Motivation is garbage

Last Update: Oct 3, 2022

blog cover image

Motivation is garbage

I was listening to a podcast this morning by Mel Robbins. She said something that was interesting to me. She said, “Motivation is garbage.”

Hmm.... I tried to wrap my head around the statement.

I rolled it around in my mind. “Motivation is garbage.”

Like Robbins, I looked up what motivation means.

The first definition was, “The reason or reasons one has for acting or behaving in a particular way.”

In a similar vein, “the general desire or willingness of someone to do something.”

If we follow this line of thought, then we all have motivation to some extent. We go to the fridge to get something to eat because we are motivated by hunger to do so.

Motivation will undoubtedly get us through the “normal” parts of life.

But why does Robbins say it is garbage?

“At some point we all bought into this lie that you have to feel ready, to change. We all bought into this falsehood that at some point you will have the courage. At some point, you will have confidence. It’s total BS. It’s garbage. You may have these incredible ideas and what you think is missing is motivation. And that’s not true. The fact about the way our brains are wired, the fact about us as human beings is that we are not designed to do things that are uncomfortable or scary or difficult. Our brains are designed to protect us from those things because our brains are trying to keep us alive,” said Robbins.

She went on to say that in order to be the best version of ourselves: the best parent, the best partner, to build a business or whatever it is that we want to do, we are going to have to do things that are uncomfortable, uncertain or scary “which sets up this problem for all of us. You’re never going to feel like it. Motivation is garbage. You only feel motivated to do the things that are easy.”

Robbins can speak with authority on this topic. She has spent years trying to answer the questions like, “Why is it so hard to do the little things in life?”

It is because, she says, “Our minds are designed to stop you—at any cost—from things that will hurt you.”

She said it all starts with a habit of hesitating. We all have this habit.

“You’re in a meeting and you have this incredible idea and instead of just saying it, you stop. You hesitate. And what none of us realize, when you hesitate for that moment—that micro moment—that small hesitation sends a stress signal to your brain,” she began.

She went on to say that the stress signal wakes your brain up. It begins to question, “Why did she hesitate? She didn’t hesitate a moment ago...Something must be up.”

So then your brain goes to work to protect you. It has a million ways to protect you, noted Robbins.

She said one way is called the “spotlight effect.” Your brain magnifies something so that you will pull away from the thing that it perceives to be a problem. She added that you could trace every problem in your life to hesitation.

“Those are decisions,” she said.

What changed her life and it can change ours, too?

Robbins said she now wakes up in the morning and reminds herself that motivation is garbage and that she is never going to feel like doing things that are scary, uncertain, or new and so she needs to stop waiting until she feels like it. Because let’s face it, that moment will never come.

The second thing she does is remind herself that she is one decision away from a totally different marriage, a totally different life, a totally different job, a totally different income.

Learn how to take control of those moments and decisions. If you can do that, you will change everything.

Who is ready to boot motivation out the window and make some decisions that will change everything?

I know I am.

Let's just do it!

Create Your Free Wealthy Affiliate Account Today!
4-Steps to Success Class
One Profit Ready Website
Market Research & Analysis Tools
Millionaire Mentorship
Core “Business Start Up” Training

Recent Comments


I just wanted to acknowledge all of you who shared your thoughts on this post. Things have been crazy in my life over the past few weeks. I just wanted to acknowledge that I read all of them and appreciate your thoughts so much! Thank you for reading my posts and for sharing your responses!


Thank you so much for writing this. I needed to read that because I do this all the time. As a matter of fact, I have been fighting it now.
I am still very new here and I thought I was doing okay, but then I got to the point where I need to get affiliate programs going and I'm feeling frustrated and lost. It's new and difficult, and my mind keeps wanting to bail and making up excuses, saying it's too hard, you can't do it, etc.
So, again, I thank you for sharing...

Thank you for an excellent piece of writing Karin! What you write is food for thought and reflection.

I know Mel Robbin's statement from reading and listening to her material which I enjoy very much.

I will throw in some thoughts of my own about motivation and inspiration;

I agree that motivation is basically connected to "the feel good" feeling, at least in most cases. Maybe this goes for inspiration as well.

In my personal philosophy, both motivation and Inspiration are not connected to my "feel good" feelings.

I get inspired by a lot of stuff both negative stuff and positive stuff. I get inspired to do different things in either case based on the context, is it painful or is it pleasurable and do not fully agree that motivation or inspiration is BS like Mel Robbins states. But I understand well the explanation and what she is trying to tell us.

