#20 Motivation is a myth

Motivation is a myth.

Heard this in one of Ali Abdaal's Not Overthinking podcast episode 10: Why do we struggle with motivation?

This perspective would be useful in getting things done in the future. 

Some key points I took from it:

Discipline is more important than motivation. Ali shared a blog post from wisdomination.com that changed his life. From the blog post, 

"Motivation operates on the erroneous assumption that a particular mental or emotional state is necessary to complete a task.


Discipline separates outwards functioning from moods and feelings and thereby ironically circumvents the problem by consistently improving them. "

Ali added "Action comes first and the motivation follows. In essence, action leads to motivation which leads to more action."

Some hacks that were mentioned in the podcast: 

1. Make the action more pleasurable.

2. Make inaction less pleasurable - for example, having a deal with a friend that you have to pay them money if you don't do something - that would make not doing more painful and so might actually push you towards doing it. 

3. Make the outcome of the action more salient. 

4. Reducing the friction of doing the activity itself can radically reduce the cognitive effort to get started and overcome the motivation mind-block. Laying out tasks or having a schedule and knowing what exactly it is you are going to revise for that day or do for that day means that you need lesser motivation and there is less friction in starting the activity.  


That's all for today, see you tomorrow!


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