You Don’t Need to Be Motivated

There is an entire industry devoted to trying to motivate you to do what you’re currently not doing. People are paid for what is literally called “motivational” speaking. Some of these people are successful in their own right, some successful just because they give motivational speeches. Motivation is an industry. The core of all help in our society boils down to motivation.

What is this “motivation?” In essence, it is asking you to buy into a system where you need to be taking actions that are different than your current mental state wants you to take. You need to change. You need to be different than you are now.

What we have here is the fetishization of change. You are not right, and you should work to become right. We’re being told that change is necessary, and our goal is to find a way to be motivated to make these changes. Change is absolutely necessary.

But why? Every person in our society has some form of mental imperfection. From lack of gumption to completely debilitating mental illness. Every one of us. The idea that motivation is the underlying need of every effort to better ourselves assumes that every person—every single person—needs to deny what their brains are telling them they should be doing.

Are we all, at this moment, not good enough? Is this inherent to who we are, and to that point—is this something that needs to be changed? Do we need to be motivated as an absolute? Is who you are not good enough? And if not, is this a global statement or a statement about who you are at this moment?

As an aside, it needs to be noted that the concept of “motivation” is so wide-ranging, that it would be wrong and logically impossible to say all of motivation is bad. We should probably seek out motivation when we can. But we do not need to fetishize it. It does not need to be a constant obsession.

I would posit that you are best to focus on making the best life for yourself according to the means you have with your mental state—currently and as a whole. If you are not motivated to do something, that lack of motivation should be calculated into the sum of who you are meant to be at this moment.

Your lack of motivation is part of who you are. It is not your whole person, and there is nothing wrong with wanting to change part of who you are. But lack of motivation is not inherently wrong, as it needs to be considered part of your makeup as a human. And anything that makes you who you are is never wrong.

Change itself is also not wrong. So much good comes from change, but it is not absolute. Change is not so baked into the human condition that is should be taken akin to God-sent. Change is part of the human condition, but so is stasis.

When I discuss my mental health issues—OCD being the core—I rank the idea of stasis as not just something I prefer, but a core principle of what I strive for. I’ve found that having things stay the same just works for me. All-around. Not 100% of the time, but much farther to 100 than to 0.

You are you. If you are not motivated to do something that you currently are not doing, that is part of who you are. And that is not wrong. You do not need to be motivated if your brain feels it cannot be, should not be, does not want to be,

I’ve yet to use the word “lazy” when describing this phenomenon. I don’t want to use the word, it is offensive to me. Lack of motivation is not laziness. Full stop. Lack of motivation is your brain seeking stasis. Your brain seeks comfort, and it is ok to be comfortable.

We also obsess over leaving your comfort zone. And I can attest to good things happening—and some specific good things only happen—when we do leave our comfort zone. And it takes motivation to do such. But you do not have to be in constant need of being motivated to leave your comfort zone!

You can exist in your comfort zone, without motivation for change, for long periods for the sake of your mental wellbeing. The key is, however, to accept this lack of motivation as “ok.” It goes without saying, then, that you need to ignore the constant barrage of help the world offers you in the form of boosting motivation.

Because you do not always need it. You do not always need to be motivated. You need to let your brain take some charge without you priming it for how it should be acting. Your brain sometimes knows what you need. Your brain does not always want to be motivated. And when it doesn’t, it is often telling you something that will help your mental state—the motivation industry be damned.