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It’s different for everyone.

I have practiced getting motivated by mostly just propelling myself through the fire. With practice, I have learned that with time, it gets easier to focus. Often, you just wake up in that particular mood to get ish done. It’s all about learning yourself and rewiring your brain. Desire leads to inspiration, which leads to doing. Enough doing, makes habits. Habits form your personality. Make it a habit to be motivated in everything you do and you will be a (more) self-motivated person. Here are some tips that I’ve learned to get me in that special mood.


Let’s get the obvious out of the way - music can change a mood almost instantly. When you put some tunes on, you feel different once you get into the vibe, right? Each time you forget the emotional place you were in before, you have a chance to restart your motivational engine. Go ahead and try this -- Next time you know you should be grinding, but you really don’t want to... put on some music and just let go. After one song, you won’t even remember what laziness feels like.

Motivational Speakers

It may be cheesy, but some people just radiate inspiration. They come from a place of pure heart and experience. I love listening to a motivational speaker on YouTube. The philosophy of it is simple; they get your mind thinking more positively. A good motivational speaker can get your endorphins flowing like you just had a good workout. When I was first starting out in production I would leave my parents house and drive 2 hours to set Monday through Friday. On my way I would mostly listen to motivational speakers on YouTube and I swear, these guys not only got me through my drive, but also shaped my work ethic.

Logo for KCRW's 'The Business' Podcast

Logo for KCRW's 'The Business' Podcast

Podcasts (Short/Relevant Ones)


Yes, those are wonderful, thought-provoking conversations. They're not necessarily the best for efficieny. I am talking about a concise podcast, relevant to your work. For example; I listen to KCRW’s The Business. It consists of a 10-minute banter on TV & Film industry news, which is followed by a 20-minute conversation with an industry professional. This is good for two reasons: It keeps you in the loop, and it makes your goal more attainable. Nothing says “This is possible for me!” like connecting to the words of someone you admire.

Wake and Bake

Yes... start baking the recipe for productivity early. Before you get out of bed, begin preheating the oven that is your mind. No need to season with any herb (unless you’re into that flavor). The recipe is simple: wake up, grab your laptop (that you strategically placed in arms-reach the night before) and begin writing. Do it before your brain has a chance to judge you for it. Spit it out. What you’re doing now is getting producing work while immediately wiring your brain for productivity. Once you get a scene or a couple pages in (or whatever you need to do), you can spring out of bed with confidence.


Molly Hahn's 'Buddha Doodles'

You might be totally against this, which is fine, but believe in something that you can't measure. Like Albert Einstein said, “Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind.” It's nice to have a healthy balance of both for a lot of reasons but we're talking motivation. When you put your trust into something omnipotent, no matter what you call it, a weight is lifted off of your shoulders. You free yourself from a little bit of the fear and you give yourself hope. Hope is the basis of all motivation. Once hope is instilled and your goals are reachable, you can not only allow yourself to get what you need done, but also be pumped to do it.

Just Do It

It’s all mental. The only thing stopping you is you. You know that feeling when you get an early morning call time and you just get up to do it anyway? Treat your own work like that. It’s not fair to yourself that you’ll get up for someone else just because you don’t want to let him or her down. What about yourself? You’ve got work you need to get done and you’re relying on you. Don’t let you down.

Everyone wants to add "Self-Motivated" to their arsenal of résumé-attributes. When you can find peace in the mundane, getting work done will become a lot easier. This goes for all things in and outside of your passion. It takes practice and though I am still practicing, I've already seen how far I have come. I am always trying to find new ways to be more efficient so if you have any tips, tricks or perspectives on motivation leave a comment below!

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