Laziness: A genetic trait

Laziness: A genetic trait

I have almost no personal motivation. I find it difficult to start and complete most tasks and the tasks that I find boring are painful to get myself started.
I honestly give so much credit to the people who can wake up at 5 a.m. and go to the gym, then work, and then cook themselves dinner without ever questioning if it’s worth it. And I envy the people who go to school online. I don’t know if I could ever motivate myself enough to take classes like that and then also do all of the work involved; I’m lucky that at a traditional university I have professors to help keep me accountable.
And even though people may try to tell me that it’s all my fault that I’m not motivated, and that if I tried harder that I would just magically become motivated, that’s actually not true.
According to a study done by Stephan Petrill, a professor of psychology at Ohio State University, genetics had a larger effect on motivation than the effects of a shared environment. Also this study had shown that the negligible effects that a shared environment has on motivation is the opposite of most other personality traits.
So basically if you’re typically lazy and unmotivated, it’s not your fault. You can actually blame this one on your parents for giving you the trait to make you more likely to be unmotivated.
If you are trying to boost your motivation there are tons of resources that can help. I usually like to start with identifying a goal. After that I use a method that Eric Barker wrote about in an article for The Week titled “How to get motivated, according to science.” Barker discusses three steps that help get things done:
Get Positive
Get Rewarded
Get Peer Pressure
Get Positive focuses on the importance of being happy and how happiness increases productivity. In order to get happy the Mayo Clinic suggests devoting extra time to your family and friends, appreciating what they have to offer, maintaining an optimistic outlook, feeling a sense of purpose and living in the moment.
Surrounding yourself with happy people and being thankful that they are there to support you can provide a path to greater happiness. Taking the time to ask yourself what you enjoy, and how you can make a situation better can take you one step further in achieving happiness.
Get Rewarded focuses on planning incentives into achieving your end goal. According to Barker, “Research shows that rewards are responsible for three-quarters of why you do things.” I always find that this helps me most. When I plan a reward for every milestone on the journey to my goal, I feel better about it and I don’t get discouraged as easily.
Get Peer Pressure focuses on surrounding yourself with people whom you aspire to be like. Barker discusses research done on the influence your friends have over your behavior; the more time you spend with someone the more like them you become.
Hopefully using this method will help anyone who is looking to finally get motivated as well as it has helped me.
SARAH BARTKOWIAK
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