Lazy, but Motivated
A lot of motivational blogs are about changing yourself to become more disciplined. I think of this more like being a recovering addict – I’m naturally inclined not to strive, but with some mental trickery I can still accomplish something despite myself.
I think I’m always going to be a lazy person at my core. I’ll probably never be the kind of guy who wakes up at 5 and is on his A-game every single day. I probably won’t rise to be the CEO of my own conglomerate. What I can do is make sure I have more productive days than unproductive ones, and do something with my life despite my innate sloth. This is first of four main ways that this blog differs from others about self-improvement:
1. I Don’t Think Everyone Can Be Super Successful
All these high-achieving gurus always say the same thing: anyone can do it. You can do it. But there is a real chance that you cannot. There are some people who – through anything ranging from their upbringing and education to the amount of sleep they need – are simply going to be more successful than you no matter how hard you work. Statistically, any given person is only likely to achieve mild success.
I still think that mild success – a little passive income, better social skills, a better physique- is worth putting in work to get.
2. I Favor the Stick Over the Carrot
From Medieval times through the 18th century in England and later its colonies in America, criminals were branded with an “R” on their shoulder or hand to broadcast their criminality to those around them so they could be watched more closely to prevent future criminality.
After a particularly slothful year, I realized I had wasted a lot of precious time by allowing myself to wallow in my lazy sludge. I didn’t want to make that mistake again, so I got the letter “R” tattooed on my right wrist so I could keep a closer watch on myself and prevent the mistake from happening again. Now whenever I’m feeling like blowing off my goals to play Starcraft, I look at the tattoo. Half the time I end up blowing off my goals anyway, but it’s better than all the time.
When I tell people the rationale behind the tattoo, they are surprised that I respond more to guilt or shame than I do to the positive feelings of working toward a goal. Part of the reason I started this blog was to connect with other people – like BJ Novak and his “cup of fear” – who are propelled by those feelings and want to harness them better to achieve more.
3. I Source My Claims
There are a lot of motivational blogs out there that talk about psychological or scientific concepts, but don’t give you a source. In today’s “alternative fact” climate, I think it’s important to show your work. Whenever possible, I back up my claims with reputable sources.
4. I’m No Expert
One of the biggest reasons not to start a blog is: “Why should anyone listen to me? What qualifies me to preach on this topic?” Well, I’m not particularly qualified to teach motivation or discipline. But fuck it. This is as much practice for me as it is for you.