Back in the Stone Age, when MTV used to play actual music videos, as time wore on you saw musicians and artists developing a trend in the themes of their videos – particularly in the rap and hip-hop genre: the star was the center of attention, worshiped by those surrounding him. Draped all over the place would be the following:
- Chicks. Lots of them. None of them wearing a full outfit. All of them grinding up on the star’s business.
- Money. Holding it. Tossing it in the air. Making it “rain”. Sitting on piles of it, whatever.
- Stuff. What the kids used to call “bling”. Expensive clothing. Fancy cars. Big honking houses.
- Abs (optional, see “Usher”).
Of course, this had a tremendous effect on youth culture, who decided that this was the stuff to go after. This was what success looked like. So what’s the result? Nobody’s happy.
Look around and pay attention: we all have stuff we complain about. America continues to be, like, the fattest nation ever. We have a complete disconnect between what we perceive as “success” and the realities of our own lives, and that’s making us relatively miserable.
Superficial motivations won’t get you anywhere.
Here’s why you’re not reaching your goals or resolutions or whatever you want to call them: you’re shooting for the wrong stuff.
Sure, you want to lose weight, save money, make more money, and be a better person. That’s great – fantastic, even! Worthy goals for anybody! But what’s motivating them?
- Do you want to “look good naked”?
- Looking to go out on more dates?
- Want to be rich?
- Trying to get more nice “stuff”?
- Want to be cooler around your peers?
Yeah, this won’t get you there. At all.
Why? Because your brain is a crafty little bastard. Your brain, in the beginning, says, “YEAH MAN! That stuff is totally awesome! Life is going to ROCK when we get there! Let’s do this!”
But after a week or two, when the enthusiasm wears down and you start feeling resistance towards the work that you have to put in, your brain is the first thing that gives up on you. He starts saying, “Hey, you know what? This sucks. Let’s just go back to the old ways of doing things. We can handle it. We’ve gotten this far doing the same stuff, right? Who cares?”
Find a deeper meaning.
You need to find ways of motivating yourself that your brain can’t say “no” to. Stuff like:
- Trying to kick or avoid a preventable medical condition, like diabetes
- The ability to play a sport with your friends and keep up
- Financial protection for your family, and your children (current or future)
You get the idea? These are things that strike at the core of who you are and what you want to be. They’re not exterior motivations, they are playing on your personal fears, desires, and needs.
There is nothing wrong with being rich. Or having stuff. Or chicks (God bless ’em).
But they are not going to motivate you toward your goals. Only you can do that. Find that internal motivation. Find the thing that your brain can’t justify losing. Only then will you start seeing some progress.