I talked about this idea in one of my previous YouTube videos, but the concept is so important that I wanted to expand upon it in this blog post. It is near impossible to accomplish something great relying solely on motivation/inspiration. This may seem paradoxical given the title of these posts, but the idea of these posts is to educate and inspire you so that you do not need to rely on these posts to get things done, but definitely keep coming back to blog because I am such a great writer ;) .
There is nothing wrong with using motivation or an inspiring feeling to drive your action, but all feelings are ephemeral and are constantly fluctuating. Therefore to base your action on feelings or the whims of motivation is a loser's strategy because to accomplish anything great requires consistent work over a long period of time. This is something that can not be accomplished if solely fuelled by motivation or inspiration.
So what should you orient your pursuit of excellence on? ACTION. As I talk about in my previous YouTube video, action is not only what drives your results but catalyzes a 'reaction' that begets a positive upwards cycle in which you positively influence your motivation levels and begin developing momentum.
However sometimes it feels like there is just too much to do, and you are driven into inaction through paralysis by analysis. What can you do? Break things down into smaller chunks.
Let me be clear, this does NOT mean waste a lot of time doing unimportant tasks like checking email or organizing your desktop etc. Still focus on your most important tasks, (ex. studying for students), but have a clear idea of the small tasks you can confidently complete.
For example, one of the most important tasks I had each week during my first two years of medical school at UBC was to complete my weekly preparation for my Case-Based Learning (CBL) sessions. Many weeks the amount of work that was required to adequately prepare would seem insurmountable. Therefore, I would break down "CBL prep" on my to-do list into something infinitely more manageable. So "CBL prep" would become:
Breaking down my CBL prep into such specific tasks may seem excessively onerous, and to be quite frank I didn't do this every time if it was a CBL prep I could just whizz through. But when I felt extremely overwhelmed this was liberating as it reorientated me about the importance of action. So instead of spending hours on "CBL prep" and feeling like I have accomplished nothing, within 10-15 minutes I could have accomplished "3/5" of my CBL prep.
- Action trumps feeling motivated or inspired
-If you are feeling overwhelmed and stuck, break down your most important task into discrete steps that you can readily complete to develop confidence and momentum.
If you can’t sustain it, it’s not worth it.
I am a medical student who is obsessed with the Be Activated Muscle Activation Technique, mastering movement and understanding what makes humans thrive.