Stephen King said, “Amateurs sit and wait for inspiration, the rest of us just get up and go to work.” To achieve any long-term goal, you must give up on motivation and focus on starting positive habits. Motivation constantly changes. However, habits will endure. [method]

February 28, 2017

In order to answer the question, "How do you effectively start a habit?" — first, we must understand what a habit is.

A habit is task that has become so consistently engrained that it begins to be carried out autonomously—by the unconscious mind—such as drinking a cup morning coffee every day.

Why are habits important for accomplishing long term goals?

Watch This

Because the moment you form a habit, it signifies that you have now transcended out the window pain that normally accompanies taking up a new task.

When something becomes engrained as a habit, it becomes much less unpleasant to carry out that task. It just becomes natural.

The reason it is so difficult to turn a productive undertaking into a consistent practice is because it is often painful to carry out productive task. If the task is drinking coffee, or sleeping every night, it is easy to turn those tasks into habits because they are pleasurable. However, if the task is painful, like writing and editing articles, getting up and going to the gym, setting aside to time to do affirmations, then it is far more difficult to become consistent.

We are hardwired to avoid pain. Pain is helpful. It instructs us what to avoid so we don’t die, and our species can continue to reproduce.

The ease at which we can establish a habit, is directly proportional to how quickly we receive our pleasure or reward, and inversely proportional to how much pain or effort it takes to get there.

99% of the things you do are habits. The way you think is a habit. The way you present yourself to other people is a habit. Whether you start books and never finish them. They are all products of the thoughts you habitually tell yourself and the actions that you repeatedly carry out. Whatever habit you have, in some way your mind believes it is serving you.

If your lazy, perhaps it frees you up from trying and failing. If you have a victim mentality, perhaps it liberates you from personal responsibility.

In essence, you are automatic creature. However, fortunately, habits can be changed.

That is where self awareness comes into play. Self awareness is the one variable in human existence, which separates us from all other species and allows us to accomplish amazing things. In our unique ability to be aware of our habits, we have the opportunity to reengineer them and establish new ones that serve us.

For a short period of time, we can choose to use our free will (or DISCIPLINE), in the face of resistance to push past the initial window of pain, make something become natural/expected, and thus, establish a new pattern.

Now there is a bunch of conflicting literature on how long it takes to do that. I have heard 21 days. 40 days. etc.

In my opinion, that’s all nonsense and propaganda. The amount of time it takes varies from person to person. There is only one way to tell if you established a habit.

I have used this measuring stick time and time again, to determine whether I have finally established a new pattern in my life.

The answer is two-fold:

A) when it task becomes noticeably less painful to complete B) when you go to bed without doing it, it actually feels like your missing something

When you meet these to criteria, then you know it is engrained.

I hope this helps to establish habits that will serve you and your long term goals. By becoming aware of your patterns and reengineering them so that they meet this criteria, you will be surprised at what you accomplished.

Good luck

This video expands on this topic and details my experiences with this philosophy.

If you enjoyed this post, I invite you to subscribe to this YouTube channel. I greatly appreciate your support, whether it is a like, comment, sub. On this YouTube channel, I share my years worth of experience working with the subconscious mind—allowing you to reengineer your thoughts to magnetically attract happiness and success.

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Post Information
Title Stephen King said, “Amateurs sit and wait for inspiration, the rest of us just get up and go to work.” To achieve any long-term goal, you must give up on motivation and focus on starting positive habits. Motivation constantly changes. However, habits will endure. [method]
Author KingWilliamKent
Upvotes 1205
Comments 79
Date February 28, 2017 3:44 PM UTC (4 years ago)
Subreddit /r/TheRedPill
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[–]NotYourTypicalNurse103 points104 points  (12 children) | Copy Link

Most people think inspiration, motivation, and action work in a linear progression. "I must be inspired, to motivate myself to action." But really it's circular, and you can enter it anywhere. If you don't have motivation or inspiration, just do something, anything. Action will give you inspiration on what to do next, and the motivation to do it. Then it compounds. Action, inspiration, motivation, more action etc.

[–]reecewagner30 points31 points  (1 child) | Copy Link

Motivation is a fickle and unreliable little dickfuck

[–]EatmyShorts591 point2 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

I needed this man!

Thank you so much !!!!!

[–]TimmyTurnersNuts21 points22 points  (2 children) | Copy Link

Discipline>Motivation. Fuck motivation once you're already out of that complete beta stage. Discipline is for those who have already smashed through a plateau

[–]patrice_plz_come_bac5 points6 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

The one quote that haunts me everytime i want to slack is one i learnt here: discipline is more reliable than motivation.

