I’m constantly in search for motivation because I’m lazy. For example, I know I should be lifting weights or doing core conditioning on the days I do not play tennis but I slack off all the time by just taking naps in the afternoon while no one is looking. My top opponents are all extremely fit and skilled. The pacifist in me sometimes thinks, If they beat me, it’s no big deal since it’s only tennis. This is exactly the attitude of losers.
Mr. Miyagi said it best when Daniel-san was undecided on whether to learn karate. He said, “Either you karate do “yes,” or karate do “no.” You karate do “guess so”, and get squished like grape.” There’s no point doing anything if we don’t give it our best. If we go half way, we’ll just end up being bitter about our failures and complain about other people’s successes.
I’ve noticed there’s a correlation in motivation levels between the offline world and the online world. If you tend to be a highly enthusiastic person offline, your online energy will show. You’ll probably post more often and have funnier, more uplifting types of posts.
If you tend to be lazy offline like me, then you will probably post a little less than you should. You can kind of hide your laziness by writing ahead so you’ve always got a post in the pipeline that reflects previous high energy. The problem is your laziness eventually catches up.
ONLINE CHIP FOR MOTIVATION
Anybody who’s been blogging for more than a year will experience burnout at some point. My burnout seems to occur when I suffer from the occasional allergy attack or cold. All I want to do when I’m sneezing my head off is sleep. Computer be damned.
Before attending Fincon 12 in Denver last fall, I was beginning to get the lazy bug online given I had just finished writing my book. All I wanted to do was relax for a month and let people find my writing instead of actively going out and marketing my product.
Even though I had a couple posts in the queue I could publish, I didn’t feel like publishing any of them because that would mean I’d have to spend some moderating and responding to comments. When you are no longer thrilled to get comments on a post, you know you’re suffering from online apathy.
When I got to Fincon, I was immediately energized by all my fellow bloggers who were doing great on their respective sites. But what really got me going wasn’t so much other people’s successes since I’m just happy for those who are able to achieve their desires. Instead, a single sentence by a freelance writer fired me up for the next several months.
We got to talking about how his freelance writing business was going and his going rate. At the time, I was considering hiring a freelance writer to help contribute while I took an online vacation. What he said gave me a little shock. He replied, “You probably can’t afford me.”
Did he just say that? Dayuuum! I didn’t realize I was talking to such a big baller freelance writer. I told him, “You’re probably right given my blog is still relatively small.”
“Yeah, probably,” the freelancer went on.
After a little more conversation he finally said that he charges $100 and up on average for a fully researched post that’s over 1,000 words long. Not cheap. But perhaps totally worth it if the post can bring in a recurring stream of affiliate income for years.
We parted ways and I was excited to check out his $100+ freelance posts examples for myself. Not bad, but not spectacular either. I would have strongly considered hiring him if it wasn’t for his off commentary. Instead, I snapped out of my lazy malaise and started publishing 5,000+ words a month on Financial Samurai for the next 10 weeks in a row. 5,000 words a week was literally 40-50% more production than the average of the last 150 weeks.
It’s been six months since our encounter and only now is my energy starting to fade again. No matter, the effort I put in for the previous six months should help bring a wave of future readers thanks to search.
THE MAGIC ELIXIR
We should generally approach goals by trying to prove to ourselves we can do it. That said, it’s just so enjoyable to prove a naysayer wrong. If you watch any sporting event such as the NCAA tournament, you’ll hear over and over again how doubters motivated the players to succeed. It’s in an athlete’s DNA to train so hard that we have no choice but to vanquish our opponents or die trying.
Success in life is pretty straight forward. Work hard, get along well with others, produce something of value and persevere. Sometimes, however, we just don’t have any fire left to carry on. Even if you are the least competitive person on the planet, I encourage you to seek the soul crushers. What they say might be inadvertent or small, but try pretending you just received the most tremendous insult if you want to get fired up!
The magic elixir of motivation is out there. Don’t let the good life of first world living wrap you in its web of complacency.
Readers, do you have a chip or an imaginary chip on your shoulder you use to motivate yourself? What are some of the ways you motivate yourself during the times you just don’t want to carry on? Are you inspired by insults and naysayers? Any insults you’d like to throw my way? It’s been several months so I need some!