How To Find Inspiration, Even When You’re Not Inspired (And the Rubber Band Trick I Use All The Time)

inspired-band-smallOne of the crappy things about Depression is that it zaps your energy level. Finding the energy to go to the gym, launch new campaigns or even just get out of bed might be hard to do.

So if you’re reading this today and your head tells you that breaking your current routine sounds difficult…

I have two pieces of good news for you:

  1. It only takes 30-60 days to set a new habit
  2. You can use outside stimuli to get inspired until the habit is formed

How To Form A Healthy Habit

If you do something over and over again it becomes a habit. I can’t say this enough. (So I’ll say it again). If you do something over and over again it becomes a habit.

And over time you get really good at your habits.

  • If you spend your time watching TV – you’re going to get really good at it
  • If you spend your time in bed crying – you’re going to get really good at it
  • If you spend your time going to the gym – you’re going to get really good at it
  • If you spend your time doing media buys – you’re going to get really good at it

Here’s the thing. Doing something new is hard for a lot of us. And convincing yourself to get off the couch is going to be hard – at first – but if you can break through an initial “this sucks” period, you can do anything.

You can turn going to the gym (or anything you want) into a habit that runs on auto-pilot. It’s true. But you have to work through that initial period of pain until the habit is set.

How Long Does It Take To Set A Habit?

A lot of people say setting a habit takes 3 weeks (21 days). But it may not be that easy. (source) New research is saying that number could be more like 66 days (source).

Let’s use 60 days as our metric for setting a new habit.

Here’s why knowing that number is important. Using our magic number of 60 days – we know that the first two months of going to the gym (or whatever you want to do) are probably going to be a pain in the ass.

BUT – If you push yourself through that initial period – it will become second nature.

Breaking Through

The problem is that most people give up before they get past the 60 day period.

Think about it. When’s the last time you set a goal and quit a few weeks later? Well – the science says that if you had stuck with it for just a few weeks longer you probably would have been able to keep doing it for the rest of your life.

So – You need to find a way to get inspired enough to stay the course. And getting inspired can be tough at times.

How do i know? Because my natural state is morbidly depressed – so I didn’t have any f#cking inspiration the beginning either.

Wanna know what did it for me?

This video (below) of some guys from Compton doing 200 bench presses. Seriously. This is the video that got me off the couch. Watch it now. (luckily, there are lots of F-bombs)

200 Repetitions on the Bench Press- Mike Rashid

Watching the video got me so pumped up – I joined a local gym the next day and the rest is history.

To help you get inspired I’ve compiled this list of motivational and inspirational triggers you can use to light your flame.

If you find something you like, bookmark it and listen to it or watch it whenever you need inspiration. If you don’t like anything in my list feel free to do some searching and create a list of your own.

Plus I’ll give you my rubber band trick at the end of the post that works every time.

Inspiration Music

Music can make a HUGE difference in the way you feel.

Get on iTunes or Spotify (or whatever you use) and create a list of songs that pump you up. Anytime you need a shot of energy, turn the volume up and listen to them.

Or steal mine: Gangster Rap does it for me

Inspiration Videos

Here are a few of the videos I use to get my blood pumping. Steal these if you’d like or go to and search for “Inspirational Videos” and create a playlist.

If you only watch one video today, watch “Dream- Motivational Video” below. Turn your volume up and listen to it all the way through. 

Dream – Motivational Video

The Strongest Man You’ve Never Heard Of: CT Fletcher

What if Money Was No Object – Alan Watts

Best motivational video ever 2013 – GET RESULTS [HD]

Let’s Wrap It Up

One of the hardest things about overcoming Depression is finding that initial inspiration you need to get started. So – instead of giving up – you need to jolt yourself into feeling inspired.

I’ve given you some of the music and videos I use to get myself pumped up. Steal them – or find your own and experiment on yourself.

I watch or listen to  ‘that Dream video‘ 2-7 days a week, whenever I need it. It never fails.

Don’t let lack of inspiration be your excuse for doing nothing. Shatter your depressed state and race towards becoming the person you were meant to be.

