A small (but effective) cheat code to help you become motivated

Konami Cheat Code Motivation

It’s the opposite of masturbation. You want something, but you can’t seem to make yourself do the work in order to get the reward.

You’re searching every nook and cranny. It’s lost more than Oceanic Flight 815. Where oh where has my motivation gone?

Ever feel this way? Ever look high and low for motivation for something you were convinced you wanted?

If so, then I have a cheat code for you.

It’s unlike any other motivation tip, trick, hack, shortcut, sneakcut, <buzzword> I've tried.

The thing you are dreaming of doing will bleed out of your pores. Your body will plead for you to scratch the itch.

That’s what happened (is happening) to me, at least. It's easy an easy cheat code to start using, too. So what follows is the how and the why so you can get started three seconds ago.

You're stymied.

But not by the millions of majestic insane super complicated microbiological events (so intricate my left earlobe is combusting just thinking about them) that allow you to jump higher, build more muscle, and learn new skills.

You're stymied, instead, by motivation. Can't even get off the starting blocks.

If I were smart, I’d make a pill. Willpower™ – Gives You the Power to Will. (Don Draper, I'm available for hire.) Or Willpower™ – Gives you the Will to Power. (I think the statue of limitations on Nietzsche has since passed, right?)

Maybe you did some reading on motivation. (Maybe you even looked for Willpower™.) Maybe you found out about willpower. (The actual thing and not Willpower™.) And then maybe you read The Willpower Instinct and found out about a ‘lil willpower h4x0r: meditation.

Meditation might preserve some willpower. But you probably have enough willpower in throttling through your bones right now.

You reach for the chocolate cake when it's on the kitchen counter. Willpower is lost! 

But you probably wouldn't if it were in a lion's den. Willpower is found! 

So yeah. Your willpower is there.

And, uhh. Bad news on the whole meditation thing…

Starting a meditation practice tends to require willpower. So you're using willpower in order to gain willpower for something else that requires willpower.

Using willpower in order to gain willpower is a little bass ackwards, even for an overthinking nerd like myself.

Maybe you thought you’d be more motivated if you had something serious to lose…like your ego.

So you sent nudes of yourself to your best brofriend and told him to soil social media with the goods (your goods) if your “x” goal wasn’t finished by your “y” date.


Just kidding.

Public shaming might make for some motivation. But is it really your long term plan? To put money on the line from now until the day you die? To be fueled by loss aversion and potential punishment instead of personal gain and self-satisfaction on the road to physical mastery?

Maybe these cooky things work for you. Or will work for you. Who knows? Give 'em a try.

But the method I'm about to show you doesn't involve convince yourself to do something you don’t really want to do or using willpower to save willpower.

My method will let <the thing> come out of you as if it were meant to be all along.

Goku Blutz Waves

There existed a moment when I was eighteen. It was like tripping a Saiyan’s ape instinct when seeing the moon. In The Talent Code, Coyle calls this a moment of ignition.

Training regularly and eating right no longer required motivation or willpower. It just was. 

But I also know what it's like to want something and not have the utmost motivation. Let's face the first world reality: most of what we do helps our broken psyche sleep more comfortable each night. We aren't going to get mauled by a lion if we miss a PR or flake out on learning how to do a backflip.

I've been antimasturbating in the tricker world for the past year or so. I got over my foot injury. Been looking through the lens of want but haven't been able to tap into the blutz-wave-ape-instinct want.

I was just like everyone else. Looking for motivation.

But then things changed.

I started doing something. Something small. Something common place. Something so stupid and easy sounding that you're going to have one of those this is too easy for it to work feelings. So I encourage you to stick around and see why it works so well.

Rasmus Ott is a hero of mine.

He’s one of my favorite trickers. He's a lot of tricker's favorite tricker, actually. He's good. Real good. Better than my self-doubting self would ever allow myself to envision becoming.

A place inside of me whispers, “You'll never be as good as Ott. Why try?”

And this is why I choose to watch Ott trick as often as possible. 

And this is the cheat code: watch.

