I am one of the most feelings-y people I know.  I feel a lot of feelings, and I think a lot about them, and I work hard to articulate them, and I make people sit and listen to me talk about them, and I write about them, and I read books about them, and I pay a lot of attention to them when making decisions.  I love feelings, even when they're bad or unhelpful, because they indicate the unique way I interpret the world.  But God's honest truth, I pretty much never feel like working out.  This is a problem.

It seems logical that when there's something you should do, but definitely don't want to do, that you need motivation.  You've got to get psyched up.  You've got to find the energy.  You've got to find some way to get inspired to do this thing that you really don't want to do!  Right?  Why else would Pinterest exist?  You'll never go to the gym if you're not motivated.

I invite you to seriously consider whether that is actually true.  Consider Chuck Close, an American painter who in 1988 suffered a catastrophic and paralyzing spinal injury.  This would be a horrific experience for anyone of course, but Close was an artist.  His livelihood, not to mention his life's work, depended on the use of his hands.  Not just that, but he had been an established artist before his accident, and his style wasn't just to throw splotches of paint on a canvas; he painted huge images so realistic and detailed they look like photographs.  His career was over.

The reason I tell you this story is because years after his accident, Chuck Close gave one of the greatest quotes about motivation I've ever read.  He said, "Inspiration is for amateurs -- the rest of us just show up and get to work."  And he should know; when he first had his injury, he continued to paint by taping a brush to his wrist.  He is still one of the most profilic artists alive today, despite being wheelchair-bound and without the full use of his hands.  His work has appeared at the MOMA, the Met, the Whitney, the Tate.  And every day, he doesn't ask himself whether he feels like painting, whether he's inspired to paint.  He just gets up and paints.

So substitute "motivation" for "inspiration," and the next time you don't feel like exercising but you know you should, so you're rifling through a list of quotes or pictures trying to find the one that will strike your heart with energy and ambition and enthuiasm for this wonderful thing called a treadmill -- ask yourself whether you need to feel like it in order to do it.  Consider whether it's possible to accept the fact that you don't feel like doing it and then do it anyway.  Motivation is for amateurs -- the rest of us just show up and work out.