Wasting Time Formulating Catalysts

Far too many look for some type of elusive motivator (or catalyst) to get them in the mood – in the swing – or any other metaphor you want to insert. They’ll convince themselves that without it they just can’t seem to get moving or start that project.

However, that so-called “right time” never seems to show up and the project never gets started. Or the potential client or customer never gets called. Till the only motivation that seems to take over is: “Maybe I should wait a little longer, and try looking for another catalyst. I’ve already waited this long. How much longer could it take? I’ll find or make one sooner or later then I’m bound to get motivated – right?”

The issue believe it or not is actually in the above headline. As convoluted as it sounds at first blush it’s exactly what so many of us do. As we find ourselves unable to break free of inertia we begin to rummage through all the piled up text books (as in all those “From Good to Super Good in 986.4 Easy Steps” type books) Looking for the “magic formula.”

Or we’ll spend mind numbing time rearranging virtual test tubes looking for the right blend of something (anything!) to pour into our beakers. Then walla – just place it on top of a Bunsen burner and watch the magic happen. Then once again reality – no catalyst. Just another failed experiment.

Instead of all the formulas or everything else that seems bandied about by so many so-called “guru’s” I would like to give you a very simple example of a motivator (or catalyst) I learned from one of the most fundamental activities many of us engage in. Running.

Personally I’m an avid runner and been so for decades. I love running yet, no matter how much I enjoy it, there are days (and yes sometimes more) that the last thing in the world I want to do that day – is run.

What I’ve learned over the years is this: The absolute hardest part of running – bar none – is putting on my running shoes. Period.

If I could just get myself to do that one step everything else took care of itself. No extra thinking, no magic formulas, no 263.9 step program, or anything else. Just get my shoes on. Next thing you know I’m running. Then I notice I’m enjoying the run, after which I find myself feeling good about pushing through to actually do it. One thing reinforces the other. All because I just put my shoes on. That’s it – nothing more.

What’s at issue most times is we’ll get ourselves engaged in other activities that mask what we’re actually doing for which they are easily defensible to both ourselves as well as others. We take some form of backseat viewpoint saying: “Hey it’s not that I won’t do it, or start. (what ever “it” might be) It’s just that I’m looking for a better way too start.”

Sound familiar? Sound a little convoluted? Yep, and it’s exactly what so many of us do. We’ll get busy at starting anything except what we actually need to start. And, the busier we can get at being busy – the longer it will take us to actually start. Which is exactly why we started getting busy in the first place. We don’t want to start!

Once you get this fundamental reasoning of what could be at the root cause of most issues we have in getting motivated, the faster we’ll find ourselves actually motivated. It’s in the actual doing where most true motivation begins and ends.

When we engage or look at motivation through this prism we get a clearer picture of what real or true motivation is. Once we begin doing what needs to be done, we simultaneously begin reinforcing our auto-piloted, self-centered, congratulatory ego that just loves to take over as to pat ourselves on the back for actually getting too it.

If you need to call prospects or problem customers don’t wait till you’re “in the mood.” Sit down and start dialing. Need to start that new project? Get out the whiteboard now and start drawing or get with your partner or co-worker by saying: “I’m starting X right now. Any suggestions?” Or if you need to write that proposal, or letter, or contract start by opening the program now. Even if it’s to only enter their name or the idea. Start. Period.

You’ll find the rest will take care of itself. You’ll notice when you push through the hardest part of which is the “just starting.”  The rest just seemingly falls into line. No need to look up differing formulations from this professor or that one. No need to re-read that stack of books of “How to Get Motivated in 2639.83 Easy Steps.” No – just one step is needed and is the most fundamental root answer to almost everything keeping you from moving forward.

Just start!

© 2013 Mark St.Cyr