2 pm, Sunday. You just had lunch. You have a work deadline tomorrow. You need to complete something. But you're procrastinating.
You decide to open YouTube to kill time.
"12 habits that changed my life"
You just spent 15 minutes watching how someone on YouTube has drastically improved their life. Ideally, you should be implementing these tips.
But no, you watch another video. And then another one after that.
Now you feel good. You learnt so much. Time to apply. All sorts of feel-good hormones in your head. You feel great and motivated.
Time to work.
Oh no, that's no fun. Who wants to sit in front of an excel sheet and do data analysis? Isn't YouTube more stimulating?
Fuck it. Let's watch another video. After all, you are learning so much.
There are so many of these self-help, motivation, and discipline porn videos on YouTube. I am seeing an uptick since 2019.
Porn. Yes. Because they give you the feeling of the actual thing, without really doing the actual thing.
Watching Matt d'Avella hit the gym for 30 days makes you feel like you're part of the process. He takes you on a storytelling journey, and you feel like you're doing something. When in reality, you're sitting on your bed, doing nothing and wasting your time.
I'm not bashing these creators, they're doing a great jobs. Problem is, most of their audience is not. They're only being watched because people like to live life through other people. It's like a game. The player plays, while you sit and do nothing.
Video games have been shown to give people dopamine hits that keeps them addicted. You get addicted to doing things like shooting, fighting, driving in the game so much that you forget about the real world.
Same thing for self-help porn. You get hooked to the dopamine of watching someone else do good things that you actually don't feel the intrinsic need to do them in your own life.
The point is to not get hooked
Watch people do things. But then actually go ahead and do them yourself. I don't know how else to say it, because it is very obvious to me.
How long are you going to wait before you take real action?
"How long are you going to wait before you demand the best of yourself?" _Epictetus
"Tomorrow" is where dreams go die. "Change takes time" is a loser excuse to not do things the right way, to not step out of your current comfort zone. Change takes time, implementation does not.
Don't get hooked to watching these videos online. Watch some. I'd recommend taking notes as well. Then try doing the thing you watched.
I know, it is hard because watching a video on "morning rituals" is much, much easier than actually waking up at 6 am.
But you have to do it, if you want to make a change. If not, you would remain the same for your entire life. You will be one of those people that die at 25 but are cremated at 80. Don't be this person.
Believe in your ability to do things, then do them.
Stop watching. Start doing.
Motivation is a bullshit concept
Another reason why people watch these videos and read self-help books is because they need motivation.
Or... they think they need motivation.
As a generation, we have been collectively programmed to believe in the motivation lie. The fact that you need to feel motivated to do something, is completely false.
Sure, there has to be a desire. But most people use "not being motivated" as an excuse.
"Not today", not because I am a lazy ass, but because of this distant unachievable thing called "motivation" that I lack.
By blaming motivation, you take the responsibility off your shoulders. Motivation has become a scapegoat for not being disciplined enough.
Motivation is also not a feeling one must optimize for. Shit sucks at times. Get used to it.
Not everything is flowers and petals and rose water like what Instagram told you. Life is harsh. And if you don't adapt, you will be one of those people that dies at 25 and is buried at 80.
It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is most adaptable to change. _Charles Darwin
Sometimes things don't work. If you always chase motivation, you can't get anywhere.
Videos and books won't help you, only you can help you.
Only taking action will help you. Not a book or a video or a podcast.
The early caveman did not have to feel motivated to go out and hunt. He just did. Because that was his life. He never "didn't feel like it"
The single mother of two who works two jobs to feed her kids doesn't have to "feel like it" to wake up at 6 am, she has to. Because she knows that being disciplined will improve her life, and "motivation" isn't going to feed her children.
It's not motivation. It's your lack of desire to do better. And no amount of videos are going to fix your inability to come out of your comfortable cocoon.
So stop using motivation and motivational videos as a scapegoat. I know many people who read self help books, have a inspirational WhatsApp display picture, but don't do shit in real life.
Realize that until you go out and do, nothing is going to change. You can wish for it all you want, but the only variable in your control is action.
The best people that actually do things don't really have the time to post some motivational shit on Instagram. They're busy doing.
“The most impressive people I know spent their time with their head down getting shit done for a long, long time.” _Sam Altman
Stop talking, start doing.
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