Episode 127 | Is Motivation Garbage?

If you’re anything like me, you love good motivation.  We’re told we need to motivate our teams, our volunteers, ourselves, but is it actually garbage?  The definition of motivation is the desire or willingness to do something.  Motivation Garbage comes from Mel Robins and her book The 5 Second Rule.  She says motivation is garbage because if we wait to feel motivation that we will never get anything done.  Her 5 second rule says count backward 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 and just do it.  It counters your brain from feeling scared.  Moving forward and taking action is what helps you accomplish your goals, not waiting for the time you’re going to actually feel motivated.

Our own motivation to get something done comes from the reason or the “why” you’ve set specific goals.  Once you’ve determined your reason, you will naturally feel more compelled to get it done.  Staying actively surrounded with things that are going to help you get to that next place will make a huge difference.  I’ve been listening to Zig Ziglar and I recently found one of his books while I was moving, See You at the Top.  He’s such a great storyteller and knows how to really connect the dots.  He mentions frequently about listening to things repeatedly, and when you do you are much more likely to take action and to make things happen.  The more you rinse and repeat, the more your dopamine receptors are engaged – this can last anywhere from 2 hours to 2 days.  Maybe you’ve gone to hear a speaker at a conference, and you’re all fired up and ready to get to work but then you find yourself not getting anything done so you go back and listen to another speaker to find that high from before. And still, you get nothing done.  The problem in this scenario is you can search externally for all the motivation in the world, but you still MUST take action.  

You’re trying to put on that fundraiser and raise those dollars and you’re motivated to do it, but then reality kicks in and your day to day schedule comes into play and demands your time and attention.  Your motivation begins to wane because your focus is scattered everywhere.  This is when you have to come back to your why and find that internal motivation, rather than external, to help you stay the course.

Any big goal is going to take time, so you have to be able to wake up every day and stay focused.  You have to trick your brain and set yourself up for success by removing the obstacles standing in your way.  Our brains are hardwired to protect us, and when they detect something that is unfamiliar or uncomfortable, it’s hard for us to reach outside that comfort zone.  This is why it’s so important to remind yourself that you are in control of your decisions and actions.  Try using the 5 second rule in your life this week to get tasks marked off your list.  The perfect moment to get something done does not exist, so you might as well take that moment right now.

For missionaries or ministry leaders go check out fullyfundedacademy.com, nonprofitexecutiveclub.com for nonprofit leaders.  For more information about Mary Valloni, visit maryvalloni.com and to download our free Fundraising Freedom Roadmap, go to maryvalloni.com/roadmap.

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