I went to a conference on Wednesday and the final speaker spent an hour teaching us how to be happier. In truth, because of the type of work I do, he was actually teaching us how to teach other people how to be happier because happy people make happier workplaces. But whatever.
You may have heard of him – Neil Pasricha. He’s written a couple of books including the Book of Awesome.
There was actually a lot of great stuff in the session. Most of it, as is often the case with these things, was common sense.
Of course I feel happier after I’ve taken a walk outside. Of course I know I should journal and focus on gratitude and make time for things I enjoy.
I get it.
But then he actually got to the crux of the issue for me – the motivation part. He pointed out that so many people think they have to be motivated to do the thing, before they can do the thing. That the “want to do” comes before the “do.”
If I buy the right Moleskin notebook, I’ll want to write the book, and then I will write the book.
That one hit a little close to home for me.
I have a dozen “right” notebooks…and just the right pens to go with them. All the right tools but no closer to having actually written anything.
Then he explained the way it works.
Do the thing. Do it badly and wrong and one word, day, action at a time, but do it.
When you do it – you realize you can do it and then an amazing thing happens.
You want to keep doing it.
So you keep doing it.
Apparently I’ve had it ass backwards the whole time.