Nike is on to something.
Just do it.
I love songwriting and running. I know that these things bring me joy, but sometimes I just don’t feel like doing them. Sometimes I don’t feel inspired to write. Sometimes I don’t feel motivated to get the miles in.
& sometimes that’s okay. But when I’m working toward my goals, progress is necessary. So how do I get into action when I’m not feeling particularly motivated? How do I keep from negative self-talking my way into bummer-land?
If you guessed, "just do it,” you’re correct!
If I sit down to write a song title about whatever pops into my head, more often than not, the inspiration will flow and the motivation will follow. Or if I start the day by putting my running clothes and shoes on, I’m more likely to get out the door at some point. Action can beget inspiration and motivation - it doesn’t have to be the other way around.
I just finished, “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck” and he writes, “if you lack the motivation to make an important change in your life, do something - anything, really - and then harness the reaction to that action as a way to begin motivating yourself.” He calls this the “do something principle” and simplified it looks a bit like this -
Action —> Inspiration —> Motivation
“If we follow the '“do something'“ principle, failure feels unimportant. When the standard of success becomes merely acting - when any result is regarded as progress and important, when inspiration is seen as a reward rather than a prerequisite - we propel ourselves ahead. We feel free to fail, and that failure moves us forward.”
I think this hit so hard for me because when I look at things I’ve done over the years, I can see that this works for me! I signed up for my first half marathon because I wanted to exercise throughout the NYC winter, and knew I wouldn’t be motivated to if I wasn’t working toward anything. So I signed up, figured out the training schedule, and got it done.
I’m going to leave you with this last excerpt from The Subtle Art because it made me cry real tears -
“If you’re in the midst of an existential shitstorm and everything feels meaningless - if all the way you used to measure yourself have come up short and you have no idea what’s next, if you know that you’ve been hurting yourself chasing false dreams, or if you know that there’s some better metric you should be measuring yourself with but you don’t know how - the answer is the same:
People often ask, “how do I start dating again after herpes,” or “how can I possibly tell this girl/guy I’m interested in that I’m hsv positive?” Go on a date. Say the words, “I have herpes.” You’ll learn how to navigate the words and fears with practice, but take the leap and the net will appear. It might feel more complicated or difficult than that (and it’s okay if it doesn’t feel that easy). But if holding this thing as complicated is what you’ve been doing, and it hasn’t been working, then make a new choice. The next time you’re feeling stuck, ask yourself what you can do. If you’re not ready to go out on a date, can you still download an app today? If you’re not ready to say the words to someone else, can you say them out loud to yourself today? Then tomorrow, ask yourself again. Your:
might surprise you.
Stay courageous xo.