Psychology

How To Prioritise Goals

prioritise goals
Understand how to prioritise goals.

This article is part of the goal setting theme for January. See also: The Liberating Distinction Between Hopes And Dreams and Find Your Life’s Purpose, Follow Your Heart’s Desire.

The aim of January’s theme is to shift the mental perspective on goal setting. First by highlighting the importance of separating fulfilment from the attainment of goals. Second, by highlighting the distinction between inner purpose and outer purpose.

Understanding the difference between being and doing is crucial in helping to prioritise goals, to set goals that follow your heart’s desire and focus your attention on each step, not just the end of the journey.

If you need a refresher, follow the links above. But now, on to the nitty gritty. How do you prioritise goals? There are a few factors to explore: making sure your goals are in sync with your inner purpose, working on self-compassion as you follow your goals, and understanding the most important priority of all — you.

Two Horizons And The Ultimate Goal

I mention Martin Amor’s and Alex Pellew’s Two Horizons model in The Liberating Distinction Between Hopes And Dreams. When used in the right way, this model can become a valuable tool in goal setting.

The concept of the near horizon and far-off horizon is fundamental in prioritising goals. As well as helping keep a clear understanding of what your ultimate dream is, it also helps bring your immediate goals into focus. This, in turn, is great for motivation.

Two Horizons
The Two Horizons model for goal setting.

The beauty is, the Two Horizons model can be transformed, turning far-off dreams into manageable tasks that you can begin, today. This transformation is straightforward. Start by dreaming. Then boil the essence of the dream into multiple goals. Finally, break those goals into smaller, manageable tasks.

This way of organising goals can be represented by the “pyramid of goals.”

The Pyramid Of Goals

Your dream is the ultimate goal. It’s the top of the “pyramid of goals.” Working back requires looking at the structure of the pyramid. At the top, the dream is a combination mid-term goals. Each mid-term goals is a combination of short-term goals. Each short-term goal is a combination of tasks that can be acted upon directly.

Applying this on a basic level to Mind That Ego looks like:

  • Top of the pyramid (ultimate goal): My own Life Coaching business.
  • Middle of the pyramid (mid-term goals): Establish Mind That Ego as a brand, fronted by yours truly, consisting of written and video-based content. Learn coaching practices.
  • Bottom of the pyramid (short-term goals): Complete Life Coaching courses. Work on video editing skills. Improve writing. Read. Think of ideas for blog posts and videos. Produce content.

All levels of the pyramid need each other. You can’t achieve the ultimate goal without mid-term and short-term goals. At the same time, short-term goals are dictated by mid-term and ultimate goals.

The different levels of the pyramid also help goals remain manageable. Setting one goal (start a Life Coaching business) with a deadline is a recipe for stress and lack of direction. But by fragmenting the ultimate goal into mid-term and short-term goals, day-to-day priorities begin to order themselves. These small steps can have realistic deadlines attached to them.

For example: this articles belongs to January’s theme and it’s the 31st of January today, so I MUST FINISH THIS BLOG POST TODAY!!

But if I gave myself the task of building a brand in a few months time, the size of the goal would seem daunting, I’d struggle knowing where to start, and I’d struggle to set realistic deadlines. Writing a blog post today wouldn’t necessarily appear to be a priority.

Prioritise Goals In Different Life Categories

This ultimate goal example above is linked to career, but the Two Horizons model applies to all area of your life. So dream big.

By having dreams in different areas — such as financial, self-improvement, relationships, fitness, hobbies, and so on — you’ll eventually have multiple pyramids, each with their own ultimate goal, mid-term goals and short-term goals.

This where prioritising day-to-day tasks is required. Sometimes this is self-explanatory; if I receive a bill in the post that requires immediate payment, this financial goal takes priority over a blog post that can be written another day (career goal). Other times there may be multiple goals that appear to have the same urgency and the same importance. What then?

This is where you can take a step back and look at the bigger picture. How long will the goal take? Are there areas of your life that currently feel neglected? Does the goal include other people? Is there a goal playing on your mind more than others, causing you to procrastinate? Which goal will be most fulfilling to begin? Which goal are you putting off the most, and why?

Psst: Once you’ve established your ultimate dream and whittled down the short-term goals, use Mind That Ego’s motivation model to keep you moving ahead on days where motivation is sparse.

Self-Care, Self-Compassion, And Prioritising You

It can be easy to get swept up in our goals, of feeling we aren’t good enough, or that achieving goals and improving ourselves is the only way we’ll find happiness.

