Welcome to the blog of Swedish entrepreneur and (soon to be) author Filip Svensson, in constant pursuit of productivity, happiness and life.
(Btw, the archive is here: Blog Archive)
Blog #18 – 7 Things That Drain Your Motivation and How to Beat Them – Part 1
August 20, 2017.A Sunday.
As you may know (or have figured out), I’m almost ready to publish my first book. But getting there was so much harder than I ever imagined. Good thing is that in the process of finishing it I have identified 7 things that drain your motivation – and how you can beat them.
Or, at least the tricks I used to I beat them. (But I bet they work for you, too!)
You may not think that fear is at play, but it is. And it is a strange fear. Because (or in my case) there is a fear of failing, as well as a fear of succeeding. Which sort of make no sense. And there is a fear that what I’m producing isn’t up to my ridiculous standards. A fear of not being perfect, if you will.
And the best way, in my experience, to beat fear and to get things done is to just do it anyways. To close your eyes and jump, so to speak.
But how do you get yourself to do that?
A short and quick fix is thinking “Risk has its rewards” which makes you feel like an Indiana Jones-type of person, about to get some rewards for being such an Indiana Jones-type of person.
It works surprisingly well!
The longer, but more thorough route would be “Fear Setting,” as explained by Tim Ferris in his 2017 TED talk which I wrote a post about. In short, you just make a list of the worst things that could happen if you do the thing you’re thinking about doing, and then make a list of things to do to prevent those from happening, and what you are going to do if they do.
This way you work through the scenarios mentally which makes you feel prepared (and relieved, because you’re awesome). And ready to get to it.
#2 Not really believing in the chosen path
Everything we do, we do because we want to accomplish something. Or at least that’s what we think. But in reality, we do something because we feel an urge to do it. We feel motivated to do it. We feel compelled to do it. We just get this spark of energy from nowhere. Or we drag ourselves to do it (because we feel that we must).
The thing here is that to keep yourself feeling motivated, your intuition has to believe in your chosen path.
This is what I wrote on the subject on Instagram a few weeks ago:
“The big secret to staying motivated in your effort is for you to really believe that you can achieve that goal – not only to have the goal itself – and for you to believe that the path you are on is the one that will take you there. Because the second you stop believing that what you are doing is the right thing, your subconscious mind will start to steer you in other directions. And the first step is making you less motivated to stay on the current one.
That is why in order to keep yourself going, all of you has to be on board.
Visualize your goals, feel your goals as they have already come true. But have a very rational approach to how you are achieving them. Because if the approach is not right, your intuition will know it and your motivation will suffer.”
So, there you have it!
#3 “The Resistance” as coined by Steven Pressfield in the book The War of Art
“The Resistance” is a very unscientific label of all things that give you anxiety about getting yourself to seeing a big project through, whether it be writing a book or starting a business. And the thing to keep in mind here (in my interpretation) is that what gives you this anxiety is often the feeling that what you do is so ridiculously important to you that should you fail, your life is over. Sort of.
This is obviously not the case.
Drop these thoughts.
And if you have a hard time dropping them (like I had, it’s not easy being a human) you can actually switch them for better ones with daily affirmations. So instead of thinking “My life may be over if [my thing] is not good enough,” repeat to yourself that “My life will truly begin when I get [my thing] done.”
Or something like that.
Point is; your subconscious is a bit stupid so it will believe anything you tell it. Keep that in mind!
But the thing Pressfield wants you to do is just sit your a** down and work on your thing.
Build a habit and a routine of just putting in the work – regardless of what you accomplish is crap or gold – and then guard that habit like the rest of your life depends on it.
Because it is the routine of always getting something done that will eventually get you to your goal.
Or as Confucius said:
“It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop”
So, this post is getting a bit on the long side, so the final 4 things will be in Part 2 which I will post in a week!
Until then, stay motivated!
Thank you for reading,/Filip
Blog #17 – New Position: Copy Manager at TEDxGöteborg (Pro Bono) | Thoughts on Living an Authentic Life
July 25, 2017.A Tuesday.
I think the point of it all is to live an authentic life. A life that is true to you. To your values. To your wants and desires. But the tricky thing is that who you are is something that is always changing. From the cells in our bodies renewing on a regular basis, to our brains physically rebuilding and rewiring every time we entertain a thought.
And to add to that, the world we live in is changing even faster.
Or as the philosopher Heraclitus once put it:
“No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it's not the same river and he's not the same man”
So, how on earth are you supposed to find out what an authentic life means to you? Not sure. But the way I see it, if there are certain things, ideas, activities, that for some reason always speak to you, then maybe those are important to you on a level that goes deeper than just being part of a phase.
Does anything spring to mind?
For me, a reoccurring notion is that I want to do things because I want to do them, not because I have to do them.
Or because I get compensated for doing them.
And for some reason this is very important to me.
Not that I don’t want to get paid, but because if there is payment involved it’s pretty obvious that the money is part of the reason for doing it.
However – and fortunately – I am now in a position where I can give of my time and energy without needing to ask for anything in return.
It’s an absolute joy to be back at TEDxGöteborg. I say “back” because I worked with them as a copywriter in 2015 (also pro bono), interviewing speakers and typing things up to promote the event called “What if?” (Naturally, that event was a big success). And now they asked me to come back as a manager for the copy team, and I just couldn’t say no.
I love TED, and I think TEDx (which are independently organized events under license from TED) is such an amazing expression of people sharing this passion for the new, and the amazing.
And the edge of the unknown.
And if a can be a part of people discovering TED and TEDx, then that just warms my heart. And you know…
Warm hearts good. Cold hearts bad.
I think Shakespeare wrote that. Perhaps it was in a futuristic play called “Twitter: The End of Language.”
The way I see it, being a human being is not really about the being, but about the doing. As in it is not about being true to yourself, as much as it is about doing things that are true to yourself.
Because without the doing, there really is no being.
Question is, what do you want to do?
Thank you for reading,/Filip