Peaceful motivation is about getting things done without forcing yourself to do them. All carrot, no stick.
There are three steps to peaceful motivation: Taste, Energy, and Environment. Once you have all three, achieving your goals will happen peacefully and naturally.
Step 1: Taste.
By “taste”, I mean experiencing something that takes your goal out of your head and puts it back in your heart.
The taste of chocolate
In your head, you know how much you like chocolate, but it’s no big deal. It’s not urgent. It’s just a concept, and it doesn’t move you to action. But once you actually taste a little bit of chocolate, suddenly you’re inspired to get up, go to the store, and buy some more.
The taste of being healthy
In your head, you think about being healthy, and you know that it’s important to you, but it doesn’t feel urgent. It’s just a concept, and it doesn’t move you to action. But then you have a really exciting and interesting conversation about it, and it’s like tasting how it would feel to be healthy, and that taste inspires you to do something about it.
Why taste is so important
Taste is important because when your goals and long-term desires are abstract concepts in your head, you attach all sorts of baggage to them. You resent them, avoid them, and tack on all sorts of extraneous judgments and issues to them.
All this baggage distracts you from the fact that you actually want your goals.
And tasting your goals reminds you of how much you want them, in a powerful, visceral way.
Taste one goal right now.
Pick one of your goals right now – something you know you care about, but rarely feel motivated to work on.
Got one? Good.
Let’s think of ideas for how you can “taste” that goal – how you can feel that goal in your heart and in your body, instead of just thinking about it in your head.
- have a good conversation about it
- read something interesting or exciting about it
- do a teeny little bit of it just for a minute or two (or five)
- watch someone else do it
- experience something that you associate with it (e.g. the smell of a video arcade reminds me of how much I love to play DDR)
- create a collage of images that help you taste your goal and put it somewhere you’ll see it often
- write down a reminder of why you care about your goal in bright happy colors on a piece of poster board
- set up your email program to email you something tasty every week
- get some post-it notes, write things on them that remind you of why you care about your goal, and stick them around the room
- or simply remember how much you care about your goal and feel how much you want it.
All these things are examples of re-tasting the sweet, yummy taste of your goal, the delicious flavor of what youĄŻre passionate about.
What could you create right now that will help you taste your goal every day?
Create it! Then put it somewhere you’ll trip over it. Not literally – I don’t want you to get hurt. But put it somewhere where you’ll see it every day, or every time you have the opportunity to work toward your goal. If your goal requires working on a computer, put it on your desktop background. If your goal requires driving, put it on your dashboard. If your goal requires thought, put it somewhere you’ll see it when you’ll have a few minutes to sit and think.
If you’re concerned about others tripping over your private reminders, create something that will taste great to you but won’t mean anything significant to others. Be creative!