One of the ideas that has stuck with me from Awaken the Giant Within is the subtle but powerful distinction between “should” and “must” when in comes to motivation.
Robbins makes this point many times throughout the book: we make things happen in our lives when we completely commit to them, when we move them out of the “should do” category into the “must do” category.
There’s a huge gap between ideas, hopes, and dreams and sitzfleisch (applying butt to chair, getting it done — and yes this applies even if you work at a standing desk).
How do we close that gap? Robbins would suggest associating massive pleasure with these “must do” activities (a vision of success) and massive pain with inaction (imagining regret, remorse, continued suffering, etc.).
Natural “Must Do” Areas
We don’t “look for motivation” in most areas of our lives. We do things because we have to do them. Our kid is hungry so we feed our kid. Work needs to get done so we do the work. Unless depression or some other mental issue has disrupted the brain, we don’t find a need to “find” motivation. We do things because they need doing.
The “problem” of motivation surfaces in life areas that we might consider “optional.” These might include exercise, artistic practice, meditation, or even playing with our children. These things aren’t necessarily putting money on the table, they can be put off to the next day without devastating consequences.
But if we rationally and carefully consider what is important to us we may find that these activities (you know what they are for yourself) are vitally important to our well-being, and to our future selves.
What belongs on your MUST DO list that currently isn’t?
What would you tell your past self should have been on the “must do” list? Is it too late to start?