Why motivation is hurting your progress

When people ask me ‘how do you stay motivated?’ It tell them ‘I don’t!’

When they ask me ‘how do you build motivation?’ I tell them ‘you don’t!’

I might sound like I’m unenthused or pessimistic but I can assure you I’m not.

I say this to help people understand that motivation is actually hindering them.

I’ll explain.

When your workouts are a war.

Your mindfulness exercises a fight.

Your imposed bedtimes a battle.

And your healthy food choices a struggle.

It doesn’t mean something’s wrong with you.

If you’re under some impression that you should be motivated to do these things and this inner conflict is something unique to you…

…you’re wrong!

You’re are no different to anyone else. Everyone has the ‘Monkey’ in their head.

The Monkey’s job is to convince you to not do what you should be doing. And he’ll propose doing something easier, more exciting instead.

When this Monkey is absent, taking a bit of R&R. Recharging his batteries, before returning to once again stop you pursuing your goals…

…is when you’ll experience bouts of productivity and action. (You’re free from the Monkey’s powerful persuasion to Netflix and Chill.)

But when he’s back, that’s when the battle arises.

And right now it’s not a competition…

…he’s winning every time!

The Monkey is too strong and persuasive. He knows every trick in the book to stop you taking action towards your goal.

And exactly which buttons to press to re route you away from your dream.

He’s louder, stronger and his option is way more compelling.

And this is my problem with Motivation

It isn’t a compelling drive…

…it’s an absence of The Monkey.

And it’s how you’re currently operating.

Long periods of inactivity, interspliced with spurts of effort. (When the Monkey is taking annual leave (he doesn’t take much, he’s very dedicated to his job!)).

This is why motivation is not something to rely on!

People that are consistent with taking action know this.

Instead they rely on a routine. And over time they’ve strengthened their discipline to adhere to their routine.

To a point where they can overpower the Monkey every time. And force it into it’s cage (it’s not cruel, it’s a fictional metaphor).

Enabling them to take the action necessary to progress.

They don’t need to wait until their Monkey is away to take action.

And it’s this consistent action that sees them achieve their goal.

So if you need help with achieving confidence and focus to achieve your goals. Through the development of a good habits and routine.

Check out my Program The Disciplined Man

How to build self control

Building self control and discipline is imperative to having the life that you want. Because the hard choices that you make in the present will be rewarded in the future.

‘Through discipline comes freedom’ – Aristotle

But you need to have self discipline to make these hard choices.

These choices are hard because we are all subjected to temptation. In the form of cheap dopamine (a neurotransmitter that plays a role in pleasure, motivation, and learning) hits.

Agents of instant gratification and dopamine include:

porn, social media, alcohol, cigarettes, junk food.

These cheap dopamine and instant gratification hits cause peaks in your dopamine levels (which you haven’t earned).

After which, your dopamine levels decrease to a lower level than before.

This will result in you feeling Lazy, Depressed & Unmotivated.

You then crave whatever gave you the previous dopamine high so you can feel better again.

This causes a cycle of peaks drops and cravings – and voila you have an addiction!

So to help you restore your dopamine to a natural level, causing you to feel:

Driven, Excited’ Motivated.

It would be prudent to implement a dopamine detox

How do you do this?

Have a think about what sources of cheap dopamine you are addicted to.

Social media? Porn? Drugs? Alcohol? Cigarettes? Junk food?

Choose the 3 you are most addicted to (these will be the ones you want to remove them the least – meaning your addiction is strongest with these) and remove them.

If this is your first detox aim for 48 hours. If you’ve done it before aim for at least 2 weeks.

You can then do this many times, each time increasing the duration of the detox.

To make this easier I advise you to remove temptations.

Load web blockers, app blockers remove alcohol from the house and don’t go to the shop you usually get your cigarettes from.

Because if you’re surrounded by temptation it is only a matter of time before you crack. And everyone has a breaking point.

Replace these synthetic, cheap means of dopamine and instant gratification with natural ones (ones you earn).

Getting enough sleep, exercising, listening to music, meditating, and spending time in the sun. Are all ways to boost dopamine.

Then get yourself some accountability; tell someone you trust that you are doing this detox.

Ask them to help you remove temptations and check in on you.

It’s important that you know that this will be uncomfortable! And it is in embracing this discomfort you are building discipline.

You are going against your dopamine which wants you to give in to your vices.

Stay strong!

Embrace the discomfort and remind yourself of the value that this detox will create and the benefits that will come from it!

You vs The Monkey

Most guys know what to do but aren’t doing it.

This is why your health and fitness isn’t an information problem, it’s an implementation problem.

This means it’s less about the method and more about the mindset.

What you need to realize is, that making a transformation, one that will have you looking and feeling at your best. Is achieved through discipline.

I’m not talking about being perfect 24/7.

I’m saying that the majority of the decisions you make need to be in line with your goal. And the ones that aren’t don’t undo the work you’ve done.

It comes down to an internal battle between you and your monkey brain.

You see the monkey brain wants you to relax and take the easy option.

The monkey brain has a penchant for fornication, debauchery and immediate pleasure.

Do things that will provide it with stimulus and excitement (although they won’t be challenging or uncomfortable). This is why it’s so easy to plicate.

But after a while, of giving in to these cravings they leave you feeling a little hollow and disappointed.

Because once again you’ve been persuaded by the monkey. Who has led you astray.

Yeah, it was fun and you had a good laugh but that monkey has led you so far off course you’re now a bit lost.

You’re stumbling around trying to get back to the correct path. Cursing yourself for giving in to the petulant primate. Who keeps distracting you from not doing what you said you were going to do.

Frustrated you didn’t have the discipline to ignore that wretched beast and his easy enticements.

The thing is when you start out with addressing this the monkey brain, it isn’t a cute little Capuchin. No no no it’s an adult silverback gorilla.

It’s so powerful. You feel almost helpless when it comes to stopping it from doing what it wants.

But when you have a plan and some accountability that sees you build your discipline.

That is when you’ll start to see that monkey shrink. And so to its power over you. All the way until you have only a cute little Pygmy Marmoset to deal with.

It is at this point that you’ll be at your best. You’ll be doing what you should be doing. Not what the monkey wants you to.

Which is how you get you to that place where you have the energy and confidence that you’re after. And built the discipline that will permeate all areas of your life.

Plus the added satisfaction that comes from knowing that you’ve bettered that pesky monkey!

Want to find out more about improving your vitality, confidence and performance?

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