I’m trying to figure out a sense of motivation that comes purely from positive energy and not from self-coercion or running away from the fear of something negative.
I’m getting glimpses of it as I work on my new project. Whenever I identify self-coercion, I stop, meditate a moment, and release it. Then, I try to do what I feel inspired to do, which is sometimes what I was originally trying to force myself to do, and sometimes something quite different.
It’s still a big job though. Self-coercion is such a deeply rooted pattern – in me, and I think in 99.9% of people. I know very few role models for what I’m looking for – perhaps Dayna Martin and Henri Junttila. What I am sure is that the default in our society is to self-coercion, and it takes a special person to be free of it or to become free of it.
This post from Henri made me think of a way I could improve – by identifying my big fear and stop running away from it. I know I fear reaching the end of these two years or so of self-directed work with nothing to show for it financially (and then… and then what? Being obliged to find some other way to survive. It seems like more a fear of uncertainty or instability, because I’m sure I won’t actually die).
And then… to work in a totally Zen way… connected with my purpose… knowing the importance of things without exaggerating it… viewing life as a fun game and making strides to the completion of the first goal (an income that will increase my freedom and stability in life)… engaged, enthusiastic…
Today I had a glimpse of the enthusiasm and zest for life I had before I shut it down at around age 15. At that age it felt like I needed to kill my love of life so I could survive in this world. Today, at this step in my progress to non-coercive self motivation, I felt the sort of creativity and enthusiasm that can run through you when you’re not trying to constantly control yourself.
It was a glimpse… I still have a lot of work to do. I want to stay on this edge of progress, and find that inner treasure that I know in my heart I can get, even if I have no map to get there.
So not negating any desire or inspiration. Going with all of them, now. One at a time of course. But, also, now.
As for how to get myself to give work the priority it needs? I think partly by not coercing myself I will have naturally more inspiration to do it. But I also think that I can make work a priority, by making work a priority. I don’t need to coerce myself to do it, or to negate other desires with it, to know I want to do it in most of my time. I just need to know it’s important.
Well, that’s how I’m seeing things now. Stay tuned for updates as my productivity philosophy evolves 😉
And I don’t feel like I’m forcing myself to do stuff as I was before.
Last Saturday I was almost immobilised because I thought I “had to” write my book but couldn’t work up the inspiration to do so.
When I thought about that and linked it up with my recent ideas about not compartmentalising my life, I decided not to leave everything else I wanted to do until “after” writing the book. And the result was no more immobilisation – I wasn’t writing my book but I was doing other important stuff. And for sure I’ll soon have a lot of tasks cleared out of the way and more time freed up for working on the book.
I have also decided to stop leaving off starting reading new books because I “have to” finish reading one first – another sort of compartmentalisation. I’m thinking that I will get some amusing stuff which will help make my life between writing stints a bit less dry. (“You can’t do fun stuff until you’ve done enough work” – ugh…).
I’ve also thought about music, and how I have always left learning music off, because I have to be able to dedicate a lot of time to focus on mastering this unbelievably hard art. (Irony). So I’ve decided to spend more time listening to music, singing, and even whistling. (Who says whistling can’t be a medium of expression?). When I can, I’ll start playing the flute, the guitar, or both. But, I won’t even let not having an instrument get in the way, in the meantime.
One thing that I’ve noticed has helped me in all this, is listening – really listening – to the voice in my head that tries to oblige me to do something NOW and leave something else off.
To that end I find it’s useful to imagine I was saying those things to someone else. “Do it NOW, get up and do it NOW, no, right NOW, do whatever you want to do later, but do what you HAVE to do NOW, start moving, get up, move!”
When I do that it becomes much more obvious what a despot this inner voice is, and how silly, also. I wouldn’t say such things to a friend, so why would I say them to myself?