[–]Hung_Chad0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy Link

I've never in my life had a positive "habit." It's discipline that makes any worthwhile long term goal achievable.

[–][deleted] 19 points20 points  (1 child) | Copy Link

"...and lots of coke. Lots and lots of coke."


[–]adaman3607 points8 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

Someone share this advice with George RR Martin

[–][deleted] 10 points11 points  (4 children) | Copy Link

200+ days of duolingo. Painful every day. 10 years of working out. Still sucks. 15 years of guitar. Still hard as ever.

There is a huge flaw in your post:

A habit is the same thing over and over again. That's not what you want.

Sure, you can run X amount of miles a day over and over again and eventually it will become habit, but you've stopped improving.

You can play the same song every day on guitar till it becomes habit, but that won't advance your playing to the next level.

Going over your old lessons in duolingo involves zero pain. Starting a new one is hell.

You see where I'm going with this? The only time I feel like I failed in the gym is when I did what I knew I could do out of habit. I had a huge dry spell on guitar improvement for years when I just played only the songs I could already play.

I have bad news for you guys: You don't get to rely on habits either. The self awareness is the only thing that stuck out to me in this post. You have to realize that these things are going to blow forever, and you have to accept that once you can do the thing you set out to achieve, you won't feel as fulfilled as you thought. You have to know all this and go ahead with it anyway.

Sweet, you pushed through the initial pain and now you can play wonderwall. Congratulations, you have just settled. There is no initial pain followed by sunshine and rainbows, just another hill. Unfortunately you can't make a habit out of breaking habits.

Starting to ramble, but one final thought: If there's a spot where you feel comfortably ahead of the pack, (benching 225 for example) maybe it's fine to just plateau there and make it a habit. I just know for me that attitude wouldn't let me get to 225 in the first place.

[–]zpiskin points points [recovered] | Copy Link

Good points. Especially relevant as I've started researching how to get past the plateau I've hit on guitar. Any book recommendations?

[–][deleted] 0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy Link

No book recommendations, sorry. Anything on delayed gratification would have the core idea but I can't vouch for any of them.

[–]rp_newdawn0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy Link

I love the stoicism in your post... just accept the suck and grow

[–][deleted] 3 points4 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

When it comes to habits, this book is a very good read and higly recomended: Change your habits, change your life.

Walks you through economics, training, work, goals etc.

[–]BullshittingNonsense28 points29 points  (38 children) | Copy Link

Quote is definitely true. However, Stephen King was also a raging alcoholic years ago so doubt he was always following his work habit.

Edit: Why downvote a fact? I didn't even mention Stephen King's cocaine abuse.

[–]stringz points points [recovered] | Copy Link

To be fair even Benjamin Franklin had trouble completely following all of his improvement methods even though he has a good one. It's outlined in his autobiography.

[–]BullshittingNonsense18 points19 points  (5 children) | Copy Link

Just anytime I read any of this stuff I always feel like shit about myself when in reality the people giving the advice weren't perfect either. Doesn't make the advice any less pertinent.

[–]Des_O_Adams8 points9 points  (4 children) | Copy Link

I think the old cliche applies here:

'Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you'll land among the stars.' Norman Vincent Peale

That's exactly what men like King and Franklin did. They shot for perfection, and even though they didn't achieve it(because you can't,) they got so damn far.

It goes to show that even though you can't be perfect, you shouldn't let that stop you from doing everything in your power to be. If you shoot for mediocrity, you become mediocre OR WORSE.

Fighting for perfection is fighting to do the best you possibly can do. Actually the best. Not what you get if you try to 'do your best.' Real, honest, maximized potential.

[–]BullshittingNonsense2 points3 points  (1 child) | Copy Link

I've found striving for perfection to be pretty toxic in my life. It has not only destroyed my happiness but those around me. When you accept nothing less than perfection (which we can all agree is impossible and inherently subjective in a field like writing), you could literally never stop working. It destroys your quality of life because your entire life is work. And if we're going on writers, a writer that does nothing but write is probably gonna write some shitty books.

Not only that, a perfectionist makes people around them miserable. Look at Stanley Kubrick. Yes he is a master, but he did obscene amounts of takes that drove his cast and crew mad. Could he have gotten the same result with fewer takes? Probably.

I prefer to think of the old cliche: perfect is the enemy of good. There's an old saying among filmmakers that a film is never finished - it's abandoned. If you're a perfectionist, you'll never abandon any work.

[–]Des_O_Adams6 points7 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

Is there a difference between striving for perfection and accepting nothing less than perfection?

