My Prowess
I get a lot done most days. I wake up and check my email, make plans and schedule appointments as necessary, check out the blogosphere to see what’s happened in the world since I went to sleep. I’ll then get to work on whatever it is that’s occupying my time that week; a new ebook or guest blogs or design work or whatever. I usually try to have something social to do later in the day, be it a coffee date with a friend or Thai food with some colleagues.

And every single thing I do in a day is done for one reason: sex.

Sure, that’s not the ONLY reason, but it’s definitely the underlying motivation, whether consciously or unconsciously. And you’re not off the hook here: you’re doing the same thing, Casanova.

Your Prowess
But before you get your Protestant panties in a knot, you should know that this is not the result of modern morality or rap music, it’s actually a scientific principal called the biological imperative, which essentially means that the meaning of life and the purpose behind every action a living organism performs is to perpetuate its existence. In every critter we know about, from human beings down to amoeba, perpetuation means passing on your unique genetic code to the next generation. In order to do this, you have to survive and thrive, getting to the point where you can, ahem, pass on your DNA, which makes sure that your nucleotides are still represented when you croak.

So when you write that literary masterpiece or cook a meal or sleep in or tie your shoes or go to college or learn to dance or build the Arc de Triumphe, your most basic, root-level motivation is to get recognition or provide for others or sustain yourself or fit in with society or display your achievements so that you can make babies and be a part of the competition that is evolution.

You’re thinking “Sure Colin, that’s interesting, and the title of this post is kind of funny, but why does this matter? Did you just want to have an excuse to say ‘make babies’ and ‘nucleotides’ in the same argument?”

Indecent Proposition
Of course I wanted to grab your attention with a topic that’s a little out of the ordinary, and being able to mix sexual references with biological terms is an added bonus, but there actually is a practical purpose behind all of this (other than the obvious one, that is).

Understanding your motivation is incredibly important if you want to achieve your maximum potential. Being aware of why you do things can help you set better goals, make more intelligent decisions and more easily choose a path that will take you where you want to go.

It’s great that you are able to write the next big American novel, but if all you really want to do is work as a pediatrician, why are you wasting your time with all that typing? Is spending all that effort on a deviation from what you really care about going to make you happy, simply because it’s what others would kill to do? Probably not.

Nailing Bad Habits
Being aware of your motivations can also help you break bad habits. I used to bite my nails constantly: they were always jagged little nubbins because of it, and they looked and felt really bad. I wanted to stop, but every time I would try, I would end up forgetting — quitting simply wasn’t important enough to really focus on.

Then, I started playing the guitar. In order to strum and pluck correctly, I couldn’t have really flimsy, fractured fingernails, so I stopped. Cold turkey. Learning to play guitar was a big deal for me, and I’m sure you can already guess that a big part of why I wanted to learn led directly back to wanting to impress girls. I was aware of this motivation and knowing what I was working toward allowed me to easily leave the nail biting behind me (sex trumps laziness every time).

Call to (Getting) Action
Take a look at your own habits and goals and figure out the main motivation behind them (they will all eventually lead back to reproduction, but you don’t have to go that far back if you want something more immediate to act on). Figure out what it is that makes you want to do what you do. If you find that your life is currently going a different direction than where you want to end up, it’s time for a change.

And from what I hear, both guys and girls love a person who knows where they’re going in life.

Update: May 30, 2016

I received some truly noxious comments on this post, which taught me 1. that people seldom read past the title of an article, and 2. that I would need to learn to cope with trolls if I planned on producing work and making it available to the world in this way.

Fortunately, the early trolls were more hilarious and sad than talented, so they helped me build up my immunity over time. They also helped me realize where my strengths and weaknesses are, however, and this type of ‘shock blogging’ thing wasn’t really my bag. I tried it a few more times in a few different ways later on, but the tradeoffs just weren’t worth it, even if I felt I was making an important point underneath the seemingly salacious hook.