How To Even…Motivate Yourself

By Michael Gushue & CL Bledsoe

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Life, amirite? Yesterday, you did all the things, but today, you’re having trouble finishing a yawn. That’s how it goes. It’s not even that you tired yourself out, exactly, you just burned through your motivation. But that makes no sense, right? Motivation isn’t a finite thing, like Cheetos or patience or a government that works on behalf of the people. As long as you eat healthy meals, get plenty of rest, and aren’t chained to the floor of a cavern, you should be perfectly able to be productive pretty much all the time, right? Then why is it so hard to get going sometimes?

In the words of a mediocre white male: uhm, actually, not a lot of people realize this, but motivation is in fact finite. (Fooled you!) We’re born with a specific amount, and once that’s used up, we’re screwed. You’ve probably met older people who seem to be very active and thought to yourself how much you’d like to emulate them when you’re their age, right? Well, the truth is, they were probably lazy af when they were younger. Now, they’ve got all this motivation to burn off before they die. On the flipside, someone who seems to be really unmotivated at a youngish age was probably really motivated as a baby. Unfortunately, they used it all up too soon, and now they’re left to lie on the couch, binge watching Garfield cartoons, too lazy to even change the channel. It’s sad, really.

Of course, some people are born with different levels of motivation. A whole slew of factors influence this: genetics, whether or not your parents were exposed to a burst of gamma radiation while you were in utero, and your parents’ gluten intake.

But all is not lost. Just because you lack motivation, doesn’t mean you can’t BE motivated. Those neural pathways still exist, whether they’re flooded with moti-juice or not. You’ve just got to get things going.

Modified Pacemaker

A pacemaker is a small electrical device surgically implanted near the heart. Basically, it uses electrical impulses to shock arrhythmic hearts into maintaining a regular pace. At least we think that’s what they do; we’re too lazy to actually look it up. But our explanation sounds plausible, to us. Anyway, what if you used something like that, but at a higher voltage to motivate you every time you become too sedentary? There are two ways to approach this. One would be to implant something like a pacemaker into your body. First, you’d have to figure out the most sensitive spot that would actually inspire action, as opposed to stimulating you, sexually. Then, you’re going to have to crank the thing up. Then, you’ll have to actually implant it. No doctor who wants to remain certified will perform this surgery, but we know a guy. DM us for deets.

The second option would be to hire someone with a cattle prod or taser. You could either schedule specific times for them to monitor you, or have a live-in situation. This is most likely going to evolve into a sexual thing for at least one of you, but regardless, you’re spurring the economy on, creating jobs, and generally being a good American.


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Science has proven that fighting your feelings only makes them stronger (your feelings, in other words, have been reading too much Nietzsche). Tell someone whose pet just died not to feel sad, and they will end up feeling worse. Tell a panicked person to hurry up and relax and watch their heart rate take off. It’s the same with motivation. Tell yourself to get motivated and then try to get up off the couch to pee. Why get off the couch when you’ve got an empty Mountain Dew liter bottle handy?

Clearly the best way to top off your motivation tank with a fresh batch of motivation juice is to tell yourself *not* to get motivated. But there’s a catch. Simply telling yourself “Whatever you do, don’t get motivated” isn’t going to work. Your feelings aren’t that dumb (they’ve read German philosophy!). So, to trick your feelings, think about under what circumstances you would say, “No need to get motivated, my good man.” Mostly, it’s going to be when you’ve already done everything you needed to do, or needed to be motivated to do in the first place. Now let’s weaponize, or implementize, or Sanforize — or whatever it is — this knowledge. Convince yourself that you’ve reached all the goals you ever wanted. Remember, though, you’ve got to really commit here. You don’t want to give your feelings the sneaking suspicion that they’re being conned. Deny reality. Embrace delusion. Once you reach the level where you truly believe you live in a dream world of ponies and buttermilk pancakes, that empty motivation tank will be spilling over with motivation juice. Neuroscientists call this Reverse Double Whammy “Psychology.” But will it really work? Whether it does or not, you’ll never know.

Donut-On-a-Stick Hat

This is a foolproof technique. We’ve asked this before, and we’re confident we’ll receive the same lack of an answer: who doesn’t love donuts? The kind of people who hurt puppies’ feelings for kicks, that’s who. Just imagine if you could utilize that human yearning for donuts in order to accomplish all the things in life you’re failing at? So, stick one of those bad boys on a string attached to a stick, attach that stick to a hat, put on the stick, and get to chasing that donut. *Of course, this could backfire disastrously with you just chasing the donut around and not doing the thing you’re actually supposed to be doing. Or, you get so hungry that you eat the hat. But hopefully you’ll manage to get some of the things you need to do done before that happens.

The Mockery and Derision of Others

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We’ve included this just to demonstrate how poorly it works. If the derision of others were enough to motivate us, we wouldn’t be in this situation to begin with. It didn’t stop us from being dumbheads, wusses, or whatever your mom used to call you behind your back to all your friends. Then she would hand out ice cream bars until there were none left for you. Mostly, strangers (or people we thought we trusted) making fun of our failings just leads to a lifetime of depression, possibly PTSD, and general misery. As mom used to say: Loser.

Get Rich and Hire Someone Else To Do Everything

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This is probably the best idea we’ve ever come up with, ever. Just imagine. An attractive person who smells like almonds — but not overpoweringly so — gently moves your jaw open and closed to chew your food for you as you gaze numbly at Game of Medieval Sex or whatever Netflix series everyone on Twitter’s so excited about these days. When you have to relieve yourself — ah, ah, you won’t be doing it yourself. And when your heart finally stops beating from sheer inertia, they’ll pump your blood through your body for you. A dream come true…you think — you’re not sure what dreams are anymore.


Something we perhaps should’ve mentioned at the beginning of this article is that, once your motivation is used up, you’re probably going to die. So, artificially motivating yourself only serves to hasten that inevitable demise. Perhaps you feel the desire to write us a strongly worded letter, but we urge you not to exert yourself too much. Are we really worth it?

But all is not lost. There have been a lot of impressive discoveries made recently in the field of motivation recovery. There are unconfirmed reports that scientists have been able to create a stable artificial motivation in a controlled lab setting. This guy Doug (of Doug Says Stuff about Science, a Vice Show, fame) theorizes that scientists will be able to surgically implant motivation in humans as early as Tuesday. He also has a lot to say about MDMA, or something. We were too lazy to change the channel.

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