BRENT STOLLER

Writer. Advice giver. Peanut butter and chocolate enthusiast.

It’s OK to Go Through the Motions

Young man working at a white board

In my dreams, I am a golden god.

I am engaged, and enthusiastic, and eager to take on the day. And I spend every waking moment making the most of it.

There is no resistance, and there is no negligence. There is no doubt nor delay.

There is only productivity, and the pursuit of more productivity.

I am the lovechild of Bill Gates, Steve Jobs and Elon Musk, the poster child for what’s possible when you follow the wisdom of guys like Jeff Goins and Benjamin Hardy.

Of course, in my reality, I am anything but.

I’m tired, and lazy, and detached.

When I’m not procrastinating, I’m hesitating.

I am the lovechild of Kato Kaelin and George Costanza, the out-of-touch writer who regularly dates himself and loses his audience with references from the 1990s.

And instead of making the most of my life, too often it feels as if I’m just trying to survive it.

And that’s OK.

Don’t get me wrong…I hate that I’m like this, and I’m embarrassed to admit to it. Especially when I think about all I have to be grateful for — a loving wife, a supportive family, a great group of friends, an unclogged bathroom sink. The blessings go on and on.

Unfortunately, though, this is who I am right now.

But that doesn’t mean it’s who I’ll always (have to) be.

This morning, Monday morning, felt like, well, a Monday morning.

Despite having gone to bed early, my alarm came too quickly. I was cold just thinking about shedding my comforter, and I was overwhelmed by the Sisyphean task of the workweek ahead.

I wanted nothing more than to pull up the covers and postpone my life another 45 minutes.

But thankfully, I didn’t.

After forcing myself out of bed, I was anything but energetic during my DVD workout.

While I tried to mirror the squats and push-ups and burpees playing out on my computer screen, I know I missed some. And I know my heart wasn’t in the ones I caught.

And when I sat down to write this story, I was anything but inspired.

My mind was moving slower than normal, while my procrastination trigger was twitching as quickly as ever.

Even the subject matter seemed more self-centered than usual. It felt more like a “Dear diary” therapy session than a dose of motivation expressed via a self-inspired metaphor.

Yet somehow, someway, I made it through.

I made it through my alarm clock, and my burning quads and lower back, and my blanked-out brain to have as productive a morning as I could.

The expression, “Going through the motions,” has always been shrouded in negativity.

And understandably so, because it implies a lack of enthusiasm, of commitment, of doing your best.

But sometimes, it’s the best you can do.

As great as it’d be great to wake up every day brimming with passion, it’s just as unrealistic, because it goes against human nature.

And not even those aforementioned titans of industry are above being human.

What matters is, no matter how you feel or what you want, that you have the discipline to show up to do what needs to be done.

Because, as I discovered this morning, even when I go through the motions, I’m still completing the motions. And that has to count for something.

After all, something is better than nothing.

And hopefully, in time, those small somethings will add up to something more.

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