Here’s Why Motivation Is Clickbait
I consider myself a hardcore self-help junkie. I spend hours a day finding different Ted talks, sermons, podcasts, books, snippets of conversations based on how to improve the daily experience we call life and pursue growth.
So, I would say that I am well-acquainted with the idea of motivation and its many applications, which is why I can say with full conviction that motivation is clickbait: quite misguiding and is certainly not something to push others to live by.
I know, I know. Not quite what you expected, but bear with me, it’s about to get real.
When I was given this topic to write about, I knew that there was so much to be written on this, and there could and would be one thousand cheesy ways to explain how to motivate yourself and, in turn, those around you. But, it would be inauthentic and a “copy paste” version of so many posts already found on the web.
So, I sat and thought about what made me second-guess this topic and why it made me think that motivation is a “bumper sticker” type solution to an underlying problem. The truth came through when I searched the definition of the word, which planted the seed to the answer.
I needed to search the definition of motivation because semantics matter, meaning matters, and the words we use have impact. So here it is;
To motivate is defined as; “To cause someone to have interest or enthusiasm” That doesn’t sound so bad, enthusiasm is deemed positive and it’s important to have interests, but I had to unpack this definition further, and the word “enthusiasm” jumped out at me. Enthusiasm’s definition is “Intense and eager enjoyment, interest or approval”
There it is, the part of the definition that makes me raise an eyebrow, “intense”. Which is defined as “something of extreme force”.
Anything “intense” cannot be sustained. It requires a constant amount of energy, which means you need continuous effort. In my opinion, that’s freaking exhausting, if I want to feel the “Joie De Vivre” on a long-term basis I need something that is maintainable and natural, not something forced.
Don’t get me wrong, motivation has its place, and I am totally guilty of loving a good quote that makes me feel the rush of motivation, but the truth is, motivation is short lived. We seek short videos and posts to make us feel better, giving us that instant gratification to get through the next 5 minutes. Motivation is a high, and highs never last. It’s the band aid on the bullet wound of self-doubt and self-esteem issues. Motivation is a quick fix, not a life style or state of being. And for us to go about our everyday lives with the confidence and trust in ourselves that we’ve got this, we are powerful, strong and capable of facing any situation, we need lifestyle changes.
So, If Motivation Is Not The Solution, Then What Is?
The key is inspiration.
To Inspire means “To fill someone with the ability to do or feel something”. “Inspire” is such an engaging word because it explains that it must first fill someone.
You fill from the inside first, and the natural chain reaction to filling oneself is the ability to do or feel something. It’s action-based, it makes you want to get up and do, you’ve become inspired and only then, you will truly inspire others.
So How Do We Do That? How Do We Become Inspired And Inspire Others?
1.) This one you hear all the time, but I whole heartedly believe is the very first step to leading an inspired life. Gratitude. The minute you start being thankful for what you already have right now, your view on your life will start to change because you’ve shifted your focus. You’re no longer looking at what you don’t have which is easy to be miserable about, but you’ve found the good in the environment you already encompass and realise how truly remarkable your life already is.
Inspiration doesn’t need to be accompanied by things, it’s accompanied by you. You are the inspiration you need.
2.) We need to realise that we will never change because of outside factors, but that true change comes from within. To look at the life we are leading and to be brutally honest with ourselves. Who we are, how we behave, what’s important and what we choose to accept and allow into our domain. We must make a conscious decision to change the life we are living, for the better, and to make that choice every single day.
Do just these 2 things, and you’re already a million times further than most people walking the streets pretending that they’re motivated. Do these 2 things ,and I guarantee your life will make a 180 flip.
Being inspired isn’t easy, and I don’t want you to think that this is yet another quick fix. But its far easier than trying to cover up your issues with pretty quotes every day, for the rest of your existence, forcing yourself to feel motivated. It’s easier because you choose to change. And when it’s your choice, you take back the power in what you’re doing, and when you take back the power of your life and stand in your truth… magic happens.
Listen, no one will ever be inspired every single day, that’s just unrealistic (honestly it would be kind of annoying and creepy if you were constantly inspiring) but you can’t unlearn what you already know, so even though you will have hard days where everything is coming down all at once, you’ll have the tools to do to bring yourself back to who you really are.
There’s this amazing quote (see, I love them too 😉) from a book called A Return to Love by Marianne Williamson, that says “It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone and as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give others permission to do the same.”
Born in Congo, Belgian by passport, raised in SA
BBA in Brand building and management
Proud dog mom
Coffee, travel, writing enthusiast