Self-care and self-compassion are vital while pursuing our dreams. If we see our goals as something we simply have to get done, then we’ll end up feeling stressed as we desperately try to achieve them, despondent if we aren’t, or hopeless if mid-term goals appear too daunting.

To combat this, make self-care an important aspect of your goal setting. Set yourself a goal of taking more time to relax. Set goals from a place of self-compassion. Make sure you put enough time aside to follow your passions, to do things you enjoy or help you relax. Which leads me on to my final point…

If you can’t make yourself a priority, you’re going to struggle to prioritise goals. Why? Because if you see yourself as secondary to those around you, why would put your goals ahead of other’s needs and desires?

Prioritising yourself requires self-care, self-compassion, and a healthy dose of discipline. It’ll mean saying no, sometimes more than yes. But this is far from selfish. In fact, it has the opposite effect; by investing in yourself, you’ll be in a much better place to offer yourself to others. And you’ll be working towards your dream in the process.

Psychology

Find Your Life’s Purpose, Follow Your Heart’s Desire

Heart's desire
Finding your inner purpose can help uncover your heart’s desire.

This article is part of the goal setting theme for January. See also: The Liberating Distinction Between Hopes And Dreams.

All of us want a purpose in life. The biggest challenge of goal setting is aligning our overall purpose with the actions we take. Finding this alignment can be a painstaking, lifelong process. If we feel our actions aren’t purposeful enough, this search for meaning can be the cause of great stress and despair; perhaps we prioritise the wrong goals, or we feel stuck in a career that, deep down, we don’t enjoy.

So how do we discover our life’s purpose? How can we unearth the chosen career or pursuit that’ll give us meaning? Do you want the good news first, or the good news? The good? Okay…

The good news is that you don’t have to do anything to find your purpose. It is already within you. It doesn’t lie with the career you choose or the city you live in or your hobbies or creative pursuits. This is far from an empty platitude. Changing your outlook and realising this truth is crucial in finding your purpose and following your heart’s desire. Why?

Most of us seek purpose in the outside world. But in doing so, we confuse purpose with attainment, and any sense of reward from things attained is fleeting and temporary. That’s where our inner purpose plays an important role. The importance of inner purpose is highlighted by Eckhart Tolle in A New Earth. Tolle explains how lasting fulfilment comes from the perfect alignment of inner purpose and outer purpose.

But how on earth do we find it?

Finding Your Inner Purpose

“Most people treat the present moment as if it were an obstacle that they need to overcome. Since the present moment is Life itself, it is an insane way to live.” — Eckhart Tolle.

According to Tolle, our inner purpose is to be “absolutely present,” to avoid the insanity outlined in the above quote. By being fully aware, our actions become empowered by present-awareness, by pure being. Being fully mindful of every step of our life’s journey, as and when it unfolds, is the purpose of life itself.

There is no need to strive. There’s no need to live in hope of a better future where your purpose has been attained — your purpose is to simply be.

It sounds so simple that it’s hard to believe the profound impact uncovering this purpose can have. By going beyond the thinking mind and its incessant clinging to a perceived better future, we bring clarity into our lives. Life has new meaning.

An important caveat of this way of living is that it also uncovers the human traits that we all have in abundance — of compassion, love, empathy, creativity, and so on. This is what Tolle means by empowered present-awareness. When seeing beyond the mind’s constant future-projection and accompany fear, our actions are underpinned by a sense of fullness.

Now, I’m aware I may be losing those of you who aren’t spirituality inclined. It’s true, if we follow the notion of inner purpose to the extreme, well, we’d stand still, wouldn’t we? There’d be no need to progress. It doesn’t really fit for most of us. As an ambitious 27-year old, it doesn’t really fit for me, either. A huge part of life is the desire to grow, to mature, to gain insight and understanding.

So how do we balance the apparent blissful paralysis of present-moment awareness with the desire to move forwards? That’s where our outer purpose comes in.

Outer Purpose Is Important, But It’s Secondary

inner outer purpose
The key is balancing inner purpose and outer purpose.

It’s easy to misinterpret our inner purpose. I’ll hold my hands up and admit that at certain points of my spiritual journey, I’ve thought: “What’s the point in having a career or progressing if an ‘enlightened’ way to live is to be fully in the here and now, not striving to the future?” Clearly, there’s a problem with this way of thinking.