Can you strive for perfection but also be equipped to accept a result that is less than perfection?

Geninuinely asking your opinion.

[–]feelhuman0 points1 point  (1 child) | Copy Link

I hate this quote. You wouldn't end up among the stars if you can't even make it to the moon. You'll end up likely in orbit around the earth until eventually you crash back into earth if you don't burn up in the atmosphere.

[–]Des_O_Adams0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy Link

While you're correct, it's a colloquialism. I don't think its scientific inaccuracy diminishes its philosophical value or its sentiment.

[–]WhySoRuff2 points3 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

The better informed I get, the more the following sayings prove true.

"Those who can't do, teach."


"Do as I say and not as I do." (this ones especially true of parents and politicians)

[–]sir_wankalot_here4 points5 points  (1 child) | Copy Link

This is the paradox of some highly creative people.

Stephen King was also a raging alcoholic years ago so doubt he was always following his work habit.

Probably he was a functioning alcoholic, the oscillation between his sober self and drunken self is slightly destructive which causes creativity. I don't like Steven King's writing but he is a prolific writer. One account said he produces 10,000 words a day.

[–]BullshittingNonsense1 point2 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

I'm well aware of the link between the great writers and alcoholism.

[–]Returnofthemack34 points5 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

he wrote a lot of his best works in drunken stupors. He was definitely still working through it.

[–]GC0W303 points4 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

He may have spent years drunk, but he still hit the typewriter consistently.

He claims to not remember having written much of Misery, which suggests he spent a whole damned novel worth of writing drunk.

He didn't let his drinking habit get in the way of his writing habit.

[–]AmericanHustle7770 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy Link

Because even when he was coked out and drunk he was still writing (and completing) novels, which makes his quote even more powerful.

[–]lemming16070 points1 point  (18 children) | Copy Link

Doesnt discount it being true. Youre just throwing shade to throw shade. Thats ehy youre getting downvoted

[–]BullshittingNonsense2 points3 points  (17 children) | Copy Link

See below comment. Not throwing shade to throw shade, whatever the fuck dumbass new slang you wanna use.

[–]lemming1607-2 points-1 points  (16 children) | Copy Link

You agree with the quote and then character assassinate for no reason. Youre fucking dumb.

[–]BullshittingNonsense12 points13 points  (15 children) | Copy Link

How is that character assassination? He literally wrote The Shining about his alcoholism.

Just being honest about a person.

[–]lemming1607-2 points-1 points  (14 children) | Copy Link

Because it doesnt relate to the discussion. You agreed with the quote, and then throw in the alcoholism for the sake of it. It doesnt relate to the quote.

[–]BullshittingNonsense4 points5 points  (13 children) | Copy Link

I think it does relate to the quote. It's about habit and Stephen King had a hell of a habit of abusing alcohol and drugs. No matter how prolific he is, there's no way that doing drugs didn't affect him. Yeah, it may have had a positive effect in some ways, but to argue it doesn't relate to him is stupid.

[–]lemming1607-1 points0 points  (12 children) | Copy Link

it does not, it's simple character assassination trying to undermine the quote. You're saying that someone who had bad character can't say true things. You're just being dumb. I don't give a shit he had an alcohol problem, it doesn't change the truth of the quote, and you're just throwing shade for no reason

[–]BullshittingNonsense4 points5 points  (11 children) | Copy Link

Well Hitler said a lot of true shit but if he said something true about foreign policy, it would be retarded to not say something about how he invaded a host of other countries and started a world war.

And stop saying "throwing shade." You sound like a 12 year old girl.

[–]lemming16070 points1 point  (9 children) | Copy Link

go fuck yourself I'll say whatever the fuck I want.

Man you sound like those people that try to equate everything to Hitler

[–]decimated_napkin0 points1 point  (3 children) | Copy Link

You're getting downvoted because your logic is fallacious. Stephen King's alcoholism and drug abuse did not stop him from cranking out book after book after book. He is one of the most prolific writers of all time and most certainly has been "going to work" for decades now.

[–]BullshittingNonsense1 point2 points  (2 children) | Copy Link

He was a rampant alcoholic and drug abuser which inevitably affected his work, no matter how prolific he is. A quote about habit from a person who had a debilitating drug and alcohol habit certainly seems logical to me. Coulda helped him, but to say that his drug and alcohol habit didn't affect his writing habit in some way is stupid.

[–]decimated_napkin0 points1 point  (1 child) | Copy Link

But that doesn't change the fact that he went out and did work, day in and day out, which is what the quote is about. You can argue the quality of work, but that's a separate matter entirely. I have not read his work so I can't personally comment, but there is a metric fuckton of it, it is critically acclaimed, and he is widely regarded as one of the greatest living authors, so none of your arguments make sense here.

