There’s a metric fuckton of motivational books on the market. They’ll range from ‘lose weight now!’ to ‘write three books in a week!’ but they’re all selling the same thing. You know, there might even be some hidden secret to getting ahead in your life. Both of us know that there’s no secret, and no ‘easy’ button that needs pressing. The self help industry grows because there’s a gazillion people out there who think that the first expert was lying when they gave the answer.

Hell, I want there to be some sort of magic ‘easy’ button. I want a brand new set of tactics to present themselves so I can get ahead in my world. I want the curtains to open up and reveal that all I have to do is hold my hands this way while singing a rousing version of they’ve got the money by Matthew Ebel. I want my own damned cycle breaking superhero to come into my life, wave their magic wand and break the cycle of mediocrity FOR me. That ain’t gonna happen today.

I’m the one who puts the content into a motivational quotes site. It’s chock full of advice and thoughts from famous people and not so famous people. But you know what? It’s all the same. It’s absolutely all the same. There’s only like a few things that you need to do to make yourself a complete success. I’ve even talked about these before. Other people have talked about these before. You don’t believe it, and neither do I. Just as I am, you’re looking for that button which means that we don’t have to put in the time.

Get over it and work

You’re going to spend more time looking for the easy button than you will in just doing the work. You’re going to meet up with people who don’t have the same vision that you do. You’re going to meet up with people who believe that you’ve joined a crazy cult. You’re going to meet with people who are better than you because they’ve been in the field for a longer time than you. The worst bitch of it all, you’re going to meet up with your own fears and your own trials… and you’re going to have to figure out how the hell to get unstuck. You want to know how to get unstuck?

Keep moving

No matter what the little voice in the back of your head says. No matter what you’re thinking that you should be doing. No matter if what you think is the stupidest, most incomplete, idiotic idea on the planet. Keep moving. Keep moving because nothing’s going to really replace the answer to the question of ‘wouldn’t it be cool if?’ unless you do it. You can’t answer ‘yeah, that sure was cool!’ if you’re stopping in the middle of the path and waiting for some expert to come sweep you away. Experts are experts because they’ve been doing it longer and they’ve had more practice. They’re not experts because someone anointed them that way. So, keep moving.

You can even say stuff like, “this is stupid, but I promised myself that I’d keep moving, and I wouldn’t want to let me down.” But, that’s the thing. Keep moving. Keep putting effort into it. Put your half hour of work into it, and know that the secret answer is at your fingertips. Yeah, this is the secret ‘easy’ button – just keeping moving. That’s what that metric fuckton of books will tell you. Those books will push you, they’ll try to tear you down, they’ll steal your cookies, but most of all they’ll tell you to keep going.

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  • TheUnlikelyMage

    Pareto principle and Parkinson’s Law are the keys for me, though I must admit that I’ve hardly leveraged them myself.

    See http://boingboing.net/2011/05/12/8020.html for more info, though it’s mostly stuff you already know. :)