How To Assess Your Motivation Using This One Simple Phrase

“It’s always been a dream of mine…”

Today I procrastinated by learning about procrastination, from a master procrastinator himself — Tim Urban, the man behind the blog Wait But Why.

Tim’s 2016 TED Talk, Inside the mind of a master procrastinator, is not only one of the most popular talks out there, garnering over 27 million views, it’s also remarkably funny. Tim uses his MS Paint style stick figure illustrations to tell the story of the goings-on inside the mind of a procrastinator, featuring the main characters Rational-Decision Maker, Instant Gratification Monkey, and the Panic Monster.

Tim demonstrates how the mind of a procrastinator works by sharing his experience in creating his presentation. When invited by the folks at TED to give a TED Talk he said yes, of course. And he quipped,

It’s always been a dream of mine to have done a TED Talk in the past.

This statement — It’s always been a dream of mine to have done a TED Talk in the past — was an equally hilarious and eye-opening statement for me. And having heard that statement, I opened Medium to procrastinate no longer.

While in Tim’s case we can safely assume that he’s joking, I’m not so sure how many people want to do things for the experience of doing them versus being able to say they did them.

Actually, I’m going to use the affirmative — there are things that I’ve decided to do, not because I enjoyed doing them, but because I got to say I did them.

If only I knew to assess my motivations using this phrase —

It’s always been a dream of mine to have done [this thing I’m considering doing] in the past.

If I am otherwise uncertain about doing the work required or having the experience itself, and if reciting this statement creates congruence, then I’ll know that I’m making a decision for all the wrong reasons.

This scenario can apply to countless situations: do I want to be an entrepreneur, and have all of the positive and negative experiences that invariably come with being an entrepreneur? Or, do I have a romantic view of being an entrepreneur and just want to be able to say that I’m an entrepreneur?

Do I want to be vegan or just say I’m vegan? There’s a whole category of pseudo-meat eaters — flexitarians — who are doing it for all the wrong reasons.

Do I actually care about (or understand) art, or do I just want to be able to put photos from that art museum on my Instagram story?

Why do we do this? In one word: ego.

In Ego Is The Enemy, Ryan Holiday writes that one area in which our ego can take over is when we aspire to accomplish bigger and better goals. Ryan argues that when we aspire, we must do it for the right reasons.

Our ego wants recognition & compensation. We have expectations. Let the effort, not the results be enough.

Tim’s ego wants only to say he’s done a TED Talk in the past. The ego doesn’t care about the work required to create a compelling TED Talk, or about all of the previous work required to even get invited to give a TED Talk in the first place. Ryan writes,

Ego is the enemy of what you want and of what you have: Of mastering a craft. Of real creative insight. Of working well with others. Of building loyalty and support. Of longevity. Of repeating and retaining your success.

We aspire for the right reasons when we’re doing something for more than mere recognition. Rather, we aspire for the experience, the effort, and for the learnings. Tim’s mission through his tutoring company ArborBridge, as well as Wait But Why and his TED Talk, is to teach people. And presumably, the congruence between his work and his mission, is why both his blog and his TED Talk have been wildly successful.

So, why do you aspire? What is your motivation?

If you’re uncertain, fill in the blank — It’s always been a dream of mine to have done [this thing I’m considering doing] in the past.

How did that statement feel? How do you feel about the work or experience required to say you did that thing?

I’m not saying that you’re always going to enjoy the process. But if you’re not enjoying the process at all, then you probably shouldn’t be doing it, no matter how badly you want to be able to say you did it.

I just wrote a blog post. It’s always been a dream of mine to have written viral blog posts. No, it’s a dream of mine to merely write on blog posts, irrespective of how many people read it. I’m enjoying the process, the value I’m getting out of the experience, and the value I’m (hopefully) providing to those who are reading what I have to say. And with that, I am successful.


Add Yours →

Taxi moto line
128 Rue la Boétie
75008 Paris
+33 6 51 612 712  

Taxi moto paris

Pretty section of content. I just stumbled upon your weblog and
in accession capital to assert that I acquire actually enjoyed account your blog posts.
Any way I will be subscribing to your augment and even I achievement you access consistently fast.

There is certainly a great deal to find out about this subject. I like all the points you have made. Maurise Lutero Dearr

You need to take part in a contest for one of the highest quality websites online. I will recommend this site! Dela Nickolai Loutitia

Way cool! Some very valid points! I appreciate you penning this write-up plus the rest of the site is very good. Florencia Temp Emlen

I love reading through an article that will make men and women think. Also, thanks for allowing me to comment. Neila Neville Corine Siusan Baily Weathers

When I originally left a comment I appear to have clicked on the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and now every time a comment is added I get 4 emails with the same comment. There has to be a way you are able to remove me from that service? Thanks! Charlena Morse Pippy

Thank you, I’ve just been searching for info approximately this subject for a long time and yours is
the greatest I’ve came upon till now. But, what about
the conclusion? Are you positive concerning the supply?

Does your blog have a contact page? I’m having problems locating it but, I’d like to send you an e-mail.

