Shift Out of Neutral: 4 Easy Steps To Get Motivated and Get Moving In Life

by Brett and Kate McKay on January 8, 2008 · 18 comments

in Money & Career


Are you still living in mom and dad’s basement playing Guitar Hero all night? Stuck in a dead end job that pays minimum wage? Have you still not finished school? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you’re not alone. Studies have shown that men ages 21 to 33 have turned into a bunch of unmovtivated slackers. Meanwhile, women the same age are finishing school, starting businesses, and buying homes. You know… they’re being adults.

If you’re tired of your lackluster and boring life and are ready to shift out of neutral, here are 4 steps to get you motivated and on the right track.

1. Establish goals. Turn the X-Box off for 3o minutes and grab a pen and paper. Write down the goals you’d like to accomplish within the next year, next five years, and in your lifetime. Tired of living with mom and dad? Make it a goal to be in your own place by the end of the year. Want to make more money? Make it a goal to go back to school and finish within the next four years.

2. Discover the benefits. After you have established some goals figure out what the benefits are of fulfilling them. A good reason for moving out of mom and dad’s place is that women don’t want to be with a guy who hasn’t gotten it together enough to get a place of his own. Don’t be like the Entertainer from “I Love New York.” The guy was on his way to winning the love of Ms. New York (why he would want to win her love completely baffles me). But as soon as she found out he was still living with mom and dad, New York dropped him like a bad habit. A benefit of finishing school is more money. Study after study shows that men with college degrees make a ton more money during their lifetime than men who don’t.

3. Just do it, damn it. Don’t wait around for the right time or the right opportunity to appear. There never will be a right time or right opportunity. Just get to work. If you want to move out of your parents’ house, start looking at apartments today. If you want to go back to school, go talk to an admissions adviser today. As you start taking action, you’ll be surprised at how motivated you’ll feel to keep going. Opportunities that you would never have thought would be available to you will start showing up. What are you waiting for? Get to work!

4. Partner up. Don’t go it alone. Tell a friend about your goals and share your progress and setbacks with them. Having someone to talk to holds you accountable and can help keep you motivated. If you need help with something, ask for it. Your friends and family might know people who know people that can help you fulfill your goals.

{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Andrew January 10, 2008 at 1:17 am

I am fully applying this article to my life starting tomorrow when I wake up. I’m going to apply these suggestions to my life and geadute THIS year. Its going to be such a pain in the ass. But I gotta “just do it, damn it”. Thank you for this article.
Newly motivated,


2 transforming debt into wealth February 9, 2008 at 4:35 pm

I really, truly am glad I found this site. It has answered so many questions for me. I will be back. Thank You

3 Matt March 3, 2008 at 11:03 pm

Men should realize that their social castration has been engineered by the carefully engineered and executed feminist upheaval of the last 35 years with the goals of (1) putting women to work and thereby doubling the number of taxpayers, (2) reducing the number of children by shaming housewives, and (3) increasing population command and control (because woman are more easily manipulated).

A 20-40 year old man today is apt to take the fact that women are earning more than him, that women are bossing him around, that women don’t respect him, and that women don’t need him, as personal failures and become depressed. Men should not blame themselves but realize that of course wages are depressed – women and immigrants are taking all the jobs that would have been his. The older men and their “trust baby” boys are enjoying the benefits of the cheap labour pool and the consolidation of corporatism that is enriching them, while simultaneously destroying the male sole proprietors that were once the driving force for creating a strong middle class.

The solution? Well, in the days of Robin Hood the manly man became the enemy of the state and found himself fighting with the Sheriff of Nottinghamshire for a stake to live on. Be brave, men. Be heroes. Don’t give up just because the times are tough and you’ve been given playstation heroin to keep you addled and compliant.

4 Matt March 3, 2008 at 11:12 pm

Also, what ever you do DO NOT go finish school. That’s the worst advice. You will have thousands of dollars in debt that will never go away. You will sit in classes learning BS that will not teach you how to make money in life. You will be brainwashed with lies and will, after you graduate, have as your best hope, securing some corporate job where you can lick the boots of your lesbian boss for a little bit more than minimum wage doing work you absolutely hate.

