I lack motivation. I am not talking about everyday things that keep my life functioning. My space is clean, my car is maintained, and there is always something to eat in the house.
What I am talking about are those uncomfortable things we all avoid. Things that would ultimately make our lives better, more fulfilled. Yet, excuses always seem to creep up, and we divert our attention to something less challenging.
Recently though, my mindset has taken a 360° turn. I stumbled upon Mel Robbins, a “life coach” on YouTube. In so many words, she said that if we think we will ever be motivated, we are lying to ourselves.
Mel acknowledged that there are many moments in life when we want to do, we need to do, we should do. When the moment comes though, we just “don’t feel like it.”
“It’s 6 o’clock in the morning, it’s cold outside, I laid out my yoga clothes, but now I don’t feel like it.” What do I do? I do it anyway.” – Mel Robbins
Your feelings are trying to “hijack you,” Mel continued. Accept that and then use “do it anyway” as a “decision-making tool.” Especially if the thing you are avoiding will “expand your future, create possibilities, make you grow…” as a person, etc.
This concept is not new. In 1968, Dr. Kent M. Keith wrote a poem called, “The Paradoxical Commandments.” Dr. Keith later learned that the poem hung on the wall of Mother Teresa’s children’s home in Calcutta, Indiana. I consider it a must read:
“People are illogical, unreasonable, and self-centered.
Love them anyway.
If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives.
Do good anyway.
If you are successful, you will win false friends and true enemies.
The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow.
Do good anyway.
Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable.
Be honest and frank anyway.
The biggest men and women with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest men and women with the smallest minds.
Think big anyway.
People favor underdogs but follow only top dogs.
Fight for a few underdogs anyway.
What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight.
People really need help but may attack you if you do help them.
Help people anyway.
Give the world the best you have, and you’ll get kicked in the teeth.
Give the world the best you have anyway.”
– Kent M. Keith, Ph.d.
Since I have been living this mindset, my life is moving in positive directions that I once road blocked. I am happier.
In some small way, I hope that I encouraged you to “do it anyway.” Now, I am off to work on my Chinese. And, you know what? I actually feel like it today.
照顾自己 (Zhàogù zìjǐ). Take care of yourself.