This article is about a common misconception and something that can change your life if you understand it and use it daily.
Let's look at a few questions all of us have heard, asked or at least thought about -
Q1: How is Cristiano Ronaldo so energetic and motivated all the time?
Q2: I want to do it but I need just a little bit of motivation. How?
Q3: What is the motivation for Elon Musk to build SpaceX and go to Mars?
Q4: What motivated Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs to become billionaires?
Take a moment to think about answers to these questions .... and then read ahead!
If Motivation was available on Flipkart it would most likely be really really expensive.
Were you thinking something like this?
A1: "Winning?" , "Money?" , "Fame?" , "Love for Football?"
A2: "Maybe I should wait?" , "Watch motivational videos?"
A3: "Science?" "Technology?"
A4: "Money?" "Fame?" "Power?" "Contribute to Society?"
Here is a secret. All those answers are wrong. The answer lies in a concept of Science.
You do not need motivation to do something.
YES! It is in fact the exact reverse. You need to do something to create motivation.
Here is the fact. When you keep doing something for an amount of time, every small effort starts to create small chances of success and completion... 0.1%...0.5%.... 1%. Let's call it a 'small win'. And when you do it for long enough and chances of success or completion start looking better - with the bunch of 'small wins' - then the motivation kicks in and you want to do it more and more and take it to completion for the 'big win'. So without action, there is no motivation.
Here is the simple science. Remember Dopamine? Yes the benzene ring with two hydroxyl groups and one amine joined through an ethyl chain. Simply put, Dopamine increases focus and the drive to take the task to completion. And where will the Dopamine come from? It is released slowly when you do something that creates a 'small win' - a chance of success and completion like trying to hit a six while playing cricket. If you read our previous blog about Sports you may be able to relate. Every small effort you make of succeeding creates a 'small win' which in turn release a little bit of dopamine. And once you have enough of it flowing in your body, you are focused and ready to get things done.
So, Ronaldo also gets bored for the first few minutes of the game but he keeps running around and creates chances... a little bit of motivation is created with every chance, every pass he gets, every tackle - every 'small win'. It is the same for Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos ... they just do what has to be done and when they keep doing it - every failure motivates them to find success, every 'small win' motivates them to find even more success.
Here is the lesson. Everyone gets bored when they start doing something - including studying. When you keep putting efforts to create better chances of success, more motivation will flow in. How much is enough? There is no exact answer to it - someone needs to put 5 minutes, some need 15 minutes and some may need 30 minutes. But everyone needs to put that initial effort, create a chance of success and only then will motivation kick in.
Don't wait for motivation. Start doing what needs to be done, do it long enough and motivation will flow like never before. *Use the 15 minute rule, make it a habit.*
The rule is that when you try to do anything, at least do it for 15 minutes. Do not get up before trying for at least 15 minutes.
Lack of motivation is just an excuse used by those who do not know Science! Now you know!
PS: *Only for avid readers* This science is also correlated to something called "The Writer's Paradox". A writer has to slog and bore to write the first 15-20 pages of the book without knowing what it will look like. Once he completes those 15-20 pages, book starts to take a shape and motivation kicks in and pushes him to to complete the book. For those who want to read more about this can download the PDF below.
You can also watch this video of Elon Musk talking about how the people he looked up to as idols like Neil Armstrong demotivated him in his journey but he kept on going.
PPS: This is a series of blog posts every weekend - Saturday and Sunday - for my students to learn and benefit from. A way for us to always remain connected beyond school and tuition classes. I welcome suggestions from my students about the topics they would like me to research and write about. If your suggestion is selected, I will mention your name in credits of the blog. Please like, share and subscribe to the blog for more grown-up advice. Stay safe and stay connected always :).