What you SHOULD DO is learn a trade, and start your own business in that trade. Those are the men who are successful, do what they enjoy, and don’t have to waste years of their life in some glorified whorehouse regurgitating political correctness and fighting hangovers. The tradesman is a real man – don’t let the media shame you into getting some worthless degree.

5 serge April 5, 2008 at 8:37 pm

Depends what school you finish…I want to actually make money through scientifical research, Matt, I’m sure not every school will place you in a corporate job to lick your lesbian boss’s shoes.

6 Bill April 6, 2008 at 5:37 pm

Matt, I don’t know what Kool Aid you’ve been drinking, but that nonsense you’re babbling on about is utter crap. Feminist movements, worthless degrees? Sheer laziness and lack of motivation is what keeps people down, not their lesbian corporate boss. Sounds like someone has some serious mommy issues… did she ween you off the teat a little too soon and you’re still bitter?

Speaking as a 29 year old man who never made it through his freshman year of college, I will tell you that a degree isn’t worthless. It’s clear as day that men of my age with one of these worthless degrees you speak of make more money than me. This is my reason for going back to school. Not some lesbian boss or women with lack of respect for me. If you want others to respect you, respect yourself, work harder and earn the money you deserve.

7 Britt October 12, 2008 at 1:26 pm


Hi Matt, I disagree. I graduated with my BS in Physics at the age of 39. I am now a Navy Physicist working in Advanced Concepts trying to solve the problems the Navy (and through extension) the world have. I do not ever have to ‘lick the boots’ of any boss, regardless of their sexuality.

I am in debt, but I don’t care! I make a good income, live in a nice place, and feel that I am contributing to making the world a better place. My Student loan payments have been 200/month for the last 9 years, next year they go up to 400/month, for 15 more years, so what? I make no where near minimum wage, work 40/week, get a month of paid vacation a year.

Sure, had I gone to plumbing school, joined the right union/trade organization I could now be making 2 – 3 times what I am making now, I grant you that, but money is not everything. I value my time off, I value working in an organization where we are valued.

On the subject of ‘political correctness’, well, I hate that stuff… but on the other hand, I believe a persons value to society is not based on their religion/color/ethnicity/sex/sexual preference, so given that, maybe I am better suited for work in government than some. I have worked with many different people of all different sexualities and really could care less about those details, if they are professionals then sexuality is not a topic for work anyway (at least in Physics, maybe if you are a sex worker it may be!)

So, please tone down the vitriol a little and remember that you may have had a bad experience, but that does not mean that everyone will. I enjoyed going back to school, though I do have to say I was not the model student!


8 Britt October 12, 2008 at 1:31 pm

@Bill – Hi Bill, if you want to go back to school Go! An education is not about making money, though that can be a side effect, an education is about learning, being exposed to new ideas, seeing others take on things… I think it is great.

I used to drive a fork lift and read all the time for fun… Now I am a physicist, and still I love to learn… Though sometimes I miss driving a forklift… At the end of the day you always had something you could point to as an accomplishment, while these days projects I am on take months or even years to bear fruit…

I laud your desire to go back to school, don’t fear student loans, do whatever it takes, and you will come out of it enriched in so many ways, mere money is just one of them, and as always not even guaranteed.


9 Bill November 25, 2008 at 12:39 pm

Damn! This is great advice! Thank you!

10 Blake Helgoth December 4, 2008 at 6:02 pm


It depends on the school and your view of education. About the manliest thing a man can do is to wrestle with the great thinkers of the ages. Education is about learning to think and discovering the truth. If one succeeds, then that man with stand on the shoulder of giants and become a true asset to the populace. Now, you are correct in saying one does not need to attend a school of higher learning. In fact, many of such schools are anything but. Their focus is teaching you a skill and filling you with PC, society owes you this, and anti-religious garbage. However, there are some great schools out there and one or two great professors can really opens your mind to reality in a deeper way. Look for a great books program. A man armed with the knowledge they will learn for m the great western thinkers and the critical thinking skills that come from the intellectual labor will enable him think for himself and do for himself. If he desires, he will also make more money, but by then he will realize that this is not the greatest of goals.