Whether you need to get to the gym, launch 5 new campaigns or just get out of bed… this is the way to do it. (also – coffee helps).

inspired-band-smallThe Rubber Band Trick: Put a rubber band around your wrist. Watch The Dream video. While it plays, pop the rubber band on your wrist every time you feel good.

Then, anytime you need a quick jolt of inspiration, snap the rubber band on your wrist as hard as you can and watch what happens.

Stay tuned for the next post in this series. Until then, make your playlist and get pumped up!

Other posts in this series:

  1. Part 1: How I Cured My Depression
  2. Part 2: Constructing a Future
  3. Part 3: Exercise The Demons


  • fooder

    I really like your clapping and rubber band trick. As for videos, I watch highlights of these fighters on youtube: Muhammad Ali, Mike Tyson, Ernesto Hoost, Ramon Dekkers, Jose Aldo.

    • Malan Darras

      hey fooder – yeah the clapping and rubber band stuff seems silly but there is no denying the results.

      I’ll look into your video recommendations. Tyson is one of my favorite personalities of all time.

  • Matthew Geer

    Thanks for the write up. I’m a fan of CT Fletcher. Everything he does is ‘real,’ and all of his videos are worth watching.

    I like this one too:

    The way I figure it is, he started off with way worse, and managed to make it. Why not me? Moreover, I feel like I’m wasting the advantage I’ve been given (just having a better start) if I don’t do anything productive.

    In terms of habits — I started flossing the first week in January after visiting the dentist. I’m getting braces soon, so getting in that habit beforehand is important to me.

    But what I took away was how easy a habit was to develop when I attached it to a habit / routine I was already in (a nighttime routine, for example). After 1-2 weeks it was weird not to do it, and I even made it a priority to buy more when I realized I only had a couple of nights worth left.

    • Malan Darras

      Matt – you nailed it. There are people all over the place that started in horror and made a great life. Steve Jobs’ parents gave him up for adoption. He still did pretty good…

      Congrats on the flossing. I set that habit a year or so ago by adding it to my morning routine (via Asian Efficiency). I use the little hooks with string in them – can’t stand using the string alone.

  • Nikola Cvrtnjak

    Nice mental trick with a rubber band. It’s how anchoring works in NLP and it’s great.

    Awesome post Malan!

    • Malan Darras

      thanks Nikola – i don’t know anything about NLP, but I remember seeing Tony Robbins do something with a tap on the shoulder. The rubber band snap works for me – I guess I need to feel it.

      • Nikola Cvrtnjak

        Did some research about NLP few years ago, and I suggest you to do the same. You will learn a lot about human mind and will be amazed how you can control your mind or even trick it or learn it to be more positive. It can even be used to help other people (and of course to abuse it to some extent, which is not moral ofc.). Best copywriters in the world use embedded commands and similar tricks to make their copy more persuasive. Cheers ^^

        • Malan Darras

          any book recommendation?

  • Adam

    Great post man! Group of friends and I used the rubber band trick as well, but in reverse! When we’d say, get a craving for something sugary and unhealthy, we’d snap the band and link that craving to the pain on your wrist. Worked like a charm!

    Really cool to see it in the reverse!

    PS, those videos are sick!

    • Malan Darras

      Adam, I’ve used it in the way you’re talking about as well, years ago to stop biting my nails, and stop checking my phone every five minutes.

      Only recently did I use it in reverse, by accident really. And it worked by anchoring it to the good feeling as well.

  • cmdeal

    “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.”

    Attributed to Aristotle
    by Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy

    • Malan Darras

      agree 1000%. that’s it.

  • Victor Manuel Mejia

    Love it. Its so true, if you truly wanna accomplish something its imperative you push through the initial pain, its bound to get “easier” with time. I like using the same pain as a motivator. Nothing happens in a blink of an eye.
    PS: Love seeing CT and Alan Watts. Both rock.

    • Malan Darras

      Victor – Alan watts has been blowing my mind lately. I saw the “If Money Were No Object Video” on Youtube and looked him up. So many great insights. Dude knew where it’s at.

  • Shamim

    I have passed my first 2 months of Pain in the GYM. Now it seems; I am addicted to the GYM. 🙂

    Thanks Mallan. You are such an inspiring guy for me. 🙂