can’t imagine that motivation right now.
That’s the weird part: when we’re down and bored, our mindset is so different that we can’t even imagine being motivated at all. How can we trust our brain and its decision-making when it changes its behaviour over time, seemingly instantly? It’s as if the rules keep changing in the middle of a board game.
Anyway, brb, going for a run.