I recently came across a video on Facebook titled: “Why motivation is garbage”. The first thought that crossed my mind was: “What? That is the dumbest thing I have ever heard. Motivation is what drives us to achieve our goals”. With such a bold claim, I was curious. “It’s probably just click bait”, but the fact that someone else shared it online must mean it is something profound.
And it was profound. In the video, life coach and author, Mel Robbins explains that everyone has somehow bought into the idea that motivation is when you feel ready, confident or courageous to make a change or do something you have always wanted to do. The brain is wired to protect us from things we think are scary, overwhelming and difficult, therefore we are never going to feel motivated to do them. We are only motivated to the things that seem easy. She goes on to say that hesitating for just a few seconds is what causes us to procrastinate and postpone the things we want to do. This hesitation sends a stress signal to the brain, which causes your brain to switch to protection mode. This is why you don’t invest in your crazy business ideas, go to the gym, work on your thesis (guilty), pay your bills, talk to that really cute guy/girl, wake up on time (we all can relate to this one), work on your dreams, confront the person who upset you, find a job, the list is endless.
The thing is you are never going to feel like doing those things. Have you ever told yourself you’ll start tomorrow or Monday? Famous last words, right? We all know what we have to do; the problem is how do we get ourselves to do it? Luckily, Mel Robbins has a solution called the 5 second rule. It is a really simple rule, every time you want/have to do something, like go the gym, count down from 5 to 1. When you get to 1, start doing that activity. If you wait any longer than five seconds, your brain will find a way to convince you not to do it. You are basically beating your brain at making a decision. It sounds really silly, I know. Mel even admits that it’s the stupidest thing ever, but it works and she has research to back it up. She did a lot of research on how the brain functions and how this method affects the brain. So there you go, motivation is garbage. Trick your brain in to doing tasks instead.
I highly recommend watching the video! Mel explains a bit more about the functioning of the brain and is much better at convincing people how amazing it is. It’s pretty long, but worth it.
Here is the link:
She’s also done a TED talk:
PS. I promise I’m not being paid to endorse her work 😛