  1. Find videos (or a video) of someone doing <the thing> you want to be motivated to do and then watch. It has to be a video.
  2. Watch as often as you can, but make it a point to watch every morning when you wake up and every night before you go to bed. In between, watch as often as possible.
  3. Make sure <the thing> and <the dude(s)> showcase ability superseding what your self-doubting self could ever imagine yourself doing.
  4. Don't watch in a pumped-up-motivation ape-chest-pounding way. Just watch. Watch. Try to absorb everything into your mind. Try to channel cosmic osmosis.

And now for the why.

Anthony Mychal Tricking Corkscrew

Why does this work so well?

  • I want to do things I don't believe I can do. I'm a self-defeating turd. Watching “impossible” things makes them common place. It's hard to continue to believe things are impossible when you see them being done six times every day. It's even harder to believe things are impossible when you see them being done with ease. I see, I believe.
  • Your body is a wizard. When you watch someone else, you aren't just being entertained. You're learning. Your brain is unconsciously digesting the movements and the skills. You're improving your own ability to do them [1]. This doesn’t happen with a poster or a picture, which is why it has to be video.
  • Seeing things often will reply said things often in your head. When I'm in the shower I can see my body moving and doing <the thing>. So when it comes time to do <the thing> I feel like my body already knows what to do.

And when this gets repeated in your head day after day and you see yourself doing <the thing> day after day, it's as if your body says, “Please. Please. Let me show you I can do this. I've been picturing myself do this. I know I can do this. Just give me a chance.”

Beyond motivation for <the thing>, I've also noticed…

…motivation for things complimentary to <the thing>. And this has been a most welcomed side effect. For me, tricking is <the thing>. But I find myself much more motivated to work on my flexibility and mobility every night knowing that it'll help <the thing>.

It's a two-for-one deal.

And unlike other willpower methods, there’s no hurt in making this a regular practice. You don't need anything you don't already have (like seven dragon balls). You're on your phone all the time anyway. Download a YouTube app and get trigger happy.

Sacrifice some of your swiping left and swiping right. Besides, chicks'll dig you more if you're able to do some of the cool things you (currently) aren't motivated to do.


[1] This is in The Talent Code and also The Inner Game of Tennis. It's credited to mirror neurons. I don't know if the phenomenon has been worked out, but the phenomenology seems to be there.

Trying to lose fat, build muscle, and build a body you’re proud of?

Maybe you’re a little lost right now.

Maybe you don’t have much motivation.

Maybe you don’t what program or diet to use.

I don’t know…

But what I do know is this:

Everything you need is inside of you.

You’re capable of more than know.

You just have to open your eyes.

My weekly column can help.

Just a small little honest note from me sent every Sunday.

Unless I’m hungover.

And then it comes Monday.

What I’m trying to say is that it’ll come Monday.

(These weekly columns don’t get posted to the site.)

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Matt May 13, 2015, 4:26 am

    Dude. Solid stuff. I’ve heard a lot about willpower, such as that it is an exhaustible resource, but that it might not be as exhaustible as we think (that our willpower increases as our accomplish tasks, chores, skills, etc. giving us more power to move on to the next thing). But I’ve never heard of using visual stimulation to get the ball rolling. And it completely makes sense, as I’ve often felt motivated to do something after watching a video of something that wasn’t even close to any goals I had at that moment. So I’m going to make individual playlists for each skill or goal that I want to learn/achieve. Thanks for the awesome content!

    • Anthony May 19, 2015, 6:25 pm


  • David May 13, 2015, 4:36 am

    “Alice laughed: “There’s no use trying,” she said; “one can’t believe impossible things.”
    “I daresay you haven’t had much practice,” said the Queen. “When I was younger, I always did it for half an hour a day. Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”
    Alice in Wonderland

  • Nick May 13, 2015, 9:21 pm

    I wonder if this is one of the reasons that Youtube fitness vlogs have become so popular.

    Watching someone lifting, tracking macros, etc all day long, might make it easier for others to do the same.

    Really great post Anthony, will be applying this to playing the piano.

    • Anthony May 19, 2015, 6:23 pm

      Video is a different world than text. Text is for thinkers. Video is for doers, methinks.