Motivation Isn’t Everything

What is motivation? To put it simply, it’s your desire to do something.

For the longest time, I thought that motivation was my greatest ally. Was I right? Well, let’s see.

  • Many years ago, I was motivated enough to run a Startup. So, I founded one.
  • A year ago, I was motivated enough to write a book. So, I started writing.
  • Several months ago, I was motivated enough to apply for a job. So, I did.
  • Many months ago, I wanted to start writing and creating more content. So, I created a website of my own.

Motivation is the little cheerleader inside my head that says: “You can do it, Mikey!” It derives from an internal desire to do something because of something else.

But what happens when your motivation runs out? When that happens, we start to see signs of procrastination, failure and stagnation.

There are two types of motivation: Intrinsic and Extrinsic. First, let me explain what both of those terms mean.

Intrinsic motivations: These are internally-rationalized motivators. It comes from within. It’s our desire to act and do something simply for the sake of doing it. When we finish with (whatever), we feel a sense of joy, accomplishment, success, etc. We can be proud of ourselves for accomplishing what we set out to do.

Extrinsic motivations: These are externally-rationalized motivators. We do it for money, praise, to prove something to others, etc. Essentially, we give something to get something from others.

The way I see it, you need more than just motivation. You need to make a habit out of completing things on your “to-do” list, whether or not you’re motivated. This way, you’ll be productive no matter what. Deep in your heart, you have to know why you’re doing something, not just what you’re doing.

It’s like this: You’re struggling with depression and you’re unable to leave your house. You’re barely able to eat. The reality of the situation is that you can’t only feed yourself, take care of yourself and pursue your daily routine when you’re feeling good. You can’t leave it up to your mood, you just have to keep going. Keep trying. No matter the result. It’s okay to fail. It’s okay to not be okay. Now, as long as you keep going, you can make whatever changes you see along the way. But if you’re only leaving it up to when you’re feeling good or motivated, you won’t learn how to fight through the struggle and succeed. Remember that without the pain of losing, you won’t fully enjoy the joys of winning.

So, was/is motivation my ally? I can honestly say that for the majority of my life, it has fooled me into thinking it mattered. It really doesn’t. Motivation is often short-lived for me — and because I relied heavily on it, many of my set goals have crumbled.

Now, I follow a certain rule. Don’t think, just do. No matter what. While planning and scheduling may be a good idea, I’ve found that too much thinking can be counterproductive. We end up spending more time on the planning rather than the actual doing.

How do I plan? I use an app called


It’s honestly made me so much more productive and really good at managing my time. I build a habit by doing things over and over, no matter my level of motivation. If I need to come back to it and look it over when I’m more motivated, that’s fine. But I will accomplish a given task no matter what the circumstance, and TimeTune makes my life so much simpler by helping me build on routines.

I’ll end off with this. Grit is the only reliable trait that leads to success.

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