I think we can all agree, that it sucks that we have to do things in life. There’s a certain level of expectation that you’re supposed to ‘get out of bed’, ‘be productive’ or ‘do something with our lives.’ It’s exhausting and unnecessary. But much like making small talk or asking permission for sex, society has taught us that we have to abide by these rules. So you’re probably constantly running around doing things you don’t want to do.
Motivation, according to Oxford Dictionary, is the act of pretending to care about something to either fool yourself or others. It stems from the Ancient Greek legend of Motivakos, the God of ‘the will to live’. The story goes that in Ancient Greece peasants will hand over their will to live to Motivakos in exchange for a good summer for their crops; Motivakos will then give this will to the richer folk who would then use this energy to write stories, debate politics, and order slaves to build temples.
Motivation is a tricky thing to have. One must believe that the job at hand is so important that you are willing to do it over the much more preferable activity of Facebooking on your phone. This requires a certain amount of raw talent, skill and disregard for the pursuit of happiness. Here’s a walkthrough on how to get yourself motivated to achieve your dreams.
Firstly, you have to remove distractions. Facebook takes up a lot of your time; fix this problem by cutting out of all your friends that you usually talk to from your lives. How often do you talk about anything really important anyway, like the cosmological constant problem or the Hodge conjecture? Not very often, I would guess. You won’t be losing out on much if you stop talking to them.
Next, you must justify to yourself why this talk is important. This requires a certain amount of brain washing on your part. For example tell yourself, “If I spent the day studying instead of enjoying the Sun I will do well in exams, which will make me happy because I will graduate and become a doctor and be able to help people and I want this because I’m a good person and this will make me happy. Even though I wasted all those summer days studying instead of enjoying life and forgot to get married, have kids, or learn how to smile. Haha.” Something like that should work.
Finally commit yourself to your task by setting a goal. It should be ambitious enough that you will feel proud for finishing it, but low enough that you’d realise the severity of your failure at such a simple task. If you fail, not to worry. Try punishing yourself with the following tried and true methods:
- Water boarding is a proven effective method and only illegal if another party is included. By yourself, it makes for excellent negative reinforcement. Just be warned of the side effects of drowning, mental scarring, and water in your ears.
- Write ‘Loser’ on your forehead and stick ‘Kick me’ post-it notes on your back. Go out to buy some milk.
- When all else fails, electroconvulsive therapy has been show by numerous studies to improve productivity by over 50%, as is used by many Fortune500 companies such as Zapple, Microshock, and Buzzfeed. Just be sure to not pair it with waterboarding.
You may reward yourself with ice cream.
Stick with these tips, and there’s no conceivable way you won’t be fat, lonely, and successful! Finally, for all of you out there, who like me, find the idea of motivation to be too demotivating, let us challenge the notion that productivity is a key ingredient to life and take the rest of the week of. As Homer Simpson once said, “If you never try, you’ll never fail.” I think that’s him. I would look it up, but I can’t be bothered.