Monday, February 13, 2006

motivation

I don't always realize the significance of motivation. I tend to think that motivation is nice, but not necessary. That work can be done even if I lack motivation, just that it's harder. However, that's probably not true. Lack of motivation is a barrier as real as a concrete wall. It makes work not only more difficult, but literally impossible.

Some interesting questions:

What kind of thing is motivation?

How can it be developed, long term?

How can it be increased short term?

How can one discover which motivations oneself has? (I mean all of it, some things are pretty clear.)

What is the relationship between motivation and values? (Except for the obvious, that values motivate.)

The relationship between motivation and feelings? (Again, except for the obvious...)

Okay, stop it. I can just go on and on with questions, and then feel that I have to work on all at once, and feel overwhelmed and kind of helpless, and give it all up. (This is the feeling of mental overload, which itself is an interesting topic for analysis, but not here and now.)

How can motivation be strengthened?

It helps to believe that you can reach your goals. First, that requires having goals. Second, you need self-confidence. And self-confidence can only be achieved by in fact being capable of achieving your goals, and knowing that you are. And to have that capacity, you need to be rational. Which means, having an active, reality-oriented mind.

I think the above reasoning holds, but it somehow feels empty and I'm not sure where to go from here. How does that apply to me and what do these abstractions mean concretely?

For starters, which are my existential goals, and what inner state do I hope to experience by achieving them?

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