Like it or not, unless ordained and living in a monastery, this state of pure being isn’t beneficial to the demands of the outer world. Fortunately, Tolle isn’t blind to this. He separates inner purpose and outer purpose into being and doing, respectively. The beauty is the symbiotic relationship between them. Once aware of your inner purpose, you can act in coherence with it. Your inner purpose moulds your outer purpose. Being is aligned with doing.

“At first there may be no noticeable change in what you do – only the how changes. your primary purpose is now to enable consciousness to flow into what you do.” — Eckhart Tolle

Once we understand that life is a consistent series of present moments, our awareness of being begins to change the way we interact in the world. In the moments we are free from fear, anxiety and stress, we bring direct awareness into what we do. We channel the abundant human traits. We live fully from the heart, not from the head.

It’s Okay If You Don’t Have A Life Goal

If this sounds elaborate, far-reaching and inconceivable, I promise you it isn’t. Aligning your inner and outer purpose doesn’t have to result in a significant change in direction in what you do with your life. As Tolle highlights, the importance is the how, and not the what. Our society puts immense pressure on the what (see: the American dream), but the beauty of aligning inner and outer purpose is that it’s okay if you don’t have a life goal. Your true purpose is with being and not doing.

I define life goal as an ultimate goal linked with attainment, such as making a six figure income, becoming a famous jazz singer, publishing a best selling novel, having 2.3 children and a white picket fence. Many people struggle with a bucket list mentality — the belief that because our time on Earth is finite, our purpose it to attain, to achieve, all that we can before we die. This is why the distinction between hopes and dreams is so important. Instead of hoping to find outer purpose by what you do, you dream of ways your inner purpose can manifest in the outside world.

I fully support Tolle’s definition of success as being a successfully present moment. Tolle’s rhetoric is best on a best-case-scenario; in reality, this journey will have ups and downs. Personally, I have moments where I feel such alignment, and plenty of moments where I feel completely out of touch. I need to regularly “bring myself back,” to remind myself of what inner purpose is. To simply be. As you continually bring yourself back and enjoy successful present moments, your outer purpose begins to fall into place.

That’s because inner purpose is intertwined with our outer purpose. Awareness frees space for our heart’s desire to rise to the surface of our consciousness. Impulses we may have long ignored take on a new veracity. We begin to follow our intuition. We begin to live in tune with our heart’s desire.

Finding Your Heart’s Desire

But what is our heart’s desire? Within us, there is an intelligence far more powerful than the mind. There is a part of us that knows what we want, before we realise we want it. We can call this our heart’s desire, our intuition, or our subconscious desire. Where this intelligence comes from is anyone’s guess. But if you’ve ever faced a big life decision and instinctively knew the choice to make thanks to an overwhelming “gut feeling,” you know the power of this intelligence.

You understand the difference between the heart’s desire and the mind’s logical reasoning.

The trouble is these desires are often buried deep under the fears and anxieties of the ego ((how bizarre that we often make decisions that we know contradict what we feel or desire). To listen to them is to quieten the mind. It’s to feel what it is we want, to let the images, emotions and fully-formed answers rise to the surface of our consciousness.

There are clues in the activities you enjoyed as a child, before the ego fully matures and takes control. What did you always dream of doing, of being? Are there impulsive thoughts that arise at times of relaxation, that you easily dismiss as a pipe dream or unreasonable?

It’s easy to ignore these impulses through fear of the outcome. But when you are aware of your inner purpose and you are committed to aligning it with your outer world, you will begin to look beyond fear and acknowledge those impulses. Listen to them. They know what you want. And when you know what you want, you can set meaningful goals.

Flow: When Mind And Spirit Merge

psychological flow
Tasks which are challenging and require a certain skill level most commonly produce flow.

In 1975 psychologist Mihály Csíkszentmihályi coined the term “flow” to describe the psychological state of being completely at one with a given task. Csíkszentmihályi discovered this theory while investigating optimal experience.

Flow, also known as being in the zone, is common in elite performers — think a top-level athlete competing at the Olympics, a Broadway actor reciting lines like they were born for the role or a musical composer effortlessly conducting an orchestra. It’s performance beyond mind, a joyful alignment of mind, body and soul.

The state of flow is a perfect combination of cognition and spirit. Just take a look at the six factors of flow:

  1. Intense and focused concentration on the present moment.
  2. Merging of action and awareness.
  3. A loss of reflective self-consciousness.
  4. A sense of personal control or agency over the situation or activity.
  5. A distortion of temporal experience, one’s subjective experience of time is altered.
  6. Experience of the activity as intrinsically rewarding, also referred to as autotelic experience.

