In a rare moment of blinding self-awareness, I became conscious of a trick I use to motivate myself. I use this trick when I realize I’m running from the lumbering monster on my to-kill list rather than having it the other way around. This hack is actually mental macro, and the operation goes something like this:
“Dude. You used to spend twelve hours a day delivering pizza. Surely you can spend x (hours doing) x (useful thing).”
Quick, dirty, and effective. Imagine something you’ve done in the past that you really hated. Next, think of something you need to do but you find yourself putting off, and ask yourself why you can’t do that big scary thing when, in the past, you had no trouble doing the soul-smashing mundane work.
If I had to guess why this works, it might be a combination of a person’s innate tolerance for crap and a fear of failure for whatever task looms ahead. The soul-smashing stuff is easy, once you get used to having your soul smashed, and if you screw it up, no big deal, because you don’t give a damn. However, for the really rewarding stuff, the stakes seem too high; procrastination is safer.
Lumbering monsters, take heed and stay in your caves.