How to Convince Yourself to Do Hard Things


When we’re tired or stressed, our brains want to save mental energy and help us make decisions quickly. We’re wired to move toward things that make us feel good and away from things that make us feel uncomfortable. Our brains tag effort as bad, because it’s hard work, and we’re more likely to “go with our gut” instead of carefully considering all the available information. So how do we do hard things when our brains are constantly telling us to avoid effort?Here are some tips to make yourself work harder:

how to trick your brain

“I’ll put it off hard until tomorrow.”

“Today was stressful, I just don’t have the energy.”

“I’m sooooooooo tired.”

We all have those days where we don’t feel like doing anything. Where we have an irresistible urge to just lay down and not get up and do hard work. When we have no motivation to keep going, and begin asking questions like “Why do I even bother?”

Everyone feels this way from time to time, even super successful people like Warren Buffett, Bill Gates and Steve Jobs. But what separates them from everyone else is their ability to trick their brain into doing hard things even when they don’t feel like it. You see, successful people understand that if they want to accomplish something in life, they can’t make excuses. They can’t allow their brain to control them – they have to be the ones in control.

What To Do When Your Brain Won’t Listen

Instead of using force, a much more effective way of getting your brain to do what you want or to do hard work is to use influence. That way, you can persuade your brain into doing what you want, without any resistance. For example, if I ordered you to eat an apple and you disliked apples, you would most likely refuse. But if I told you how juicy, delicious, and mouth watering this apple in my hand is, now you are starting to reconsider your choices. You are allowing your brain to make it’s own decisions. And when your brain wants to do something by itself, that creates desire. That’s why influence and persuasion is one of the best techniques on how to trick your brain.

Here’s 3 of the best mind hacks on how to trick your brain into doing what you want.

Tip #1: The Cost of Inaction or not doing hard things.

Instead of focusing on what needs to be done, ask yourself the question: “What is the cost of inaction?”

ant hard work

People are motivated more by loss than by reward. For example, the thought of losing everything you own is a far greater fear than having something to gain. If you had to make a choice between keeping all your assets, or risk losing them all for a chance to win $1,000, would you take that risk? Most likely not, because the reward does not justify the risk.

As a result, your brain naturally leans toward not taking that risk, because it is risk-averse. It would prefer to keep what it has than to risk losing it. That is why focusing on what you have to lose is one way to influence your brain to do what you want.

Tip #1 on how to trick your brain: Use fear or the risk of loss as a motivator.

Tip #2: Indecision Is A Decision

team work of ants

If you have difficulty making decisions on the spot, realize that not making a decision is a decision. For example, if someone offered you an all-expenses paid vacation to Hawaii, you have only two choices: To accept the offer or to decline it. If you accept the offer, you are consciously making the decision to say yes. But if you do nothing, you are unconsciously making the decision to say no.

The person offering you the opportunity is waiting for you to make a decision. If you stand there are look at them for a few minutes, they are going to assume you are declining their offer and move on to the next person.

The other consequence of being indecisive, is wasting time. Time is a precious resource that can never be refunded. Once you spend it, it’s gone. Instead of wasting your time pondering about whether or not to do something, make a decision and stick with it. Even if it turns out to be a bad decision, you can learn from your mistakes and move on.

Tip #3: Life Is Short. Do hark work, Take risks

You are going to die anyway. What are you afraid of?

you can do hard work

Many people follow a traditional way of thinking. They want to save money, live below their means and not take risks and doing hard work. They’re afraid of losing in the game we call life. But the truth is that there is nothing to lose in the first place. At the end of our lifespan, each and every one of us is going to die. We are not getting off this planet alive, and we have a limited amount of time left. What we do with the short amount of time we have, determines whether or not life was worth living. Our emotions, happiness, success, and sense of achievement is based on what we do, not what we didn’t do.

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