Why is it I lose my drive every so often? (self.asktrp)

submitted by get-tilted

It’s like fucking clockwork.

One week, I’m going at it. Really killing it. I’m working out daily, sleeping well, working.

The next, I’m un-fucking-recognizable.

Why is it that I suddenly lose motivation? Or why is it I suddenly lose self-discipline?

[–]Insendi 75 points76 points  (6 children)

I’m in the same boat and I think finding others going through shit like this makes you realize that it’s normal. That being said it’s not something to use to rationalize. Remember that motivation or being motivated is an emotion just like anything else. It’s temporary. You need to stick with it til it becomes a habit. That way no matter how you feel about waking up to workout or eating super clean, you just do it cause you don’t know anything else

[–]get-tilted[S] 18 points19 points  (5 children)

Yeah that’s true.

I really appreciate this response, brother. It’s true, what you’ve said.

I guess it’s just my mind shit testing me (for lack of a better term), seeing if I’ll crack under pressure. Fuck no I’m not. Not again.

[–]Insendi 10 points11 points  (4 children)

Make smaller goals if you have to, every victory is a victory. If you can find others tryna achieve the goals you’re trying to achieve, link up with them

[–]get-tilted[S] 2 points3 points  (3 children)

Yeah you’re right. I haven’t had a reward system all my life, and it hasn’t exactly yielded great results.

I read a book that’s great recently, and I’m hoping that’ll teach me something. You have any other books that you loved?

[–]Insendi 0 points1 point  (2 children)

I have been meaning to get around to read a book lately but I haven’t gotten time due to summer classes. It’s called Key to living the Law of Attraction by Jack Canfield

[–]get-tilted[S] 0 points1 point  (1 child)

What’s the best you’ve read?

[–]ThinkGrowProsper 0 points1 point  (0 children)

The greatest salesman in the world.


The obstacle is the way.

[–]turtlings 32 points33 points  (1 child)

Mate it’s because you are human. much as we like to be productive af and be the ultimate chad, sometimes things around us fuck us up. It’s okay to fuck up and feel down, just remember to get back on your feet. You can’t control things around you and even your emotions,but you can control your reactions and actions. Cheers

[–]no_okaymaybe 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Stoicism 101

[–]aaaGreg 19 points20 points  (0 children)

I have the same problem. Absolutely kill it for a month; own my shit, hit the gym, eat well, fuck like crazy. Then there’s a week that follows that’s just a mess. The exact opposite of what feels so good to accomplish. Not sure if it’s a balance issue or a self-reward thing.

Would make for a good post if someone knows how to handle themselves well consistently and how they do it.

[–]JerryLawlerPigFace 13 points14 points  (8 children)

How often are you watching porn? It absolutely wreaks havoc on your dopamine levels, which is a main factor in motivation, drive, ambition, etc.

[–]get-tilted[S] 6 points7 points  (7 children)

A little too much, but it’s a really hard one to kick because it essentially will wreck my sleep schedule. I can barely sleep regularly

[–]JerryLawlerPigFace 12 points13 points  (1 child)

There’s your answer right there.

Just remember, no worthwhile changes can be brought about if you’re not willing to make the sacrifices necessary. I would definitely look into it more.

[–]get-tilted[S] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

You’re right man. I appreciate this more than words can say.

[–]AwkwardEmpath 8 points9 points  (0 children)

I have to agree with Jerry, to add on to what he said, sex drive is one of our biggest tools for ambition as men. I'm currently trying to be porn free and even cut out jerking off because it affects my ambition and energy so much. I successfully had it down to at most twice a month and I was feeling better then I ever did and for once making progress towards the man I wanted to be consistently. Just wanted to give you my perspective for some insight. It is a hard one to kick for sure but it can be done.

Might consider checking out the subbredit pornfree.. it can be useful for trying to quit.

[–][deleted] 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Really? Your excuse for not kicking this habit is "You couldn't sleep"? Gtfo.

[–]shonthered 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Porn can really wreck havoc on one's brain, you might want to check r/NoFap and read their sidebar. Giving up porn was one of the best things I've ever done for my life.

[–]Rndm_010 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Lame reason. Your brain is wired to: porn = release sleep hormones.

[–]needless_pickup_line 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Melatonin/ZMA really help me wind down for bed. Also help suppress appetite if you tend to snack before bed.

[–]PB0034 20 points21 points  (8 children)

This is easy.

You don't have discipline. You rely too much on motivation. Motivation comes and goes. Discipline stays with you forever.

Focus on building discipline. Make a list of shit to do tomorrow, and then execute it regardless of how you feel. This builds discipline. The more you build it, the less you need motivation.

