How to Get It Wrong When It Comes to Motivation and What to Do About It

I can’t move.


I am not able to get myself to do anything.

I am in a rut.

I do the same things over and over, yet I am merely spinning my wheels.

Whenever my wife suggest we do something with our business, my first reaction is to not do it. To make an excuse. To get frustrated. To be mad. To avoid it. Say I am busy. Or can we do it later?


This is the opposite of what I need to do.

Also sometimes it really is just bad timing.

I think the thing about it is that I get overwhelmed easily. Immediately my mind goes to all the things that we have yet to have done that need to get done. Then the list builds. The tasks become too great in my mind. The fear of failure creeps up. The ease of not doing anything sets in and I get to the point where I am now…

Instead of doing it all at once I have to constantly remind myself “to do one thing at once”.

And then the next.

Baby steps.

It is all easier when it is broken down and then put together as a part of a part. That way I don’t self destruct and get overwhelmed. But then once I get over being overwhelmed, I still have to root around for a reason…

Why do something when I can do nothing instead?

That is where I reach the need for motivation.

This is really got me going lately because I have been thinking about putting together a follow up book to Conspire to Inspire that is about Motivation.

I told my wife this and she said, “You’re going to be a motivational speaker, aren’t you?”


And no.

Probably not really, but I really want to motivate. I already started something with wanting to Conspire to Inspire but then I thought the inspiration needs a motivation behind it.

Once you get excited then you need a motive.

Or at least I do.

And so that got me thinking beyond all that “intrinsic” and “extrinsic” motivation talk you hear in Psychology class. Or business class. Or Marking class. Or Leadership books. Or… you get the idea.

That may be true, but what is also true is that I have found out some things that don’t work for me.

Things that often times we are told should be motivation or come to accept as motivation, but come with some pitfalls and other side effects. It’s not that they are “wrong” or “can’t work”. I think they come with baggage that is best to be avoided.

Don’t use dissatisfaction as motivation.

Often times I have a negative perspective. I look around and realize that I don’t have this or I don’t have that. I used to have this. I want that. Then I become dissatisfied. Or I might not like the situation that I am in when it comes to work, or school, or debt or whatever the case may be at the moment.

Then I think: “This can be changed.

Which is a good thought.

But then I think: “Yeah, you are better than this. Or deserve more than this. Or are smarter than this.”

And I have learned most the time: “No, no I am not.”

That is how I have ended up here.

But that is okay that I am not better, stronger, faster, or smarter because “This can be changed.”

When I let this situations motivate me however, I have come to notice something. I can always find more to be dissatisfied with. There is never an end to dissatisfaction. Or to put it another way “I can’t get no, I can’t get no, I can’t get no satisfaction.

This creates a problem.

This puts me into a disappointment circle.

There is always not enough.

What to do about this when I have these feelings?

I realize that there is “never enough” or that “I will never have everything I want”. And instead of focusing on this aspect, I try to be grateful for the things I do have. I recently started reading Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations and he talks about how much everything is dependent on everything else.

How to make a nail the worker needs to have food. To have food you need a farmer. The farmer needs a plough. The smith forges the plough. And on and on. We are all interconnected.

I have had these line of thoughts before when I realized that I cannot do this (life) all alone.

I need others.

Don’t use fear as a motivator.

I was reading a post online the other day about how someone was struggling with fear. Heck, I am afraid of all sorts of things sometimes! But when I was reading the comments on the post someone suggested to use the fear as motivation.

I know I have thought this before too.

It is similar to dissatisfaction but deeper. Fear is everywhere! There is FOMO (fear of missing out). Fear of not having enough to eat. Fear of not having enough money to pay the bills.

The list of things that I can fear goes on and on…

I believe that “God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.”

Now to find out not to give into the fear and to find the love and self-control.

Using fear as a motivator is self-focused. I turn my thinking towards my own comfort. On my own needs, wants, comfort or desires. Usually I have fear when my comfort will be upset. (i.e. I don’t get my way or what I want.)

When I am afraid I think only on how the results affect me.

I am not thinking about how much value or help I am providing to others.

Instead I am self-focused.

This doesn’t really help me in the end. This only makes me more selfish. Which usually leads me to being more afraid.

Moments are meaningful to me but not motivation.

I love “free time” but what time is “free time” and what is “wasting time”?

It has been said “Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.”

So yeah, do I do that?

Not really.

I waste so much time on pointless, trivial, and silly things. But I deserve to, right? I mean I work hard for the weekend…


I am not owed anything or any time.

I may die today. I am going to drive somewhere and driving is deadly. Who knows? I might not wake up tomorrow. Don’t get me wrong. I hope to. I am counting on it. But I am not owed it.

So the moments of my life mean things to me. Especially those spent with my wife, my dogs, my friends, my family. But truly I say to you that I am not the most responsible with them.

What is worthy of pursuing?

What is the most important thing to do today?

All of these thoughts have troubled me at one point or another. I am not saying I have answers. I am saying “I do the best I can”. And by that I mean, I tell myself that I am doing the best I can.

But can I do better?


Getting into the use or none use of time wisely always drives me bonkers.Ultimately I have found that the best thing to do is to just make small improvements each day and let go of the results.

This sounds like a lazy way to handle this to me.

And to be frank I am kinda lazy sometimes.

Money as Motivation

Does it motivate me?

Yes and no.

I love making 35 cents or any amount if it is gained through something I creatively produced. The opposite of earning money through creation is getting it by “easy” ways.

Money easily gotten is money easily gone.

Money motivates me to go to work. To an extent.

To get it so I can turn around and pay it to others…

But to get more money what must I do?

Why should anyone give me any money? I think many of us know there is tons of money out there in the economy. We know many people are getting more of it than we are. Often we like to think it is some how or another connected to the internet…

And we all have the internet.

So we should all have more money, right?


What do I do that people will give me there money?


What can I do so that people give me their money?


Creativity means the most to me.

Writing this is a formulation of my thoughts into a message to share with you. Or with me in the future because honestly who reads this? Not even me sometimes.

The action on making something where there was nothing is fulfilling to me.

To have a message to share to help us. Or attempt to help us. Or to entertain. Or pass the time. Or distract. Whatever the case is, it is an outlet of expression aimed at doing good in the world.

It is a plan to add value or to help.

This is where motivation for me truly lies.

That I can have some purposeful interaction that helps someone improve. That this will be read by one or one million. I don’t know. But this I do know, that we have made it this far and where we will go will be created one day, one moment, one breath at at time.

Even if we are all just sitting still as it happens.


Want to know more about Conspire to Inspire?

In it I will tell how I put together my dream team of virtual mentors, including Zig Zigglar, James Altucher and other.

Oh and I wrote about why you should care.

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