[–]BullshittingNonsense1 point2 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

Did you not read anything I said?

And then we could get into the fucking definition of success and whether he's successful which is futile because the only definition of success that matters is your own. I was pointing out a bit of hypocrisy in the Stephen King quote, the same thing I would do to anyone. Just because he's written books that have sold well doesn't make him immune to criticism.

[–]elruary-5 points-4 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

Bitch please, I'm on my most creative streak on cocaine. I don't abuse it but when that magic powder is in town, I go to town.

[–]flashbang1232 points3 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

I'd just add to your point about how you know you have established a habit: not only is the task easier, but also you don't have any anxiety for voice inside you telling you to avoid it.

[–][deleted] 2 points3 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

Amen. Thats why I started going to a co-working space. To get in the habit of working. 2 weeks later and I have a job.

[–]knapper45 points points [recovered] | Copy Link

I don't like Steven King's writing but he still hit the typewriter consistently.

[–][deleted] 2 points3 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

I work with mostly women, about 90% or more of our staff are female. I constantly hear them talk about how they need to be empowered and motivated to do certain things. Most of these women are the "we don't have male privilege therefore, we need empowerment" type of women. Just the other day one girl posted a terrible (very overweight) topless photo online. All of the girls in the office agreed that it was in fact empowering and motivating while telling her that she is beautiful. Now these women have never really accomplished anything and most never will. Most blame it on the patriarchy and not being empowered or motivated to advance in life. I brought up the fact that I didn't even understand what being empowered was, I simply go out and take what I want. I work my ass off and go get it, motivation isn't something I wait for.A bunch of the women automatically started with the typical "youre a cis white male you're always empowered". I tried to explain to them that I don't need motivational speeches or encouragement from people I just go out and do it. The general consensus is that I actually only get where I'm at because of my gender. My consensus is that these women never get anywhere because they sit around waiting for a false sense of motivation, while feeling like victims of circumstances. I think feminism is to blame for this, if they didn't have this need to rely on something else then maybe they would actually go out and achieve things. Instead they make up excuses as to why they fail and usually sexism or racism is the go to. "I didn't get the promotion because I'm a woman" where as a man generally sees his failure as his fault and will learn to build on his failures.

[–]legacyReasons2 points3 points  (1 child) | Copy Link

I've been using a habit forming app called momentum which has helped me so far. I'm not shilling so google habit forming apps and try one, this just happened to be the first one on a list I saw.

[–]rp_newdawn1 point2 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

Dude that app is beautiful thanks for sharing

[–]0324734855 points6 points  (2 children) | Copy Link

Thanks for reminding me to close reddit. Don't get sucked into alternative social media too much, friends.

[–]The_Fuad10 points11 points  (1 child) | Copy Link

Don't forget to immediately reopen reddit upon closing the window

[–]Fusion_power4 points5 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

A couple of nights ago, someone asked a question on a forum I visit. In 5 minutes, I solved the problem. In 20 minutes I built the required item. Before 30 minutes had passed, I posted directions and pictures how to build it. The next day, I spent 2 hours tweaking and tuning it so that it performs flawlessly every time it is used. It is nothing fancy, just an angle slide jig to use on a table saw.

The point being that a question resulted in 5 minutes of inspiration and the rest of it was hard work to create and adjust the required jig.

A benefit is that I needed one of these jigs anyway. Better yet, I'm going to give one to a friend because I know he will use it too.

[–]BullshittingNonsense0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy Link

There's a difference but the way people are, the two inevitably become muddied.

[–]limdi0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy Link

Ever heard of "I dont want you to play with him, he's bad influence!"?

I think it's the instinctual desire of the parent to not see the child adopt bad habits.

[–]Buscemi1230 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy Link

I think a crucial point is that not every day is going to be a stellar day. You won't create 5 songs everyday nor write 5 pages everyday. The important thing is that at the end of the day you must have something you didn't at the beginning of the day.

[–]Novembercriminal-1 points0 points  (2 children) | Copy Link

Stephen king has many so-called "Ghost Writers" that help him with making best sellers only. Bad example but good concept

[–]kutie-pie0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy Link

definitely some rumors out there but the majority doubt this is true

[–]clickclackasdf points points [recovered] | Copy Link

Your background ukulele music is gay

[–]EpicLevelCheater[M] 5 points6 points  (1 child) | Copy Link

Stow the juvenile jeering.

You can kill a man, but you can't kill an idea.

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