I Don’t Feel Like It

“The biggest fallacy there is about making good use of one’s time is that you have to feel like doing something before you can do it. That you have to know how to motivate yourself prior to your action. Try this: Have the action happen first. You can work up a sweat with wild action just by doing it. Then a funny thing happens. The motivation shows up. It was there all along.”

 

– Steve Chandler, Time Warrior

I knew the day would come.

And I’m sure it’s only the first of several on this daily blogging experiment of mine.

But if I can’t keep a simple commitment to type a few words each day, what does that say about me?

What if I didn’t brush my teeth whenever I felt too tired or more interested in other things? That wouldn’t be a pretty outcome for anyone.

During times like these, I find it useful to take a moment and analyze why I’m lacking in motivation. It usually has to do with the big three:

  • Physical or Mental Stress
    • Check and check. Painful strain on my left quadriceps after this morning’s sprints. Chalk that up to not taking the proper time to warm up. Also, the day job has been unusually busy. And I need to help pack up our entire first floor and move into a hotel next week due to construction.
  • Fear
    • What if I write something stupid? What if no one reads this? Again, I need to remind myself that I’m doing this for me. It’s not about readers. It’s not about writing something witty or thought-provoking. Those are all nice-to-haves. The goal of this exercise, though, is to publish a blog post every single day. Looks like I’m doing that, so hey, I don’t feel at all bad about putting another ‘X’ in the WIN column.
  • No topic
    • Had no clue what I was going to write about today. The mind was just plain dark. Like all the power went out. So I pulled out a brainstorming tool I’ve been trying to use more lately — the mind map — and just let myself go off on the topic of motivation. And, voila, here we are!

There’s nothing wrong with a little self-assessment. There are ways to address all of these things nagging me. Ways that have worked in the past and for which I have little reason to believe won’t work again.

If you “don’t feel like it,” take a moment to ask and answer why.

Change something up.

Then do it anyway.

-Phillip

6 thoughts on “I Don’t Feel Like It

  1. This was a great short post. I get this feeling all the time but you just have to do the shit anyways. Great job keeping up writing every day. Keep going!

    1. Thanks for the kind words, Ben! Yup, it’s all about just “doing the shit anyways.” Making a habit of it so you almost don’t even have to think about the work…like driving into the office each day, it’s just something you DO if you want to eat. 🙂

  2. I find that we can find a topic when we least expect one. I think fear is the big one.

    1. I agree, John. Fear’s always with us on some level, I suppose. It’s just a matter of breaking out the duct tape, a chloroform-soaked rag, and tossing him into the trunk (gee, you think I’ve been thinking about fiction much lately?) 🙂

  3. I’m nodding yes to every point you make here, Phillip. Been there, done that. I keep telling myself that the feeling of satisfaction I’ll have after writing something should be enough motivation, but sadly the procrastination monster’s voice is often louder than the muse’s.

    1. Funny how that works, right? I have noticed that the process of sitting down is getting easier, but the work itself is getting harder. I guess that’s just the nature of the craft — the road to mastery never ends.

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