Posted by Swaroop C H on July 13, 2006 Filed under: self-improvement

When I look at people around me, I often ponder how they manage to live life just like any other day. They tackle work and fun and go home and watch TV and sleep. Then, get up the next day and the cycle continues. I think of them as analogous to "machines".

On the other hand, I'm more like a wind-up toy. I need to motivate myself regularly to keep me going. I don't know if there's a deficiency in me or it's just that I'm built that way. I usually resort to many tricks and advice and the worst/best part is that these tricks usually work for me.

Why is it that I find it so hard to get motivated?

I can think of several reasons :

  • I have this mental block that "I am not a finisher". I tend to start things with great enthusiasm but due to past history, I get an uneasy feeling that I won't be able to complete it, and once you lose confidence and enthusiasm, that's the end of it. As Abraham Lincoln once said, "Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any other."
  • It's easy to "lose sight" of what's important. The daily bhaag-daud makes you lose sight of the big picture. As Stephen Covey once said, "The main thing is keeping the main thing the main thing."
  • Don't follow the herd mentality. Do what is important to you. "To lead a symphony you must occasionally turn your back on the crowd."
  • There's not enough passion. This violates our Dappers Rule.
  • Not enough concentration. One thing at a time. And think while you're at it. The one thing that I remind myself (and it helps me very effectively) is "You have to think more than you think you should but often less than what you are afraid you have to".

Looks like I already have 5 points. I guess that part of my "growing up" would be to tackle these issues.


Piyush Gupta says:

Alright. When I started I thought I'll get to see some ways of getting motivated but not bad still could find the reaosns for de-motivation in an objective sense.

Some rant that I scribbled someitme back, may be you'd like to see it.

Pramod Biligiri says:

Interesting post. This is how I look at things:

1) Step back. Get some perspective on things.
According to me, this is a must. I think the Bible says "Having done all, stand.". We have a silly notion that it's only doing things that leads to happiness and look for happiness in taking up many things ("projects" as the linked article calls it). Me, I often think of this poem and also Kipling/kiplingif.htm>this.

2) Don’t follow the herd mentality
Very true. If you introspect properly (step 1), this will follow. Create your own measurement criteria and try to live life according to it. Everything else is foolishness.

The rest is implementation detail ;)

Pramod Biligiri says:

ugh, typo in link to the 2nd poem above. here's the link:

t3rmin4t0r says:

We're all wind up toys, and we need someone to wind us up regularly...

That's where the paycheck fails and people management succeeds.

Neel says:

Heh, I think you'll find the Myth of Sisyphus ( interesting if you haven't read it already. This one was by Camus, if I remember correctly. It's perhaps only vaguely related to the sort of thing you're talking about; but couldn't resist mentioning it nevertheless :)

Ari says:

Take a look at The T.A.D Principle. It is very good for helping you find (create?) lasting motivation.


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