Sometimes it’s easy for me to work 10 hours straight. I’ll write two blogs posts, record and edit two videos, lift weights, put in a training session for juggling, spend an hour studying Spanish, and it’ll still only be 6 P.M.
Other times I’ll struggle to do anything, and by the end of the day all I’ll have accomplished is a half-assed training session for juggling. And until recently I’d never understood why this happens.
Sure, I’ve beat expansion and contraction, the productivity trap, and burnout to death over the last couple months, and those are certainly valid ways of looking at things. But, after having a really unproductive day yesterday I realized why some days you crush life, and other days you’re crushed by it.
Your level of success in a particular day is proportional to your ability to intelligently yield to your specific motivations at that time.
The keyword here is intelligently. You’re trying to carefully ration your willpower here, not give into your petty little desires for instant gratification.
If you’ve been working long hours the entire week and you feel drawn to going out with your friends, GO. Your intellectual mind may rationalize that doing so isn’t “productive,” but if you’re able to enjoy yourself and let loose you’ll come back to work the next day refreshed.
If you try to resist your need to socialize you’ll quickly deplete your willpower muscle, and soon enough you’ll end up mindlessly browsing the internet anyway.
Of course, remember that it’s important to approach the topic of motivation intelligently. If you feel drawn towards Heroin don’t be a retard. There are times where it’s important to use impulse control, but if you’re able to filter through to the situations where it’s most important to have willpower it’ll be available to you when you most need it.
Sometimes when you’re not motivated to work it’s not your discipline that’s the problem. The problem is that you’re labeling the lack of a specific type of discipline on a specific day as wrong.
Make no mistake, everything requires discipline. Just as it takes effort to work, it also takes effort to relax, and let go of work. However, both processes refuel each other, and the resistance of either is the result of an unhealthy, unproductive addiction to a certain state of mind.
When you’re feeling bleehh, and disconnected it’s not because you’re destined for a forgettable day. It’s simply because you’re trying to tap into the wrong motivation. When you feel like you just don’t care anymore, change the motivation you’re tapping into, and you’ll change your life.
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