Friday, April 21, 2017

Irrationally Unmotivated

I realized this morning, getting ready for work, that I am unmotivated.

Oh, I have lots of things to do of course.  It is just that there is the increasing sense of moving from one required task to another instead of a purpose and action to them.  Marking time, one might almost call it.

I worry that this stems from a sense of "doing what you have to, blooming where you are planted." Yes, I get the application of that in real life - at the same time, I am wondering if it also can lead to the development of a essentially a programmed life instead of a life lived (The two outcomes are not mutually exclusive).

Every time I get in this state of mind, I have flashes of "initiative", where (mostly out of frustration)  I get aggravated enough to take action.  I say "aggravated" because there is a certain sense that it stems from an emotional area I usually do not find myself dwelling in. Then I suddenly feel guilty that I was this emotional and completely fall back into my previous passive state of mind.

Which gets me nowhere, of course.

In one sense this strikes me as completely ridiculous, this back and forth of passivity interrupted by brief moments of frenzied acivity.  It does not make for a lot of forward progress - but neither do I necessarily feel good about things when I make progress in that state.  To be frank, it feels like I am angry all the time (or perhaps frustrated - but angry is how I feel).

And thus, irrational motivation.  I get motivated, but it is scarcely the sort of thing that seems sustained or even productive in the long term.  Precisely what I do not need, of course: I need the sort of motivation that will be sustainable and will not leave me in a state of constantly feeling guilty or relapse into periods of "maintenance" that will eventually push me back the other way.

It seems a loop as I write this, an endless loop that prevents me from actually making any progress while feeling as if I am either doing "the right thing" or am pushing limits.

If a loop, how do I break it?

If a behavior, how do I modify it?

And if I am guilty when I try to make progress, why is that and where is it coming from?

2 comments:

  1. Have you ever thought that you are suffering depression TB? After I burned out in 2003, all I could do was sit at the window and watch the bird feeder for months. I had no motivation, no interest, no joy in doing things at all. And I just didn't want to. I'm not saying take meds or anything like that, I did that for 7 years and all it did was mess me up further. But, I do take a B-Complex vitamin each day, I add some good fish oil to my morning shake and I make sure to do 30 minutes of cardio each morning. That has given me the ability to manage depression because these things boost my mood when I do them consistently. Keeping those routines also got my interest back in things I love to do. Depression, for me, will never go away and there are days when I really just sit and stare because nothing seems interesting, even when I have so many things to do.

    Have you gotten to the core of why you're angry? Anger is based on fear as we know right? What are you really afraid of? What's causing you stress and worry? What about your life, do you wish was different? These are all good questions to journal privately about and try to figure out. The next step is figuring out how to make things better.

    One of my biggest problems was not living where I wanted to live. Alex and I gave up a pretty good situation to move together to live simply in the mountains. He gave up his job and now is working on his own business. We live off that and my disability and a lot of the time it's hard, but we learn to manage because this is the life that makes us happy. I know some people aren't in the position to just go for it, it took us years to get here, but we knew that's what we wanted and started to slowly makes changes and plans. We're still not in our complete happy place because we want to be even more isolated in the woods and be home owners, but that's also in the plan for a few years time. We know it's all coming together, a little slower than we want! But going in the right direction has helped the both of us find our spirits again and be motivated to do both what needs to get done around the house, and also to enjoy those things we love to do.

    I hope I don't sound "preachy", I just try to relate to things by using my own life experience! :)

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  2. Hi Rain! Yes, I am taking a relatively reasonable vitamin regime: a multi-vitamin, 2 fish oil capsules and a vitamin C. I am sure how much it is fending anything off but at least it I am getting my daily allowance...

    I suppose there is a certain level of disillusionment involved. Part of it just stems, I suppose, from the simple fact of realizing that in a great deal of meaningful ways, my life is not going to be what I had wanted it to be. A sort of illusion, if you will - and disillusionment cannot exist without illusion.

    There is an aspect of being "in place" at the present time as well. We live in a fast growing urban area, which is hardly the sort of place where I want to be - but due to the nature of my employment and the girls and where they are in school, it is quite likely that we will be here anywhere from two to ten years. My career pays very well, enough to assist with things like college, but it is pretty region specific e.g. the ability to get away from people is limited except in very specific consulting situations (which might be a possibility down the road).

    If I had to pinpoint it, it is this feeling of being trapped and unable to significantly change my direction in a way that is noticeably that dogs me at the present time.

    And no worries about the "preachy" - we are all about sharing here.

    Thanks! - TB

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