Right now, I’m not feeling that motivated. In fact, I haven’t felt very inspired or motivated all week. Given that motivating and inspiring others is my passion and it’s what I do every day, you’d think my career was over. You’d think maybe I have no more positivity left in me.
Even the most inspirational people in the world have times when nothing happens.
I recently watched Gary Vaynerchuk give advice to a young teenager. The teenager said:
“Gary, my girlfriend broke up with me and a relative just died. The last two weeks are hell.”
Gary took a few deep breaths and you just knew he was going to say something epic – and he did.
He said to the boy “Two weeks of lows doesn’t define the rest of your life.”
We’re all entitled to be down for a bit.
What I learned from Gary is that we are all going to have times during our life where nothing sticks. In the last few weeks, I’ve missed several great career opportunities, had a lot of rejection, seen a slump in shares/likes on some social media platforms and had some personal challenges.
All of this is normal.
What’s not normal is what you see online.
That’s the real point here. What is normal has been overshadowed by all the self-help, success talk that happens online 24/7. We’re being bombarded by it and we think we have to be motivated 100% of the time.
If we have a day when we’re not inspired, we think something is wrong. In my case, given my profession, it’s even harder. There’s this stigma that I have to be some perfect human being to do what I do. That’s BS.
It’s normal for anyone you admire and even your heroes to have low points or long periods of nothing – that’s the actual norm. The highlight reel you see online of the people you follow is what’s not normal. No one lives life like how we see people living online.
The cameras are only with these people of influence some of the time. What you didn’t see was them taking a dump or having an argument with their partner.
All you saw was a highly edited success reel of what they wanted you to see so they could send you to a landing page, put up a payment wall and monetize you. That’s what being motivated 100% of the time told them to do.
You can’t blame them entirely.
What the internet really needs is more of the truth. That is, more people talking about what goes wrong, more people documenting what’s really happening.
In simple terms, the internet needs less perceived perfection and success, and more of what’s real like disappointment, f*ck ups and challenges.
Not being motivated is where it all happens.
The opposite of what we’re led to believe is true. It’s during the moments of zero inspiration, bugger all motivation and low points that we discover who we are. It’s in our weakest moments that our strength, resilience and courage is built.
What I’ve learned during my recent low moments is that if I can handle this sh*t, then I can handle anything.
“Motivation comes from eating crap for dinner every day of the week and still persisting with your goals”
I’m writing these words today and not really feeling like it. It’s the art of doing even through the tough times that allows me to have a 60-second highlight reel on social media that makes me look like a freaking god that goes viral all over the internet hourly.
My success highlight reel looks very impressive and it sounds fantastic during one of the speeches I give. In job interviews, it really helps. When I pitch for business, it gives me credibility.
Our success highlight reels look freaking phenomenal but it’s 0.99% of the actual story.
If humans are motivated by storytelling, then let’s start telling the real story.
We’re not f*cking motivated 100% of the time so let’s stop pretending we are. Cheers to the moments when we feel like dirt and keep going.
Then everything changes.
What do I mean? This week I have no motivation but I already sense that next week is shaping up to be a big one. I find out about a number of life-changing opportunities. Knowing I could get through a tough week and be cool to keep inspiring gives me hope. That hope translates into strength.
Next week could be a disaster and these so-called life-changing opportunities could all amount to a mound of dust and broken dreams. But because I survived the tough times I know I can excel during times when I plateau, go backwards or even experience massive growth.
“It only takes one moment for everything to change and before you know it you’re 100 steps ahead of where you thought you’d be”
Quit the game.
The game of endless success. The rat race that is showing how perfect you are.
Show up with your best self. If that best self is 1% motivated or 100% motivated it doesn’t matter. The fact you showed up and got through the quicksand of life is all that counts. Sometimes that struggle will look like winning an Oscar and other times that struggle will look like pissing your pants.
Take a step back and see the bigger picture.
No one (including me) needs to, or is, motivated 100% of the time.
You don’t need to be either.