If You Feel Unmotivated, Lazy, Or Like You're Going Nowhere In Life, Read This
#3 – The day is 4 hours long
Too many people cruise through life feeling lifeless.
It happens unconsciously. They can’t put a finger on the problem. Once you get stuck in a rut it’s hard to get out. You just keep doing the same old bad things that got you here and can’t seem to break the cycle.
That’s how I spent the first half of my life – lazy, unmotivated, and going nowhere. It’s possible to break the cycle.
Here are a few thoughts that are guaranteed to create a breakthrough.
Get real with this hard truth
Many people BS themselves.
“I’m working hard and doing the best I can. I’m not the problem.”
The hard truth, as Dan Koe told me, is many of you are doing the bare minimum and getting the bare minimum in return. Just ‘doing enough’ won’t produce results, momentum, or a life where you feel fulfilled.
It’s time to go above and beyond.
Pick an area where you want to excel and then put an unreasonable amount of effort into it. Disconnect yourself from the results. Do the work for more than a year and don’t look back.
It’s what I did with writing online. I disappeared for a few years and put all my time into this area. The results took a long time to come through, but when they did, they completely changed my life.
What hurts, changes you
“Who hurt you?”
That’s what I think when I meet a demotivated person going nowhere in life. The bizarre paradox is that pain is one of the best things to ever happen. Pain transforms you into a different person.
I remember the pain of mental illness. At the time I was a smartass entrepreneur. After the pain and subsequent collapse of my life, a new person was born.
I began writing and consuming stupid amounts of self-help.
Pain was the catalyst. I would never have changed on my own or had the courage to try. But with pain, you get no option.
Pain is the way through. It’s forced change that can repoint you to a new direction in life that, perhaps, you never would have found otherwise.
See pain as an opportunity.
The day is 4 hours long
We have fantasies about all the time we start with each day.
What I’ve learned is that we really only get about 4 hours a day of focused work.
The rest of the day is spent in other states of mind. When you think about the day in relation to only 4 hours of work, it’s easier to prioritize and focus on what matters.
Everything else around those 4 hours – procrastination, exercise, thinking, looking at your phone – sets you up for that one focused block of time.
It’s hard to be lazy with that perspective.
What will you do today with your 4 hours?
Implement this writing weapon
The people in your life can make or break your future.
Too often the temptation is to reach out to your idols and cold pitch them selfish asks that get no response. A trick I used was to write about my idols. Dissect their tactics and mention them in a story.
The difference is I didn’t choose big idols like Richard Branson who would probably never respond. I chose idols a few steps ahead of me. They had enough success to change my life. But they weren’t so successful that they’d never respond.
Yesterday, for example, an influential person I wrote about a year ago sent me a DM. They thanked me for the article about them. I used the message to start a conversation. Now their impact on my life is going to be huge.
Write on social media about your idols to attract them into your life.
Fix the energy leaks
Life = Energy
There are hundreds of energy leaks all around you. Notice where your time and energy go. Document it. Look for the biggest energy leaks (typically negative people, the news, or emails) and nuke them. Get them out of your life or minimize their exposure.
Energy management rather than time management will upgrade your life.
Compete against this enemy
It’s far too easy to get into games where there are competitors. The cheat code is to stop seeing others as your competitors or enemies, and start competing with yourself. The goal is to be 1% better than yesterday. That’s a game you can win.
Adopt the “fix it now” strategy
Small problems are easy to delay when you’re unmotivated. The challenge is that they turn into giant snowballs.
James Clear taught me to fix small problems as soon as they come up. The energy required to solve a problem when it’s small isn’t much. When you defeat these problems and rack up tiny wins it creates momentum.
That momentum slowly gets you further away from laziness and demotivation, and closer towards a comeback fuelled by newfound motivation.
Do this with the internet
I’m a 90s kid. The internet felt like a miracle at the start.
I’d come home from school and use my dial-up modem to escape reality. As Greg Isenberg pointed out, the opposite is now true.
We need to escape the internet by coming back to reality.
We spend way too much time online. Our attention is thrown around like a ping pong ball. No matter how disciplined you are or what “Chrome Nanny” tools you use, the internet takes away a lot of time. Everything feels urgent when most of it isn’t.
Spend more time disconnected from the internet. Use paper notepads. Read printed books. Walk instead of watching Youtube. Ditch phone calls for coffee catch-ups. Hang a manual calendar on the wall again.
The internet sells your soul to the devil through convenience. But what you trade for it is your precious time and focus.
Closed doors versus open doors
When a door closes in life it’s easy to become demotivated.
We dwell on that closed door like it’s our only child and they died in a car accident.
There’s another way to look at it…
The cliche goes “when one door closes another one opens.” That’s half-true. You can only see the new open door if you stop focusing your attention towards the closed door.
Otherwise you miss the opportunities.
Here’s what’s crazier: the new open doors are often better opportunities than the doors that slammed in your face and made you feel like crap.
Let go of closed-door opportunities. Keep a look out for new open-door opportunities and know that they’ll come from the strangest of places one can never predict.
Intelligence is a trap. Personality is the game-changer.
People love looking smart or becoming smarter.
How do I know? As a writer, I’ve learned it’s one of the hottest topics online. I believe, though, it’s a bear trap that’ll cut your foot off if you step on it.
My friend Steve told me that one’s personality will take them 10x further in life than intelligence. Intelligence matters less because AI and Google have outsourced much of our brain’s processing power to a computer.
So success is less about memorization and access to information, and more about how you treat fellow humans and your ability to build relationships.
Nothing worth doing can be achieved without the help of others.
Those people who can help will solely be attracted to you based on personality.
It’s why emotional intelligence has become a buzzword. It’s why LinkedIn is drowning in content about soft skills.
Don’t do another university MBA. No.
Work on your personality.
Learn how to treat others better.
Find out how to be a more interesting person.
Become more likable through kindness and generosity.
“Trust creates speed”
Ever wondered why people take forever to get traction on their goals? It’s because they need other people to help them, and those other people haven’t done their job.
The reason is, until trust is established everything goes slow.
If a romantic partner doesn’t trust you, no marriage.
If an employer doesn’t trust you, no promotion or career growth.
If a customer doesn’t trust you, no sales.
Become a more honest person. Stop exaggerating and telling small white lies. Be brutally honest with people and watch them fall in love with you.
This is the strategy I’ve used as a writer. 500m+ views on my content shows it works.
Weaknesses are attached to strengths
Many people want to eliminate weaknesses.
With every weakness there is a strength. My wife says I have terrible attention to detail. She’s right. It’s the reason I can execute on big audacious goals without much strategy or help.
People that love attention to detail struggle to take action without excessive information. Here’s the thing: both types of people are needed.
So rather than eliminate a weakness that comes with a hidden superpower, write down your weaknesses and outsource them to people who have them as a strength.
Goals are for dumbasses
Hear me out.
Goals are a fantasy. They’re something you might do someday. They need a to-do list and a woo-woo vision board full of pretty pictures to paint the dream.
When a pursuit in life is serious, though, you don’t leave it up to chance, luck, or magically finding time “one day.”
A real goal is an obsession.
Obsession leads to habits. Habits form systems. And systems automate success if you’re patient enough.
Forget goals. Create systems backed by habits.
Put tasks in your calendar rather than masturbate over doing them in the future.
If it’s not scheduled, it’s probably never going to happen.
Feeling unmotivated and lazy or like you’re going nowhere is normal.
The shift that needs to happen in your head is “what am I going to do about it?” You now have a list of actions in this article to do a U-turn and become a motivated, high-performing badass.
Action turns feeling lifeless into a snowball of motivation.
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