Focused on the present moment? A merging of action and awareness? Sounds a lot like Tolle’s inner and outer purpose, doesn’t it?! And that’s because it is. It’s the sweet spot of enacting your inner purpose (to be) and outer purpose (to do).  And it’s not restricted to elite performers, but available to all of us.

Find The Clues Of Your Heart’s Desire In Flow

We can use flow to find clues in what action creates the perfect alignment of inner and outer purpose. Think of a time now when you experienced flow. Were you absorbed in the immediacy of the task? Did your sense of time disappear? Did you stop worrying about whether you were performing the task rightly or wrongly, and instead just act? Did everything just click? Did you lose yourself?

It can be anything. It’s important you don’t dismiss it as silly or irrelevant. Just find clues. Go with the flow. Whatever the action producing that state of mind, break it down to its essence and meditate on what this means for you. And congratulate yourself — you’ve just started to listen to your heart’s desire.

 

Psychology

The Liberating Distinction Between Hopes And Dreams

hopes and dreams
The liberating distinction between hopes and dreams.

This article is part of the goal setting theme for January.

Before we get into the nitty gritty of goal setting, it’s important to identify what lies behind the goal setting process. Mind That Ego is more spiritual self-fulfilment, less attainment. When working with clients, I want to emphasise internal development — not external — is the key to long-term contentment. For that reason, from a spiritual and wellbeing perspective, I’m incredibly wary of goal setting. Though seen as integral to living a full life, it can impede contentment.

This is because when mismanaged, goal setting becomes an “I’ll be happy when.” A perfect example of this is the phenomenon of “post-Olympic depression,” whereby gold-winning medalists sink into a depressive state after achieving their ultimate goal. The same can be said of any elite performer, whether an Oscar-winner or a musician with a gold-selling album. In the same manner, those who chase financial success often find that, having made the first million pounds, it’s not enough. Now they want two million, then five, then 10. Harvard University lecturer Tal Ben-Shahar calls this the arrival fallacy.

To put it simply, the achievement of goals isn’t a means to happiness. To counter that truth, I believe there is a vital distinction to allow you to remain fulfilled and content during every step of your journey to achieving goals. This distinction prevents the egoic trap of “I’ll be happy when my goals are achieved.”

The key is understanding is the distinction between hopes and dreams.

Abandon Hope

We live in a culture of hope. A prime example is the iconic Hollywood film, The Shawshank Redemption, which uses the slogan “hope will set you free.” This is a lie.

Tibetan Buddhist Pema Chödrön provides an alternative — Abandon Hope. She reasons:

“Hope and fear come from feeling that we lack something; they come from a sense of poverty. We can’t simply relax with ourselves. We hold on to hope, and hope robs us of the present moment. We feel that someone else knows what’s going on, but that there’s something missing in us, and therefore something lacking in our world.”

Chödrön highlights the fact that hope is linked to attachment. Hoping for certain things to go a certain way in the external world becomes a condition for our happiness. But as highlighted by the arrival fallacy, once those hopes are attained (IF they are attained), there is no salvation. Only A New Hope.

It’s difficult to avoid this trap as hope is ingrained in our culture. Knowledge bible Wikipedia defines hope as an “optimistic state of mind.” The opposite of hope is hope-less-ness or despair. But if we understand hope in the new light outlined above, we understand the opposite of hope isn’t despair, it’s liberation. We realise that abandoning hope and the attachment to attainment is freeing. Hope-less-ness becomes a desired state of mind.

When setting goals, we walk a tightrope, with hope lingering below. But abandoning hope doesn’t mean we have to abandon goals. The desire to progress is a huge part of human life. It has immense value. So how do we balance progress and goal setting in a non-attached manner? We dream.

The Value Of Dreams

“Dream as if you’ll live forever. Live as if you’ll die today.” — James Dean.

Dreams are different from hopes. Dreams are fantasies created with a mixture of imagination and play. Most of us define our dreams as practically unachievable, and consequently we aren’t attached to their fruition. Apply the DNA of dreams to goal setting, and you’ll be simultaneously liberated and motivated.

In The Idea In You, authors Martin Amor and Alex Pellew provide a model for healthy dreams, referred to as the Two Horizons. The idea is that, in your mind’s eye, you apply two horizons to your goals. The horizon far away in the distance is the ultimate dream. The one closer is the “to-do,” or the just-do-it action that needs to be done, today, to take you closer to the far-off horizon.

