How To Motivate Yourself To Do Literally Anything

Yes, you can motivate yourself to do anything. Literally anything.

I know that’s a lot of promise, but this technique works for me every. single. time.


What motivates us?

In short, humans are motivated by two things. Pleasure and pain. Between the two, I have found that pain (or discomfort as I like to say) works the best. You are more inclined to do something if you know something bad is going to happen when you don’t do the thing.

So how do I motivate myself?

To be able to motivate yourself through pain or discomfort, you have to create a situation for yourself where you have to make sure something not-so-fun will happen if you don’t do the thing. There are two ways in particular that I’ve found helped me.

Money: I did this one a lot in college, I would give my friend $20 and tell them to keep it for me until after I had done the thing (like writing a paper) and I had to do it within a specific time frame. If you KNOW you’re going to lose that money you’re much more inclined to go through the hassle of doing the thing you don’t want to do because you don’t want to lose that money, and every time I did this I WOULD get the thing done.
Peer pressure. I think peer pressure is an incredibly powerful thing that we should use to our advantage whenever we can. I will use peer pressure to motivate myself sometimes by tweeting a specific goal of mine, or by telling it to my friends. For example, a while back I tweeted that I wanted to post at least three videos and five blog posts a week. If I don’t, everyone can see that I failed this fairly simple goal, and nobody wants to be considered a failure, right?!

As I said in the beginning, pain isn’t the only motivator. Pleasure is also a motivator, by rewarding yourself for example. But I have found that rewarding myself doesn’t work unless I really want the reward. Usually you’re already quite comfortable and you have no problem to really go without the reward.

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