Every now and then, people ask me how to stay motivated? How to build consistency at something? Or how to form positive habits?
Instead, of answering their questions or giving them some “great life tips”. I ask them how not to stay motivated? How not to build consistency? Or how not to form positive habits?
This is the real question to ask ourselves. Because, if we are good at being inconsistent, then we must know the perfect recipe for it. So, in order to stay motivated, build consistency or form positive habits, we need to stop following the recipe of its complete opposite in the first place.
Understanding the Purpose in Life
When you start noticing yourself and look deeply in to what you do and why you do, you’ll notice that most of the times we are caught up in unproductive things because we lack a purpose in life.
Yes, we want to do good stuff. We always want to read that book or start exercising. Everyone wants to do that but it’s not a purpose! It’s just another good thing.
We know about a lot of things that we should be doing. Do we practice them all?
The answer is simple, ‘no’.
Why? Because there is a to-do list of productive things in our brains with no priority attached to any task on the list.
While, there is another to-do list in our brain of unproductive work with priority attached to nearly all of the tasks in numbers, on this list.
Priority vs. Purpose
So, what we do when we do is that we pick the thing that is on the highest priority when we get time (i.e watch House of Cards, Games of Throne or some new movie) and then we say, “Oh, I really want to read this book. But I never get time.”
No wonder we never get time for productive things because we are so lost in doing unproductive things. But there must be a way to solve this problem. But oh, we realized that this is a problem. So, let’s pat ourselves on the back first.
What we should do is that we should erase the priority numbers from the tasks on the unproductive to-do list and assign them to the tasks on the productive to-do list. But, only if that was so simple to do.
In order to be in a position to do this, we must first understand what made us set our priorities wrong? What made us focus on entertainment, fashion and what people said about us more than what we really should have been doing?
That’s simple, our purpose. Had our purpose in life been to constantly evolve into a better person and help others, would we have paid attention to what people said about us? Would we spend countless hours on entertainment and so less on becoming a better person and learning about making that possible?
So, before we set our priorities right, what really is needed is that we set our purpose in life and we set it right. Because, without a purpose, we are headed somewhere. But we don’t just know why.