You’re Not Lazy, Bored, or Unmotivated
And the cure for what really ails you can be found in an advertising slogan you’ve heard before
I don’t know you, but I know this: You have internet access, and enough time to spend some of it reading.
It sounds obvious, but this tells me two more important things about you: One, you’re in the top half of humanity’s wealth distribution, because the other half of the world’s population isn’t even online yet. And two, since you’re here, you’re likely fighting a very modern human fight. You’ve probably already got the basics covered — food, a roof over your head. For you, the obstacles to a better, happier life aren’t all concrete. You’re trying to defeat more abstract enemies: laziness, boredom, self-doubt, procrastination.
Here’s the thing: All these concepts are one and the same. And there’s only one way to deal with them.
You’re not lazy. You’re not bored. You’re not unmotivated. What you are — what all of us are — is afraid. And the best advice for overcoming fear is the bland three-word sentence Nike turned into the most successful marketing slogan of all time (after slightly tweaking a serial killer’s last words): Just do it.
You’re not unmotivated
“I’m not motivated” is never a true statement. Not motivated to do what? Work? In that case, aren’t you motivated to avoid it? Every action human beings ever take is driven by some kind of incentive, whether it’s money, or happiness, or peace, or satisfying your conscience. Your motivation may not always be obvious, but it’s always there.
If you hate every second of the workday, you’re not unmotivated to change your job. But you haven’t, which means there’s something holding you back. For some reason, it feels like you can’t make the change. It’s too hard, requires too much effort, makes you too vulnerable to rejection. So you don’t even try. But that’s entirely different from not being motivated, and it’s only a sign that it’s time to dig into this feeling.
You’re not bored
I once struck up a chat on Tinder with a woman who was a scrum master and a physiologist. She was in business school, but, really, she wanted to…