I’ve got some ideas for your blog you might be interested in hearing.
Either way, great website and I look forward to seeing it expand over

Normally I don’t read post on blogs, however I would like to
say that this write-up very pressured me to try and do so!
Your writing taste has been surprised me. Thanks, quite nice

We’re a group of volunteers and opening a new scheme in our community.
Your website provided us with valuable info to work on. You have done a formidable job and our whole community will be grateful to you.

Definitely believe that which you stated. Your favorite justification appeared to be
on the internet the simplest thing to be aware of. I
say to you, I definitely get annoyed while people consider worries that they plainly don’t know about.
You managed to hit the nail upon the top and also defined out the whole thing without having side effect , people could take a signal.

Will probably be back to get more. Thanks

Thanks for ones marvelous posting! I quite enjoyed reading it, you’re a great author.
I will ensure that I bookmark your blog and will often come
back in the foreseeable future. I want to encourage one to continue your great work,
have a nice holiday weekend!

Wow! This can be one particular of the most useful blogs We have ever arrive across on this subject. Actually Fantastic. I’m also an expert in this topic therefore I can understand your effort.

Hey there would you mind letting me know which hosting company
you’re working with? I’ve loaded your blog in 3 different web browsers and I must
say this blog loads a lot faster then most. Can you recommend
a good web hosting provider at a fair price? Thanks a lot, I appreciate

Hi there to all, how is everything, I think every one is getting more from this website, and
your views are pleasant in favor of new people.

Hello, i read your blog from time to time and i own a similar one and i was just curious if
you get a lot of spam feedback? If so how do you
stop it, any plugin or anything you can recommend? I get so much lately it’s driving
me crazy so any support is very much appreciated.

I all the time emailed this webpage post page to all my associates, as if like
to read it afterward my links will too.

I really love your blog.. Pretty good shades & concept. Did you Develop This page your self? Please reply back again as I’m hoping to make my quite have blog site and want to know in which you bought this from or just what exactly the topic is named. Many thanks!

Hi there to every body, it’s my first pay a quick visit of
this blog; this webpage carries amazing and genuinely excellent information for visitors.

I think other web-site proprietors should take this site as an model, very clean and great user genial style and design, let alone the content. You are an expert in this topic!

I have been surfing on-line greater than 3 hours lately,
but I never discovered any attention-grabbing article like yours.
It’s pretty value sufficient for me. In my opinion, if
all web owners and bloggers made good content as you did, the net can be a lot more helpful than ever before.

Please let me know if you’re looking for a author for your site.
You have some really great articles and I feel I would be a good asset.

If you ever want to take some of the load off, I’d
absolutely love to write some material for your blog in exchange for a link back to mine.

Please blast me an email if interested. Thank you!

Nice read, I just passed this onto a colleague who was doing some research on that. And he just bought me lunch as I found it for him smile Thus let me rephrase that: Thanks for lunch! “The capacity to care is what gives life its most deepest significance.” by Pablo Casals.

Hi! Do you know if they make any plugins to help with Search Engine Optimization? I’m trying to get my blog to rank for some targeted keywords but I’m not seeing very good results. If you know of any please share. Kudos!

With havin so much written content do you ever run into any issues of plagorism
or copyright infringement? My blog has a lot of unique content I’ve either written myself or outsourced but it seems a
lot of it is popping it up all over the internet without my agreement.
Do you know any solutions to help reduce content from being stolen? I’d genuinely appreciate it.

With havin so much written content do you ever run into any problems of
plagorism or copyright infringement? My blog has a lot
of unique content I’ve either authored myself or outsourced but it seems a lot
of it is popping it up all over the internet without
my permission. Do you know any methods to help prevent content from being stolen?
I’d genuinely appreciate it.

I was in reality itching to fix it some wager some change on some sports matches that are circumstance above-board now. I wanted to allow in you guys recall that I did spot what I consider to be the kindest locate in the USA.
If you fall short of to pull down in on the spirit, authenticate it out: real casino online

Befitting say of ivermectin buy online. stromectol 3 mg tablets price is largest enchanted as a single prescribe with a saturated barometer (8 ounces) of water on an deserted need (1 hour to come breakfast), unless in another manner directed nearby your doctor. To help unburden up your infection, decide this prescription precisely as directed. Your doctor may privation you to take another amount every 3 to 12 months. Your doctor may also dictate a corticosteroid (a cortisone-like nostrum) for certain patients with river blindness, mainly those with cold symptoms. This is to steal reduce the infection caused before the destruction of the worms. If your doctor prescribes these two medicines together, it is formidable to imbibe the corticosteroid along with Take them just as directed close your doctor. Do not nymphet any doses. Dosing. The measure of this medicine will be special for peculiar patients. Bring up the rear your doctor’s orders or the directions on the label. The following poop includes merely the run-of-the-mill doses of this medicine. If your quantity is different, do not shift it unless your doctor tells you to do so. The amount of medicament that you get depends on the concentration of the medicine. Also, the number of doses you abide each era, the epoch allowed between doses, and the completely of nevertheless you take the medicament depend on the medical problem for which you are using the medicine.

Leave a Reply