Digging further into this, two forces deep within us drive our actions every day. Motivation, inspiration and desperation are some of the bi-products of these two forces
Those two forces are:

- Pain
- Pleasure

We want to avoid pain and we want to be in the "pleasure" zone as much as possible.

Wising you a wonderful day Karin!


That sounds interesting. That sounds like what Steven Pressman calls "Resistance" in his book "The War of Art" (and his other monfiction books.

I've had this happen so many times, I lost count a long time ago. I'm fine with writing. I could write in my journal all day long. I have a lot of half-completed blog post drafts on my hard drive, but when it comes to completing them and publishing them, then there's that stress, and panic of actually publishing. YIKES!!!! That gets me every time.

I have accepted that I won't always feel like it, that I'll lose momentum as far as depending on if I'm "inspired" to write, or "motivation to complete something (and I have enough problems with that as it is. More than most, probably, one of those ADHD symptoms, on top of the usual hesitation, fear, etc. But I also know that a lot of progress is started or maintained by not inspiration or "motivation" but pure desperation. The knowledge that something has to change. At least that's how it works with me, anyway. Thanks again, Karin!

I can totally get what you are saying when you said, "But I also know that a lot of progress is started or maintained by not inspiration or "motivation" but pure desperation. The knowledge that something has to change."

That is the point that I find myself right now. Without my spouse's income to help make the ends meet I am going to have to do some fancy reassessments of my budget so that I can hang onto my house.

Things have to change and soon! No more playing at being a blogger and business owner. Now it's "go" time whether I am "motivated" or not!

Hope you will dust off some of those blog posts, finish them up and get them published. I bet they are a lot better than you imagine.

I used to think, "well, what if nobody reads them?" Then I realized, no one is reading them when they are sitting on my hard drive, either so . . .

Best wishes!

Thanks, Karin, I'll definitely consider it. At least two are with another site, my personal blog called: Forever Evolving MInd, but there's only a couple of posts there for right now, and my "About Me" is a page, not a post, but the URL is : I can see it still needs work. I just altered it so Google can index it, lol! We each do what we can.

This is a very interesting eye opener - a very different, but true perspective on motivation. Our natural order is to approach things that are easy - that don't cause any resistance or conflict. Anything that has the potential of posing a conflict, we are hesitant and we procrastinate in moving forward.

Great read - thanks for sharing.

Glad you could get something from the post. I know my brain goes into overdrive trying to protect me!


Who knew? Motivation is garbage is an interesting point of view and actually makes a lot of sense.

But, what do I call the thing that makes me work on my business? What is it that forces my fingers to type words onto a page?

I want to have a better life for my family. That’s what motivates me to work on my business.

But fear of failure is what stops a lot of people from moving forward and changing their mindset to achieve those goals.

Great blog, I look forward to hearing more and now I have another podcast to listen to!!

All the best

Great post. Thank you for sharing.

Motivation can get us started, and we can get a buzz and excitement for the future, but we need to develop habits and discipline to keep going on the days when motivation isn't there. And we will have those days 100%.

Progress takes time and discipline.

This post was certainly well-needed. Where I come from, the Elders called it "stepping out on faith"; sometimes you have to get uncomfortable to get to the level of comfort that you seek. Otherwise, some of us wouldn't be here together on this site.

Many blessings to you 🙏🏾

I love your elders thinking!

From where I come from my elders call it "growing pains"

You had me there Karin. I agree with the author's analogy. A form of reverse psychology. If you train your brain to do something "JUST" because of a, b, c, or d, it will take one OR all of those letters to get you moving. Nothing wrong with a little motivation because we could all use it. But let it not be the foundation for why you move.

Move because it is necessary,

Move because you want to,

Move because it doesn't feel good but there is a goal at the end when you do,

And move for no reason at all.

Just do.

We are already hardwired at birth and from childhood depending on your rearing to be cautious and some like me extra cautious. Took a while for me to break out of my shell. but I did.

Self-starter is what they call people like these. They need no motivation to do anything at all. They dance to the tune of their own trumpet. No need for a band. lol, thanks for sharing.

Ms. Kida

All excellent points, Ms. Kida! 👍

Create Your Free Wealthy Affiliate Account Today!
4-Steps to Success Class
One Profit Ready Website
Market Research & Analysis Tools
Millionaire Mentorship
Core “Business Start Up” Training