Motivation Monday: Start Now!

Now! Right now! Forget about reading this post, go out and do that thing that you should be doing to make your life better. Go!

Now that we got that out of the way, let’s talk about why starting now is better than starting later.  There are so many excuses you can make when there’s something you want to do.  “There’s not enough time,” “I need to learn more or build a skill first,” “That just isn’t possible for me,” “I have to give up everything I have now.”

It’s hard to start something new and work toward something different or better.  Especially when you’ve spent so much time making your life comfortable, enjoyable, and stable.  Stability is nice and safe, whether it’s financial stability, relationship stability, or job security. Human beings would rather gain nothing than lose something.  If I gave you ten dollars today, and then came back tomorrow and took it away without warning, would you be upset? Or would it have been better if I had just never given it to you in the first place? In either case, you end up even, you haven’t actually lost anything overall.  Let’s think of another scenario. What if I told you that to earn $100, you had to run for 30 minutes? Is it worth it? Now let’s change the game a bit.  Now you have to run for 30 minutes or I get to take $100 from you.  Which scenario would make you run? You might run for 30 minutes for $100, depending on your level of fitness and your desire for the money.  But I would bet most people would do the 30 minutes of running to avoid losing the money.

The fear of loss is a stronger motivator than the prospect of gain.

Knowing that it’s harder for a person to deal with losing what they already have than it is to fail at acquiring something new, it makes a lot of sense that people become ‘set in their ways,’ without trying to improve their lives.  So the excuses about not having enough time, needing to build new skills, or not believing you can succeed, they are all phony, excuses you make because of the fear of loss outweighing the desire for positive growth.

Look back a little bit, a few years, or decades if you’re older.  There was a time when you had none of the things you have now.  Were you unhappy? Probably not, and I’ll bet you derived some enjoyment from the battle to move forward in your career, save up for a home, meet new and interesting people. With nothing to lose, you were free to take risks to go after something. But now that you have this life that took years to craft, why put that in jeopardy to go for something bigger?  This is the problem.

There are extenuating circumstances.  You have mortgages, kids, pets.  You have things that we are committed to take care of, and people that you support.  It makes sense to keep things as they are because major change might mean that you wouldn’t be able to support the ones you love.  And it certainly wouldn’t be worth it to risk everything to go after something you want.  Well the good news is that you don’t have to risk everything.

I put it to you, it is possible for anyone to change their circumstances.  Most people can’t quit their job and start something new overnight, and that is perfectly reasonable. But it doesn’t take much to make a change.  You just have to start.

Start reading about a subject that interests you.  Start producing content, music, art, or anything else you want to produce.  Pick up a hobby, talk to someone new, take a class.  You’ll suck at it, no question, but starting slowly, doing a little bit every day, means you are moving forward.  This process, small steps, learning as you go along, it’s exactly the same thing you did all those years ago when working toward your current life.  So why can’t you do it again? Maybe it will be tougher, and maybe you’ll fail, but no matter what, you’ll be glad you tried.  You’ll be glad you fought for something you wanted, and you didn’t give up the things that matter to you now.

Really it comes back to what I’ve said time and time again.  Make manageable changes. Learn as you go along.  And don’t give up!

Get to work!


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