August 1

Why Motivation is a Trap


Why Motivation is a Trap

David Valois

Motivation is a trap.

Most people rely on motivation to accomplish their big projects or learn the skills they want, and so they fail. Because relying on motivation is dangerous.

The problem with motivation is that it doesn’t appear always. We tend to think that we will be motivated in the future. “Then I will do great things!”

But motivation comes and goes. Sorry but you won’t be always motivated.

Observe yourself, there are moments where you feel motivated but then later you are worried. You want to be motivated but you must continue on low profile.

So how can you solve this to achieve big things?

First is realizing you can’t rely on motivation. There will be always good and bad moments throughout the day -your mood fluctuates even during an hour-. A bright moment after your breakfast and then you turned sad about something at work.

And then up again.

And then down after a nasty email.

And then up after a coffee break.

So you won’t be always motivated. You will always have some problems to solve, or will be too recently divorced. That’s why you can’t rely on motivation. So how do you finish those big projects that seemed possible after a high? Because one thing is for sure: after planning the big future, after the big idea, Monday 6 o’clock will come and you won’t be motivated. You know what I’m speaking about.

Inspiring moments don’t appear often and that’s why most people procrastinate, because they always wait for that big moment. They always wait for -what a nice word- inspiration.

But you can’t rely on inspiration to do big things.

It’s impossible to finish a complete project fully inspired. It’s why diets don’t work. Most people rely on a moment where they will do the diet feeling motivated to get slim. So they won’t eat and they will do it happily. But no. Because motivation will disappear during the diet. Or after the diet. And there they will return again to eat the same quantities, if not more. The billion-dollar fitness and diet industry knows it well. Their clients are motivated people. They buy motivated products to eat less. They buy motivated season tickets for the gym. But after the motivated September or January they quit.

People think like in the movies. The hero will come and they will win the battle. Motivation will come and they will do a lot of things. But motivation will disappear again. So it’s not smart waiting for the movie moment to do big things.

Life is a long run, don’t sprint. So know that your motivation won’t be always at a peak. Accept that your levels of willpower will go up and down every day. Realize also there are social media, news, and friends, that will interrupt you. They will make everything possible so that you don’t focus on your important project. So accept that even in the motivated moment of the day, you will have interruptions. And perhaps you will be too weak to accept them. So even the motivated moments are dangerous.

So how can you solve this?

Now you think: “But I will be very self-disciplined.” Yes, okay with that, but temptation will attack you every moment of the day. There are fast food restaurants spreading the smell of Croissants to break your diet. There are shops that are permanently redesigned so that you buy impulsively. Everything is designed to weaken your self-control and sell you something. And it’s okay. It’s also how you sell your product or service. But be aware that this 24 hours bombarding place against you.

So first step is knowing that your environment is designed so you are as unproductive as most people. And also know that motivation only lasts some moments. Don’t make it your religion. Waiting for motivation is a fool´s strategy. One day a great day will come, how nice! But meanwhile you do nothing. Days pass and you continue procrastinating your big project. Perhaps one day you will be motivated again. But motivation will again vanish. So first step is knowing this.

1st Step:

Know that motivation isn’t reliable.


And the second step to solve this: having little goals easy to accomplish.

What you need to be productive and finished projects is short-term goals that form part of big goals. Short attainable goals! Something you can focus on regardless of how you feel.

  • It’s, for example, isolating every day two hours to write your book.
  • Or isolating every day one hour to market your products.
  • Or isolating 30 daily minutes to do exercise.


Little attainable goals, not motivation.

You won’t quit watching TV at once. You won’t get rich designing and finishing a big project at once. When you begin to exercise you won’t become a top athlete. This is why you need little goals you can follow.

And there is another thing you must know. In the moments where you feel inspired and make a big plan -those moments also exist – you will design big goals. But then you will say “why not gigantic goals?. Why not the biggest goal of all! Every day I will do this and that… But there will be a lot of things you finally won’t do because reality comes and you won´t be as motivated as the moment you were planning.

And then the crash will be much harder.

Because you missed something: breaking down your big plans into small ones. Very small ones. So even if you are inspired the right big goals into small ones. Do them during some days and you will finish projects. Continue some weeks and you will finish big projects.


2nd Step:

Focus every day on small goals that form part of bigger goals EVERY DAY.


So now that you know this, avoid many shiny strategies you see. There are a lot of gurus speaking about motivation, but what they want is injecting you the drug where you feel in a high so that you get addicted to that sensation. And so you return to them and by a more expensive product. But then, alone at your desk, you will surrender. Yet you will return later to them spending more money to receive your dose of motivation. Of motivation, not results.

But the way to achieve your goals is only with focused chunks of time every day. Slowly but surely. There’s nothing shiny on it. Yet do it daily and you will progress.

Inspiration sounds fantastic. The ambitious morning routine where you will accomplish a lot of things. It sounds fantastic. But it has too many ups and downs. And in a down you can abandon your big plan.

So better do less but with continuity. I’ve finished complete books so, believe me.

Therefore from now on focus on small goals. Also be prepared to be attacked by the world with interruptions and temptations. Yet you will continue disciplined. Think that most of your days will be grey, but be smart to accomplish every grey day something and the day will turn bright. And, of course, in the medium term very good things will happen.

Your options of focused time are endless, choose your own valuation. For example, if you are a morning person (like most people) focus on your key project in the morning. Choose your best three hours for focused work and fully concentrate on your main project. Do this every day clock in hand and you will achieve incredible things. You don’t need more. Finishing small goals you will have big breakthroughs. But never wait for the hero moment. Whatever your goal is, don’t wait for inspiration.

The key is building a solid mind. Use principles, not techniques. And your principle is three hours of focused work every morning for your most important long-term project. Whether you feel motivated or not, the key is dividing big goals into small ones. You will achieve anything so.

Use motivation when it arrives, of course, you would be a fool otherwise. But don’t wait for motivation or you will lose too many opportunities. Think on your past, how much have you procrastinated big projects because you always thought of “I’m going to be motivated one day and do this and that… “

We think that geniuses were motivated. Very motivated. They painted motivated. They created great companies totally inspired. What a genius Leonardo da Vinci! Always great masterpieces thanks to being inspired! No failures. No doubts. Everything effortless.

But Leonardo Da Vinci wasn’t always inspired.

Geniuses knew that motivation wasn’t a thing to rely on. Inspiration wasn’t the best thing. It was continuing. It was building a disciplined mind.

So do like the geniuses. Expect low moments. Accept there will come ups and downs, even in your best days, even if your life is better in the future thanks to this method. Accept it. It’s nothing bad. Even in your focused time of work there will be some: “I want to go up and quit.” Yet continue. Self-discipline is your best friend.

Simply dividing big goals into small goals and focusing every day 3 hours on them will multiply your productivity. And don’t wait for motivation. It’s a trap.

If you also achieved something with only some focused hours every day sent me a comment. I will be glad to hear it!


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About the Author

David Valois

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