Motivation is based on emotion, discipline is based on logic.

The results achieved through discipline are far sweeter than those achieved via motivation (if you can, though).

  1. Make a list day before, and put a time of execution.
  2. Execute (called prioritize and execute from 'extreme ownership', book by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin).
  3. Repeat the next day.

Bonus: Keep your list short in the beginning or you are using emotion in list making decision, which I like said before is not good.

[–]raging_mongoose 2 points3 points  (0 children)


When I started working out 2 years ago I had weeks when I wouldnt hit the gym fast forward now the least I can do is go to the gym 2x/week and thats when I'm really procrastinating.

Basically the more and the longer you do something you start to build standards that you need to meet regardless of external causes.

The trick is to do as much as you can even if its hard to force you to grow and get back on your feet ASAP when you slip up.

Now the weeks that I consider fucked up are still way more productive than what felt like a normal week years ago.

Push yourself, step back, rest, get back at it.

[–]AManIsBusy 1 point2 points  (1 child)

I think this is intellectualizing the problem without actually solving it. I think this problem is common in young people, and it's due to all the technology that lets you disconnect from the world (a modern phenomenon, to be sure). Dopamine, our motivation system, doesn't recognize real vs fake. It sees these new things and gives them equal importance. Being a subconscious system, you suddenly feel at the whim of your dopamine system that is like a crack-addicted fiend with some of the products that people buy and use now.

Say you play video games, and you are working on beating a hard level. It takes you a few hours. Congrats, to your brain, you just used up as much willpower as it would've taken to engage in a 2 hour workout. It's also well-known that willpower is a finite resource in the body, so you're draining yourself.

If you're in school, depending upon what you're studying and how, I could easily see that being an activity that drains you faster than you can replenish yourself.

Essentially, the goal in achieving health and balance here is to not deplete your willpower faster than you can replenish it. Make choices accordingly. There're also ways to build greater willpower capacity, but that has to be achieved independently of everything else you're doing, otherwise you're on the path to frequent burnout, much like the OP is experiencing.

Let's add some science to this discussion instead of falling back on the trope of 'discipline'.

[–]bluechipmonk 0 points1 point  (0 children)

This man! Discipline is good but without a little motivation it can burn you out.

[–]Cmdrj-nice 1 point2 points  (0 children)

The best way to deal with this is to get a routine that you follow religiously. I normally use Google calender to plan out my day

[–]Geoff_M 0 points1 point  (1 child)

Thanks for this, the best things are the simplest and most overlooked.

[–]PB0034 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Thanks to Jocko for showing the light

[–]get-tilted[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Absolutely. I’ve read a great book on self discipline recently, and I’m trying to use all of the tactics taught to me in there.

I’ve really been neglecting my list. Thanks for shifting my attention

[–]fretbord 0 points1 point  (0 children)

this is the best thing I've ever read on reddit

[–]AlexanderTheBread 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I suspect that one of the things that ails you is a perception problem. You expect bigger gains than what you are observing and it kills your motivation. Maybe you are plateauing in life and it kills the motivation, saps your energy and so on. Perhaps you’re not eating and sleeping enough. Try more protein?

[–]Morphs_ 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Part of this is normal life. The ups and downs are part of it.

Meditating daily will enable you to reflect on these waves and act accordingly.

I have the same tendency. For example, lately I've been eating well and hitting the gym hard. But because of too much work (and maybe too much sex) I got ill last week while still working (self employed). So I fell off the wagon, no training, eating shitty. This usually marks the start of the "bad" period where I continue this trend until I'm fed up with it. So I have to remain conscious about it and intervene immediately once I'm no longer feeling sick anymore.

[–]Work_In_Progress92 0 points1 point  (0 children)

You probably get too comfortable; that's what happens to me when I fall off the wagon. Ate pretty shitty this past week cause I been doing well in the gym so I decided no cheat meals this month.

[–]Black_m0ngoose 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Like the tide, we ebb and we flow.

Exercise, recovery, repeat.

Consistency over intensity.

Be relentless.

Plan for the long run, not for the immediate, and you'll be fine. Keep your eye on the prize.

[–]Bruchibre 0 points1 point  (1 child)

Dude, you can't be 100% all the time. Energy level fluctuates. You don't need to pretend.

[–]get-tilted[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

This is true. Definitely a big part of my issues. Thank you man.

[–]send_it_for_the_boys 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I’ve been going through a similar situation. I posted about it awhile back. Check it out, I got many replies they might be good advice for you as well!