11 John d December 5, 2008 at 6:54 am

Education is a good thing. It will help you man up. It doesn’t matter if you go to trade school, regular college or a university, or if you end up with a degree or a certificate. Either way you end up making more money the further you go, and if anyone thinks they are done with school after finishing school, they would be sadly mistaken. I completed paramedic school at a community college and guess what, there are several certifications and other continuing education that go along with it… I’ve since moved into another field and completed my degree(s) and now I have to attend conferences and workshops regularly to keep up with changes in my field. I teach for a health system occaisionally, and they have their own inservice and annual educational mandates… but the money is good, the hours are great, and the time off is excellent.

But lets not get tied up on education. It is also important to make decisions and CHANGE your mind when new information dictates that you’ve made a bad decision. To be a man you need to lead, follow, or get out of the way of those of us who are trying to do just that. Don’t let excuses prevent you from achieving something. Do or do not do, but don’t “try”. Make up your mind and get going.

12 Matt J February 10, 2010 at 1:24 am

It’s good to get motivated, but these 4 steps are useless. Way to state the obvious. Steps to get motivated. 1) Decide to motivate yourself 2) Get ready to motivate yourself 3) Motivate yourself 4) Keep motivating yourself.

13 Bobby G. October 4, 2012 at 9:16 pm

If I were a young man, I would learn a skilled trade first and then go to the university. I am doing fine in the Army, but, the men I know that do the best for themselves are the plumbers, electricians, welders, etc. If you have a trade skill, you will always have something to fall back on in case your singing or profootball career doesn’t work out.

14 Chris October 29, 2012 at 11:30 pm

What is really important is depth of knowledge in a field that will pay you enough money and that you enjoy. Think about it. Why do we know the names of Eddison, Rockefeller, Gates, Jobs, etc.? It’s because they focused their time and energy into a single topic/trade.

15 Christa November 25, 2012 at 6:13 pm

Meanwhile, women the same age are finishing school, starting businesses, and buying homes. You know… they’re being adults.

Eh, not me… woman slackers are definitely out there.

16 tom February 19, 2013 at 9:54 pm

While I laud the efforts of men to encourage the less motivated amongst them to retrain their casual thinking into something more rigorous and, hopefully, more productive for those individuals, I am extremely leery of the ‘anti-feminist’ talk and snarky, sarcastic references.

Adam, meet Eve. On the count of ’3′, make sure you blame her for all your problems.

I mean, seriously? Dude, grow a pair and stop with all the woman hating.

What guys like you, Matt, never quite figure out is that women don’t hate men. They hate men who hate women. It’s really that simple. And based on your post, you qualify. And the way you sound reminds me of a case of this guy in the 70′s in california who knowingly went to work for a female boss, and then tried to make some grandstand case about her having sexually harassed him. But she was a professional and had maintained all records of his behavior and their interactions and so, long story short, his case not only got thrown out by the california supreme court, but he was fired and forced to pay ALL legal fees for his fraudulent accusattions based on zero evidence.

Don’t become that guy Matt or you’ll be wandering in the dark comvinced everyone’s out to get you.

17 Adam October 6, 2013 at 2:27 am

Could you post a link to the studies you mentioned in the opening to this article, please? I consider myself a slacker, but with a help of a random person I started to change that for real. I didn’t realized this is such a problem.

18 Jon F. November 30, 2013 at 10:58 pm

It appears that many of you are only focusing on the school aspect of this article and I think you may be missing the beauty and simplicity of it. These four steps are broad enough that they can be used for goals in almost every aspect of life, not just huge life decisions. For example.

1. I want to lose 5 pounds by the end of this week.
2. My benefit is that I will be motivated to lose even more weight.
3. Just now……..I did 20 Pushups.
4. I am going to tell my wife to make sure I eat healthier this week.

Boom…I already feel better about myself.

Goals are our road maps through life…without them we never know where we will end up.

Brett – I love the site. I am starting a little late but I plan on reading all of your articles. I do feel that planning should be added as an additional step in this one, although that may be an article all by itself. Thanks man and keep up the good work.

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