Friday, April 22, 2011

My Self-Help Book Would Be Short

"Lack of Motivation" is one of the most common things people beat themselves up over. We look at the successful, the brilliant, the talented, and know deep inside that such heights would be within our reach if we only had the discipline to pursue it.

Only I don't think that's quite true. 

The kind of motivation you need to work at the same thing, day after day, can be fueled by many things—and not all of them are as positive as iron will. Profound emotional damage, for example, will do just fine, as it's a constant push to lose yourself in work. Desperate, gnawing lack of self-worth is another common one, since it can be temporarily beaten back by personal accomplishments.

And let's not forget OCD. Nothing makes you perfect your craft like the inexplicable feeling that you have to.

So maybe the reason most people goof off so much is that they're relatively well adjusted. The person who's happy, healthy, and fulfilled doesn't need to conquer the world.*

*They just need to pretend to.

1 comment:

jerebear said...

Interesting thought, but speaking as someone who's got a major life goal I feel pretty well-adjusted. I just feel determined to accomplish more with my life than is expected of me. Fueled primarily by a desire to experience things in life most people don't get to because they're content not to.

And yeah, it's tough as nails some days to wake up and know that I've got ANOTHER 7 years of 9a to 9p days before I'll reach my goal and in the meantime, I have to clean toilets, pay bills and fix things I broke a year ago.

But hey, that's just me.