[–]letsbiohackslaves 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Hormones probably

[–]TheIcePill 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Stick to discipline, motivation is fleeting.

[–]BusterVadge 0 points1 point  (0 children)

That is the way that energy flows. For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. A time to sow and a time to reap. I go through this same exact cycle and use the "down time" to reflect on myself, recoup, and "plan my next wave of attack".

Another poster suggest meditating and I agree wholeheartedly. I have taken up mindfulness. It helps take the edge off the lows, and keeps you more level headed during the highs. There is a definite "flow" of things and meditating will help a man understand more about the process as an outside observer.

[–][deleted] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

do you really want the things you are doing? - is it coming from a genuine place?
or are you doing them for the sake of it?

Maybe it's the lack of rest that is causing fatigue and laziness but on the other hand if you don't actually want these things, you stop doing them. Only you can answer these questions. I believe you will put the time in if it means something to you, you won't lose motivation even if you need to pause and take a break.

[–]dongpal 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Because orgasm. They release the hormones which makes you weak and relaxed. Why going at it when you achieved it already.

[–]TheRedPillMonkey 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Discipline is about determination, not motivation. You can lose motivation while still being determined to do better.

[–]buddboy 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I think there is a "Chaser effect". A bad morning turns into a bad day turns into more days until you feel so pathetic the motivation comes back. Don't let a bad morning turn into a bad day, stop it before it starts

[–][deleted] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

You can't go 100 percent 100 percent of the time. You need rest and recovery. If you don't incorporate it into what you're doing daily, then it will eventually catch up with you.

[–]AManIsBusy 0 points1 point  (0 children)

You have habits that wreck havoc on your dopamine levels. Someone mentioned porn, and that's probably part of it. Someone mentioned building logical discipline over temporary motivation, but I think that's bullshit. The instability you're experiencing is emotional, and you don't fix that by ignoring the cause (emotions). You fix it by addressing why your emotions are out of whack. There are lots of things that affect dopamine. Essentially, anything addictive and anything that pulls you away from 'real life' (e.g. talking to people, physically moving your body) for too long will probably have an effect. I'm not a scientist/doctor, but I think that's close enough.

[–]BlackVale 0 points1 point  (0 children)

This happens to everyone at some point. You have two options: push through it and do it anyways if you have the energy to do so. There is no point in not doing it if you can. The second option is to take a break but only do this if you are burned out and only expect it to be temporary.

The most important thing is to hold yourself accountable and responsible. Don't beat yourself up because that will damage your self esteem and confidence and then you will never do it. Instead recognize what you didn't do for x reason and realize that that reason isn't a good one.

[–]BlackVale 0 points1 point  (0 children)

This happens to everyone at some point. You have two options: push through it and do it anyways if you have the energy to do so. There is no point in not doing it if you can. The second option is to take a break but only do this if you are burned out and only expect it to be temporary.

The most important thing is to hold yourself accountable and responsible. Don't beat yourself up because that will damage your self esteem and confidence and then you will never do it. Instead recognize what you didn't do for x reason and realize that that reason isn't a good one.

[–]NewBoomAction 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Drugs? Bad lifestyle choices?

Try to achieve a strong chemical balance with your brain and avoid substances that fuck with your reward system.

[–]Senior ContributorSkorchZang 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Going to need some rest days in there, champ. Schedule the lazy. In some more demanding forms of intellectual activity, you might even need rest weeks or rest months.

You're not wasting time by resting. Think of it as swinging with the tides. What use to swim against the current, use up finite will-power energy, and get approximately nowhere? When you can actively swim in the opposite direction (toward effective relaxation), have the tide push you nicely along and gather enough energy for a massive push forward when the tide inevitably changes the other way again.

[–]ImmortalAl 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Because you jack off. Its that way with me. I've noticed a difference.

[–]SheenCharlie -2 points-1 points  (1 child)

Could be low T

[–]get-tilted[S] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I’d think that too, but there’s too many things pointing otherwise (not losing muscle when not lifting, playing sports all my life, etc)

[–]W_O_M_B_A_T -1 points0 points  (1 child)

It's normal for hormone levels in men to cycle just like in women, but to a lesser degree.

I'm also tempted to say that you may have subclinical bipolar disorder.

[–]send_it_for_the_boys 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Possible, OP may be similar to me, and be extremely introverted and too much social activity will overwhelm you or over exert you. So, if you have days you go out and have fun and be the life of the party/group. And then days when you can’t even think of a word to say to anybody, those days you need to be kicking back, eating good, lifting, meditation, etc. it’s all part of it, it’s extremely frustrating but if you learn how to cycle your energy well, then it actually becomes like a super power.