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Motivation comes from taking action

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While reading Mark Manson's book "The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck", I came across an interesting point:

"Action isn't just the effect of motivation, it's also the cause of it."

He talked about how most people sit around waiting for enough motivation to build up before committing to something. And motivation requires inspiration, sort of like a chain reaction.

Linear graph from inspiration to action

The reality though is that once you get the momentum going, you will only generate further inspiration and motivation, leading to even more progress. Instead of a chain reaction, it's more like an endless loop.

Once you realize this, you can take advantage of this and shift the starting point from inspiration to action.

Endless loop between action, inspiration, and motivation

When thinking back myself, I notice that I've been using the same principle many times before. It has been applied on everything from studying and work, to workouts and cleaning, with this post being the most recent example.

"The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing." — Walt Disney

So instead of waiting for that surge of motivation, just start somewhere. Embrace the uncertainty that follows, and never be afraid of making mistakes. Failing is one of the best opportunities for learning, and therefore a fast way to eventually reaching success.

The earlier you make mistakes, the faster you'll get closer to your final goal. This is also one of the key principles behind an Agile process; fail fast, fail often and adjust accordingly.

— Alex