The beauty of this model is that you mix practicality with limitlessness. Your far-off horizon can be as elaborate, exciting and flamboyant as you like. It’s the best-case-scenario of your pursuit. Amor and Pellew encourage us to have fun with this; they ask us to close our eyes, to vividly imagine what lies on this horizon, to immerse ourselves in all aspects of it, to make a movie in our mind.

But remember, the key is to not become attached to this horizon. You do not think: “I hope I make it to this horizon. Then I will be happy.”

Examples Of The Two Horizons Dream

Let’s apply this to my goal of becoming a Life Coach.

The far-off horizon is a blissful place. I see myself with the freedom to travel, with a beautiful apartment in Berlin, overlooking the spree. I have a reading room with lots of light and lots of plants, a deluxe coffee machine in the kitchen, an ultra-high definition projector in my bespoke cinema room (materialism is okay in moderation, ha). I’ve continued to develop my knowledge of personal growth. I have a wealth of clients who I work with intimately. I share my knowledge and experience to help them, and in turn, they help me to continue to improve and develop.

Two Horizons
The Two Horizons model for goal setting.

My near horizon, my “to-do,” is writing this post. It’s focusing on what I can learn today. It’s putting in a few hours of study on my course. The beauty of this model is that this far-off horizon is also helping to motivate me to get out of bed, get up, and do those immediate tasks.

Two horizons can be applied to any goal. Take exercise. I love lifting weights. I have goals. Again, my far-off horizon is blissful. I have my “ideal” physique (vanity is okay in moderation). I feel strong in body and mind. I’m lifting more than I ever imagined I would when starting out. I’m knowledgeable of what it takes to help the body reach its potential.

My near horizon is going to the gym, today. It’s eating well, today. It’s getting enough rest, tonight. It’s enjoying how I train, but also making sure I beat the man I was last week. Even if only by one repetition.

Like everything in life, the key to the Two Horizon model balance. Don’t get swept up in the far-off horizon and daydream — you won’t get things done. Don’t obsess over the near-horizon, it can feel monotonous or worth putting off for another day.

A Note On Depression And Hope

I’ll conclude with a note on depression. When I was seriously depressed, I felt it important to hold on to the glimmer of hope that one day I’d feel better. For any of you suffering from depression now, the thought of abandoning hope will seem like a process of giving up.

Firstly, the model outlined above is less for major mood disorders, and more for the destructive traps we can fall into during the “pursuit” of goals. However, in hindsight, I do believe abandoning hope is relevant for depression. And here’s why: it’s not hope you need, but faith.

There is a significant difference between hope and faith. Hope is the craving for a desired outcome — “one day I’ll feel happy.” Faith is different. It’s not craving an outcome, but instead, a state of belief that all of this is worthwhile. Put into thinking terms, this may look like: “I am suffering greatly now. But this is all for a reason. I’ll come back stronger, learn from my experience, grow, and help others in the same position.”

Faith is the belief that you’ll experience personal growth from adversity. Instead of relying on an outcome, looking ahead to a place in time when things are better, you instead accept the situation as it is, acknowledge it’ll change, and take meaning from it by believing that once things have changed (all things do) you will have learned from it.

So if you are suffering right now, you too can abandon hope, have faith, and dream of what it’ll be like once you’ve overcome this challenge.

 

Psychology

Lacking Motivation? Abolish This Common Fallacy And Achieve Anything

I don’t make promises lightly, but I promise you, by the end of this article you’ll be ready to begin a task you’ve been delaying. Big or small, it doesn’t matter. You’ll do it. Why am I so sure about this? Because most of us share a common misconception of that fabled M word — motivation. That misconception causes us to look in the wrong place for motivation, as if it were a tangible element necessary for making a start. This error in approaching motivation causes us to get stuck in a cycle of procrastination prevents us starting the things that matter.

What is this misconception? It’s time for a fundamental truth…

You don’t need to be motivated to get started.

Wow, groundbreaking revelation there Ricky! It sounds so simple. It sounds too easy. It sounds so obvious. But the fact is, most of us don’t adhere to this simple fact. We wait for motivation to come to us, hold us aloft and carry us past the starting line of our most urgent “to-dos.”

If you’re doubting how common it is for us to behave this way, I want you to bring to mind a task you’re yet to start. How many times have you thought of this task? How many times has it entered your mind, only for you to dismiss it?

