If you ever ask yourself, “Why am I so unmotivated and unproductive” there’s a secret you need to know. You’re not unmotivated and unproductive. It’s THIS.
You’re sitting there staring at the computer. Your exams, or perhaps your work deadline, is coming up. You tell yourself to work. But you just go on Facebook and chat gibberish to friends, or you head out for a drink or for a smoke, or you binge watch Netflix.
You know you’re doing the wrong thing. You just can’t help it.
“Why am I so unmotivated?” you ask yourself, screaming in your own head because you know you have to do something to turn your life around. But you always feel unmotivated. You’re always unproductive. So maybe it’s just you.
If you think you’re unmotivated and unproductive realise the truth: 99% of people are the exact same way. Sure, they might look like champions when they’re out in public, they might tell you how much money they’re making or how often they’ve hit the gym, or the amount of hot dates they’ve been on. They might make Facebook posts about how great their lives are. But it’s very easy to paint a false picture.
You’re not alone in being unmotivated and unproductive. You’re in the majority of people.
But there is one thing differentiating you from the average person: you acknowledge that you need to become more motivated and more productive.
That self awareness and self acceptance catapults you into the upper echelon of people. The willingness to face your weaker parts and to do something about them is your strength. So pat yourself on the back.
No, really, pat yourself on the back right now. I would do it for you if we weren’t divided through space. But go ahead, pat yourself on the back.
When you pat yourself on the back you will release serotonin in your brain. This is one of the four chemicals controlling your happiness, motivation, and productivity.
If you’re unproductive and unmotivated, it’s because of an imbalance of these chemicals
Dopamine: Dopamine motivates you to take an action. When you perform a positive action your brain is doing it in anticipation of the dopamine that will be released as a result. It’s the carrot in front of the horse’s face.
Serotonin: Serotonin flows when you feel high self regard. People who are lonely and depressed have low serotonin levels. Serotonin is released when you reflect on past accomplishments—your brain perceives little difference between reality and imagined reality, so when you imagine reliving past glory you release serotonin. Healthy exposure to the sun also releases serotonin.
Oxytocin: Oxytocin creates trust and intimacy. It’s the cuddle hormone. So if you hug people a lot it’s because your brain wans to keep a steady flow of oxytocin going. Oxytocin also improves cardiovascular health and improves your immune system.
Endorphins: Endorphins are released to alleviate stress and anxiety. Exercise is the best natural way to produce endorphins. Laughter is another way. And aromatherapy helps also, especially lavender.
You can read more about these chemicals on Thai Nguyen’s blog TheUtopianLife.
Of course, there are lots of possible reasons for a lack of motivation. For instance, it has even been proven that fairness in the workplace makes employees more motivated and more productive.
But the basic component of motivation and productivity comes down to brain chemicals.
“Yeah, great Paul,” you say, “but I’m not looking to get a degree in psychology here. I just want to be more motivated and productive. Enough with the chemicals already.”
So let’s set it down in black and white: the state of those chemical in your brain is what controls your productivity and motivation. This is especially true of dopamine, the motivation chemical, the carrot that your brain dangles in front of itself to get itself galloping.
If you’re unmotivated and unproductive it is because your brain’s chemical balance is out of whack.
To prove this, go get yourself a horse. Well, don’t really, but take it from a horse lover, if you put a carrot on a stick in front of a horse the horse will keep walking until it gobbles up the carrot. That’s a good thing, because the horse will be getting exercise while it’s moving.
But what if you put that carrot in the wrong place? Place the carrot above the horse’s neck and it will constantly arch it’s neck backwards until it gets a stiff neck. Now, I’ve never done that because I love animals more than I love cupcakes—and I really love cupcakes. But you get the point. Put the carrot in the wrong place and the horse will still try to get it even though it’s harming itself.
Your brain is that horse. If you’re not productive and not motivated it’s because your carrot is in the wrong place. By which, of course, I mean that your dopamine is being released via the wrong channels.
Sadly, modern society has taken over your brain and made you learn to get dopamine from unhealthy sources.
You’ve been misled by clever manufacturers and media creators who know how to give you dopamine in such a way that you’ll get addicted to their products.
Cigarettes, sugar, sexy scenes in movies… they all make your brain release dopamine. That’s why you inhale tobacco. That’s why you eat chocolate bars, candy, McDonalds and all that other junk. That’s why when you’re alone you sometimes put the internet on and watch some buxom woman stripping in the kitchen while a plumber conveniently arrives and asks if he can sort her pipes out.
Now remember that dopamine is the way your brain motivates itself to do something. Your brain, left to its own natural course, will release dopamine from positive activities like completing a task and going on a winning streak—I’ve created a complete guide to dopamine so you can see the full picture of what’s going on.
Left to its own natural state your brain will release dopamine to motivate you to take positive actions to get that reward, the reward of feeling good when you get that surge of dopamine.
But some clever scientist in a lab realised this. They realised that you can essentially control a person by controlling where they get dopamine from. A fat cat business owner then said to the scientist, “Can you make it so people get dopamine from our products so people will get addicted to them?” An exchange was made whereby the scientist made a packet of money, the businessman got you addicted to their products, and you became a slave because someone besides yourself was controlling your brain’s motivator.
Flash forward several years to the present day. Your brain has now learnt to get dopamine—the one thing it is motivated to get—by eating sugar, smoking cigarettes, watching movies, and so on. So your entire brain has now been manipulated into motivating itself to get dopamine by taking negative actions.
And because your brain is motivated to get those unhealthily high dopamine levels from unhealthy products, it’s no longer motivated to do the right things that would have released enough dopamine to satisfy it had it not been for those corrupt businessmen who brainwashed you.
So the next time you ask “Why am I so unmotivated and unproductive” remember, you’re not. You are very motivated. You’re very motivated to eat sugar, smoke cigarettes, watch sex scenes and so on because that’s how your brain has, essentially, been seduced into thinking.
Thankfully, there are solutions. The solution is to replace the negative sources of dopamine with positive ones. So let’s do that right now. Let me prove to you that you are motivated and that you are productive and that you can reclaim your brain. It’s all in this completely free guide to dopamine. Trust me, it is the best way how to stop being lazy and to double your motivation and productivity.
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