Know who rely just on motivation? Rookies.
One of the biggest insights in my life came about a few months ago.
For a very long time, I was of the opinion that “will power” can propel you forward through any endeavors. I mean, I had experiential evidence to believe this. I used to blog daily during 2012-2013 where I managed to ship 630+ blog posts. My secret was a strong dose of motivation every day.
I would watch videos of Seth Godin, listen to the masterful soundtrack of the Dark Knight trilogy and hype myself up to force myself to sit and write a few words daily. There was a downside to this however. This utter dependence on “motivation and mood” was costly and it almost ruined me. I would spend hours at a time trying to “be in the right mindset” to write that I had pushed everything aside. Sometimes it took 1 hour to write and other times 4 hours. I was a college student and had all the luxury to be locked up in my little apartment all day (well, if you consider eating breakfast cereal for dinner and going to bed at 2am to be a luxury!).
Eventually, I gave up as I graduated since it was too much of a hassle to do this with a 9-5 job.
I had learnt a tough lesson: will power doesn’t scale.
However, deep down I always carried the desire to blog and share my views with the world. Fast forward to a 2018, I am thrilled to be back at it. Well, there’s a key difference this time. I am not relying on my will power to write.
I am resting on the power of simple habits to help me push forward.
As I have shared before, I cultivated the following habit:
"Every work day at 8:30am, drop everything and open laptop to write one full sentence”.
This is unsexy, unfashionable and unbraggable. This is my version of doing 1 rep in the gym.
I fully understand how laughable this challenge sounds. The 2012 KP would totally under-estimate the magic in this method.
Well, let me tell you I am close to 87 blog posts since the last few months already and I have never enjoyed writing more. It feels like a super light enjoyable experience and my average blog post time is less than 50 min.
I took a minute to reflect on sport dynasties who rely on habits and systems more than motivation. Just like you and me, the Alabama players don’t wake up every morning feeling inspired yet they put in the reps and do the grunt work and win anyway.
We can safely say the Warriors don’t have their peak motivation all of the 82 games to support them yet they put in the reps and do the grunt work that leads to victories.
Rookies rely on motivation. Professionals rest on the power of habits.
And champions go one extra level, they do the grunt work because of their identity, it’s who they are.