Action And Performance Precede Motivation

Discussion in 'Education & Personal Growth' started by Rihana, Oct 26, 2017.

  1. Rihana

    Rihana Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    We look for motivation to start something we already want very badly to start. To do something we already know is very good for us. Is the thing to do. We spend resources and time looking and waiting for motivation. The wait feels good. You are on the brink of doing something noble, rewarding, and on your to-do list. You look forward to the satisfaction of crossing that task of your list or the joy and relief of having started on a new habit. You just need that nudge that you are sure will come when you find the motivation. Once you are motivated, action will surely follow.

    Wrong. Motivation will not come until you take action. Any motivation you achieve by watching inspirational videos or reading encouraging articles with pithy and well-written steps will last only for a short time. Not long enough to see you through the entire action.

    Get started. Accomplish a tiny bit. The satisfaction that comes will be very organic, very personal and very specific to the entire goal. Action and performance precede motivation.

    "Nothing makes a person more productive than the last ten minutes." ~ Neil Patrick Harris.

    It flies in the face of the common sense we associate with following up on our noble intentions or life's mundane or challenging to-do's. As we procrastinate and avoid what we should be doing, we look harder for motivation, believing it will somehow make us purer or stronger and set us on the path to completing the desired. Never happens. We simply have to dive in and get started. Act. Perform. Motivation will follow.

    I had to complete reading a book today. A book I wish I did not have to read. I looked high and low for the motivation and inspiration to read it. Even started reading a book on motivation. Desultorily clicked through a few TEDx videos too. Then, by some superhuman or supernatural prodding, or running out of excuses, got through one chapter. Annotated it too. Author was funny even on a serious topic. I vaguely considered adding him to the list of people to send a gift to in the holidays. Made it through half of the next chapter. Had one Halloween candy. Read through my annotations. Realized he was putting in well-crafted words the very thoughts I had on the topic. Action and performance started their promised transformation. The end of the book came too soon. I double-checked the scroll-bar to make sure I was indeed done reading the book.

    The common conception is that motivation leads to action, but the reverse is true — action precedes motivation. You have to ”prime the pump” and get the juice flowing, which motivates you to work on your goals. Getting momentum going is the most difficult part of the job, and often taking the first step is enough to prompt you to make the best of your day.” – Robert J. McKain

    Action and the associated performance precede motivation. Do not wait for motivation. You might wait for ever. Take action. Get started.

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    Last edited: Oct 26, 2017
    alady2018, sindmani, Gauri03 and 10 others like this.
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  2. iamsrihere

    iamsrihere Platinum IL'ite

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    Very true..Motivation is a very personal feeling. No wonder it is short lived when we search for it outside..
     
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  3. Nonya

    Nonya Platinum IL'ite

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    Yes. Action precedes motivation.
    Novice chess players know this to be true. For them, any first move with a pawn or a horsie is the same as any other, no matter how the masters of the game choose their first move. Once the novice is in the game, and the "game is on", the moves come easy. I had often observed that this is the immigrant story in America. The first move was tough, and then, as they say, "the game is on". Failure, and being sent back, ain't an option. What-is-not-failure would evolve through the years, as the immigrant considers and chooses from the options offered in the game.

    Goals are usually fuzzy, and continue to evolve as we gain more information.
     
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  4. SunPa

    SunPa Platinum IL'ite

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    This is so true, thanks for putting it into words for me to understand.

    Coincidentally, we had this poll in our group chats - what is the one chore that you always tend to say "not now, later"
    The answers were ranging from washing car to washing dishes to folding laundry. but I just wrote "that would be my answer for 99% of the chores".
    I realise I have starting trouble. Once I start , I will do an efficient job mostly unless I started so late that there is too little time. But taking that first step , sigh!

    An aside- I also feel sitting down has a lot to do with procrastination.
    I have a standing work desk. When I am working at the standing desk - I do not postpone getting some water, toilet trips, just check on kids , odd random jobs that i remembered. But when I am sitting on the couch and working on a laptop table, I have to accumulate stuff enough to do before I move - sorta like I have to justify the overheads of moving the table and heaving myself up and walking.

    Next time I have to do something, I am going to imagine being on a movie set , and Rihana shouting "Action". :p
     
  5. Viswamitra

    Viswamitra IL Hall of Fame

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    I feel motivation triggers a person to make an action. But an action increases the motivation by many folds as opposed to a dormant motivation. They are closely interconnected. Motivation derived from others' action or reading a book or even through our own inspiration is valuable but when motivation is derived from our own actions, it is invaluable.

    If we call our thoughts as observations, motivation as modeling and the actions can be considered as real application of thoughts and motivation. Modeling gets perfected as we perform actions.

    Viswa
     
  6. satchitananda

    satchitananda IL Hall of Fame

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    Hey Rihana, really interesting thought. Am trying to motivate myself to get off the net and start doing some work. Maybe the best course of action would be getting into action. Have promised myself to start at 3pm and shall keep up my word! :p

    On a more serious note, yes, this seems to make sense. Positive results have a motivating effect and no results can be achieved without action. So it has to be action first, followed by results and then motivation comes along.
     
  7. PushpavalliSrinivasan

    PushpavalliSrinivasan IL Hall of Fame

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  8. Jey

    Jey Administrator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    A common pattern I see this. It takes me 90-days to do something. 89 days to get started and 1 day to finish it.

    Once I get started, maybe I get motivation to complete. But other things come into play.

    I realize that the task isn't so bad after all. I now have momentum. I get clarity on the steps.

    "Just start" is a very useful mantra to put into practice. But I am still trying to get good at applying it consistently:flushed:
     
  9. Amica

    Amica IL Hall of Fame

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    True that! :thumbsup:

    In the long ago days of my youth, Hindi was a required subject but I was reluctant to open my textbook. Just a couple short months before the final exams, I set a timer planning to read as much of the darn book as I could in 10 minutes. It turned out to be rather entertaining. Once started, I got through the entire book in a day! :cool:

    As an adult, when I'm faced with chores I'd rather avoid, I still set a 10 minute timer. It serves to get me started and is the only reason our home is still habitable. :facepalm:
    .
     
  10. buddingleader

    buddingleader Silver IL'ite

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    It is a much needed post for me now. Glad that I read your post today!! Wonderful writing Rihana.
     
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