Now, I want you to think about the thoughts and feelings associated with this delayed task. Let’s say your task is cleaning the kitchen. You think: “I don’t feel like cleaning it now, I’ll do it later” / “I never enjoy cleaning the kitchen, I’ll wait a bit” / “I don’t feel like cleaning.”

You may also have emotions tied up with these thoughts; perhaps a sense of shame for not having done the task sooner or a sense of anxiety at the thought of cleaning the hob, chiselling dried porridge from your favourite ceramic bowl (“why did I let it dry, it’s oat-based cement!“) or sweeping the bread crumbs and broken dreams off the floor.

All of these thoughts and emotions are linked to a perceived lack of motivation. This is a trap. You’re waiting for motivation to arrive and give you permission. You’re waiting for your thoughts to finally give you the green light: “Yeah, I’ve put this off for long enough! Now’s the time! Hand me the rubber gloves and the Mr. Muscle this kitchen is gonna be PRISTINE!”

This leads us on to truth number two…

You are a slave to the motivation paradox if you wait for motivation to begin any task.

motivation
Don’t wait for motivation to give you the green light.

We’ve all got a million and one things to do every day, so what if I don’t clean the kitchen? Take out the bins? Call the doctor? Delete my emails? Check the post? Go to the grocery store? Walk the dog? Write a complaint letter to Adidas’ CEO for sending me the wrong colour shorts twice in a row (seriously how difficult is it to not mistake light grey for navy blue?).

It matters because we are creatures of habit. The habit of being enslaved by a lack of motivation will spread into every area of your life. You know what that means? It means you are delaying on getting started on the things that count, too. You’re delaying taking that course. You’re delaying reading that book. You’re delaying contacting that person who can help you start your new career. You’re delaying telling someone how you really feel. You’re delaying following your dream.

Which leads me on to a slightly somber truth number three…

If you wait to be motivated to start the big things, you’ll probably die before you get the chance to begin.

Shit. Bit dark, isn’t it? But I want to highlight the significant impact procrastination can have on your life. All of us have ideas, have dreams, desires. But only a small minority manifest those ideas, dreams and desires in the material world. The majority leave them in the mind, putting them off for a future space where motivation drives us forward. Why? Because of fear. Fear of failure or fear of stepping outside of our comfort zone. Considering how hard it is to get motivated to take the bins out, it’s no surprise it’s almost impossible to find the right time to start pursuing a dream.

Time for truth number four…

Mentally bookmarking tasks for an imaginary future is a common fallacy.

The only time is now. Both the past and the future are constructs of the mind. No task has ever started in the future. No dream fulfilled in the future. Only in the present. Mentally bookmarking a task to begin the future is one of many cunning ways your ego deceives you into not starting until IT is ready. The time-constrained ego also convinces you happiness awaits in the future.

You may be thinking of a time you’ve mentally bookmarked a task and then fulfilled it at a later date as proof this works. But that’s all part of the illusion. You didn’t do it in the future. There was a point in the present when you finally decided to take action, with or without motivation.

Of course, this doesn’t mean all decisions need to be made immediately. Certain decisions need time and contemplation. There may be circumstances outside of your control, preventing you from acting. But the truth is, 90% of delayed tasks could begin. Now.

Which leads us onto a final, more promising point five…

When you take the lead, motivation will follow.

After spotting the mind’s tendency to wait for motivation, you break the cycle. You ignore it and act. Once you’ve started, you’ll find that motivation follows. Like an attention seeking child, when it realises you’re moving on without it, it’ll catch up with you, eager to join in on the action.

Let’s call this act-first-don’t-wait-for-motivation mindset the Mind That Ego Motivation Model. Egotistical, yes, but it sounds nice and I made this special illustration ad I’m quite pleased with it (Neil Buchanan eat your art out):

motivation-model
I drew this. Really.

What spirituality tells us about delaying decisions…

On a spiritual level, a lack of motivation illustrates an interesting meeting point between the irrational monkey mind (ego) and subconscious desire. Generally, your intuition gives you a signal to act in any given situation — think of the fleeting spark of enthusiasm that you feel in the precise moment when the thought of performing an action first comes to life in the mind. However, the monkey mind then extinguishes the initial spark with thoughts and feelings of self-doubt, fear and anxiety.

So here’s one thing I ask of you: act. Today. Don’t delay or find excuses or wait passively for a time when you feel like it. Just start. All it takes is that first small step.

Then the motivation will follow.