Tuesday, May 28, 2024

These Three Simple Words Will Help You Overcome Your Lack Of Motivation


Facing the harsh truth will focus you on what truly matters.

We all have that one thing.

The one thing we should do – but don’t. Sorting out the paperwork that’s been sitting on your desk for ages. Spring-cleaning the house and garage. Finally signing up for the gym or getting back into your workouts again. Every time you try, your motivation falls off the cliff like a 1980s cartoon character.

So you procrastinate, tell yourself you’ll do it tomorrow, and sit down on the couch watching TV again – poof, all motivation gone.

I know how easy it is to make excuses. “I’ll do it when I have more time, once this is over, or next weekend when I’ve got more energy.” The harsh truth?

Most of these “tomorrows” never come – and we fall short of our potential.

“This is our big mistake: To think we look forward to death. Most of death is already gone. Whatever time has passed is owned by death.” – Seneca

Do you want to be on your deathbed looking back at all the things you wish you did?

I know it’s an uncomfortable thought – but you can use it to your advantage.

The Stoic Wisdom That Will Change Your View On Life

Imagine this grand scenery for a second.

Back in the days of the Roman empire, the victorious generals would ride through the streets in a triumphal chariot, the public’s eyes glued to them like chocolate ice cream to a toddler’s mouth.

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While the citizens cheered at the hero, few noticed the aide standing behind him. But he had a crucial role.

Every so often, he’d whisper into the general’s ear, “Remember, you are mortal.”

It sounds confusing – why would you get such a devastating message at the height of your victory?

Because it helps you remember what matters.

“You could leave life right now. Let that determine what you do and say and think.” – Marcus Aurelius

This is what the Stoics called the “meditation on mortality.” It is not about fostering fear but about embracing the preciousness of the present. It’s a call to focus on what’s truly important, stripping away trivial concerns and living each moment with purpose and virtue.”

Remember that life could be over any second, so it’s best not to waste any second of it.

If you use it well, this thought can give you the kick in the butt you need.

How To Use This To Massively Motivate Yourself

In the past years, I’ve had a few close encounters with death.

A falling coconut hit my shoulder, barely missing my head. A boat didn’t see my friend and me swimming, turning at the last moment before the hull crashed into us. A foothold broke during rock climbing, and without a hefty portion of luck and the lightning reflexes of my guardian angel, I would’ve been a puddle of strawberry jam on the ground.

Each of these incidents shook me awake and made me appreciate my time on this planet more.

I vowed to spend less time on social media, called my parents more often, and doubled my efforts on my gratitude practice.

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With every incident, I’ve learned something crucial: Death is both our biggest fear and biggest motivator.

When you remind yourself that you’ll die, you cut the bullshit. You know that when the time comes, the excuses don’t count. You meet the cold, hard facts.

Fortunately, you don’t have near-misses with death every day – your stress levels would be higher than Taylor Swift ticket prices.

You can use these practices instead.

Use reminders

After one of my close calls, I changed my phone background to a simple “I Will Die.”

Every time I unlock it – which Americans do 144 times per day on average – I see that little reminder. Every time, it reminds me of the uncomfortable truth.

If this feels depressing to you, then it’s even more of a sign that you have too many things left undone.

illustration of a hand holding a phone with a background that reads "i will die"

Don’t run from the feeling. Use the wallpapers on your phone and laptop, a post-it on your apartment door, a little note in front of the TV so it makes you think before you turn it on.

Remind yourself of the truth.

Meditate on it

The next time you lack motivation, close your eyes for a second.

Imagine yourself on your deathbed. Imagine your family looking at you, imagine yourself revisiting everything you’ve done in your life.

Do you want to blame yourself that you rather scrolled through social media and watched TV instead of working on your purpose and spending time with your loved ones?

With this thought in mind, remind yourself: “I will die.”

Feel into it. Become aware that you don’t have forever on this planet. Ask yourself if you’re willing to leave what matters undone.

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Let death help you appreciate life

How many times have you been in an uncomfortable situation you wished would be over quickly?

The boring meeting. The fight with your partner. The nagging kids. The pain burning through your muscles in the gym.

We often wish we could skip the “bad” parts to get to the “good” ones.

But what if I told you that you only had one day to live? One week? One month? That this is the last time you get to experience this facet of your life?

Wouldn’t you cherish it and soak up every last drop like a lost wanderer a puddle of water in the desert?

The truth is, you don’t know when your life will be over.

You just know it will be.

So cherish it. Do what matters. Don’t waste your time.

Feel the significance when you say:

“I will die.”





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