Push Yourself: Practical Everyday Motivation to Be…..& Feel Energized
Centuries-old advice and musings tend to have broad applicability if we still know them so far into the future.
What makes for motivation?
Why do certain people look extra-motivated, in constant movement, while others seem like they can’t drag themselves off the couch without a forklift? What is this intangible, imaginary quantity that is seemingly so powerful?
When Marcus Aurelius wrote that quote in the second century, people worked because they had to. If they didn’t, they would have no means to survive.
There was no need for motivation, seeking purpose, or wanting to feel good about what you were doing because you simply had no choice: do or die.
Aurelius saw this as a course of nature, and he saw nobility in humanity contributing by working for its livelihood.
In his mind, lazy people just wanted to feel comfortable, simple as that, and couldn’t even be bothered to do the bare minimum for survival.
Today we’re faced with a much different situation, and not all of his premises hold up. People still work for their survival, but they have more choices and can actually find a job that they enjoy, something Aurelius didn’t consider too deeply.
At the same time, we’ve become a culture that worships convenience. We can have our food, news, entertainment, and information delivered to us without having to move too many muscles. If Aurelius thought people lying in bed was bad, he would have lost it when he heard about the concept of binge-watching a marathon of bad ’90s television.
But these days, we simply don’t need to do that much for survival, and once our base desires are satisfied, motivation becomes far more necessary.
While our lives have never been easier, it doesn’t do much for our motivation to be active and achieve.
We can get to the point where any exertion at all might feel like an inconvenience. It can wreck our ambitions and sense of drive. We’ve been seduced by convenience so much that we lose sight of all our aspirations.