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4 Myths of Motivation

4 Myths of Motivation


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First off, it’s powerful that you’re driven to take action, get things done and create. Your creative process is inspired by how aligned you are with what you want to create in the first place, and that is super needed on planet Earth, and will continue to be needed forever. So congratulations.


But what about everyone around you who seems so “motivated”?


I have news. Motivation is BS, and is part of an old paradigm that has kept artists small and suppressed. Yes, I went there.


Have you ever started something because you were so motivated, only to completely fall off track well into week 3?


This is because it takes a bit of time to build any habit.


Myth #1

Motivation is real. 

Actually, motivation is BS. Having momentum from developing a habit is real, and is built by hard work.

Up and starting something new, and then quitting after three weeks is caused by having a false sense of motivation.

Instead, start building the habits of effective productivity. What looks like motivation is actually just a series of habits, which gives someone momentum.


Myth #2

‘If I want something done, I have to do it myself’

This phrase is nasty to the person it’s directed toward on it’s worst day. And holds the person who says it back on it’s best day.

Sometimes, you have to hire help. Hire someone who knows how to handle everything that you can’t complete within a deadline.

Do you need a new website? Do you know how to build websites? Kind of? F*ck it, DIY project! Woohoo!

If only the process took a single weekend. At the end of the weekend, there’s still no website, and you have to go back to work tomorrow, exhausted.

The best DIY projects work when you hire out. Building your business is the most important DIY project of your life. Hire out within your business, to save time so you can get back into the mode of being able to tackle what you’re best at.


Myth #3

Just use willpower!

We can only make so many decisions in a day. Translated loosely, willpower runs out quickly.

Since we can only make so many decisions in a day, try simplifying as many of the same decisions required each day, like how Steve Jobs wore the same shirt every day. Turn the things you know you have to do every day into habits to limit how many decisions you have to make about mundane things.


Motivation and willpower can only take a person so far, says Kelly McGonigal of the Willpower Instinct.



‘I’ll get this done because I’m a multi-tasker’

There’s a difference between multi-tasking to get towards a single initiative and switching tasks that don’t resolve a similar outcome.


If you do multiple tasks having to do with getting to the same outcome, then that is decent multi-tasking. Switching tasks that have nothing to do with each other, such as starting a paper, then checking facebook, then checking email, have a negative effect on your ability to focus.


Switching from task to task actually causes a dopamine rush, eventual addiction to being out of focus, and a feedback loop that perpetuates this behavior. To remedy this, we can train the brain to work in a different way to bring back the brain’s craving to solve problems instead of ruminate.


Scientists are sure that it’s difficult to break this cycle. However, we yogis, and tremendous amounts of scientists who study the effects of meditation, know that breaking these terrible habits can be easy.


The process of learning meditation is a bit like training a wild horse to stay closer to the ranch. But we have to be patient in the process of bringing the mind back to focus, much like staying patient while we train a wild animal.


The only thing that’s hard about yoga and meditation, is when you start confusing it with something you have to be “good” at, or perform. Yoga is not a performance. It’s an internal game.


The only thing that makes anyone “good” at yoga is their ability to be compassionate enough with themselves long enough to try it tame the wild horse until focus becomes habit.


These myths are all concepts reinforced by a consistent yoga practice. They are “remembered” by the body and ironically create a productive yoga practice.


Yoga shows us an intrinsic understanding of these concepts.


Try Private Yoga with Molly Toohey Yoga, who now offers online yoga classes.



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