Understanding The Problem

I'm learning something about motivation.

It comes in many shapes, sizes, and colors. It can light your ass on fire and keep you focused for weeks. Bu it can also buy you a day and dart away the next. It can open your eyes and give you that extra "oomph" to get started.

But what do you do it disappears, leaving you wondering where and how to keep going?

Do you just wait until it comes back or do you keep progressing towards whatever goal you set?

I'm learning that motivation needs discipline to maximize results. The discipline principle in this situation is what makes motivation work. Motivation gets you started, discipline keeps you going.

"Motivation, broadly speaking, operates on the erroneous assumption that a particular mental or emotional state is necessary to complete a task.

That’s completely the wrong way around.

Discipline, by contrast, separates outwards functioning from moods and feelings and thereby ironically circumvents the problem by consistently improving them."

wisdomination

After years of programming myself to rely on this paradigm, I've found it incredibly hard to remain focused on anything for more than a few weeks, at best. I get so bored. I have declared several times throughout this blog and my social media that I am a chronic procrastinator. It is awful.

I want to quit. I'm tired of it putting me in positions that become increasingly harder and harder with each passing day of incompletion of the task. I need to understand why I procrastinate.

Is it because I'm just genuinely lazy? Maybe. Or is it because I'm relying too much on feeling like it rather than just doing it? After making procrastination apart of my everyday life, I feel a sort of anxiety upon completion of the task at hand thus disabling the above process. I will never feel like doing it because I'm always anxious about it.

Am I too focused on short-term pleasure rather than focusing on the end goal? Probably. Browsing Facebook, Reddit, playing Xbox, etc. — basically whatever distraction is at hand to continue avoiding what I need to get done. It can be so bad that I feel myself in idle mode, then I proceed to think about changing that, but I never do.

Learning the root cause of whatever it is you're trying to change about yourself is always the first step. I have to remind myself of this. Over the years, I've become so accustomed to this lifestyle that trying to change is incredibly hard. Yet, I've already proved to myself several times over that I can change, it just requires work.

You have to let go of instant gratification. You have to let go of your ego. You have to let go of the concept of "quick results." You have to let go of everything you've believed in and break new boundaries. To be the person you want to be, you absolutely have to put your 100% best effort into it or your results will never come to fruition.

Don’t Be Afraid

I was initially working on a post titled Why Life Can Be Terrifying, then I realized it was pointless. When I write, it's usually because a moment of inspiration hit me and I need to get it out or it's gone forever. When I began working on the aforementioned post, I was overwhelmed with the weight of life.

You see, my fiancee and I just bought a house. Yes, we are twenty years old, still in school, and we bought a house. Its out of the norm, but this has been one of the happiest, proudest moments of my life. I've found myself standing in the middle of my living room staring around in awe, amazed that this entire house is mine.

But life reminds me that buying a house comes with a lot of responsibility. It's not just paying a house payment and a utility bill. Just in our first week of homeownership, we've replaced a stove, fixed our fridge, and ripped our new kitchen floors doing said projects. Another todo on my list of ever-expanding things to get done. I wouldn't trade it for the world.

However, upon contemplation of all the things I need to get done (bills, home-owning, wedding, relationships, school, work, this, that, etc.), anxiety tends to swell up inside of me until I feel like I could burst. I get overwhelmed and my mind's like "Bro, you got a lotta shit to do" to which I respond, "I'll get it done tomorrow."

Ah, the procrastinator's conundrum. How many times have you promised yourself you'd get that super-important-thing-that-needs-to-be-done-now done tomorrow? Then when tomorrow comes around, you tell yourself you'll have more time later all while browsing Facebook and not getting much else done.

Why do I do this? Because it's easier to put off the responsibility when I promise myself I'll do it later even though I probably won't. A form of instant gratification by pretending to be productive. You see?

Yeah.

Point is you'll never be who you want to be if you keep putting things off. I am (self-proclaimed) the world's biggest procrastinator. I'm getting better — hence the recent influx of posts — yet it's a struggle. I have to remind myself that this is a journey, and I'm the only one leading the way.

Life isn't always going to be sunny days and beautiful roses, it's going to throw you down in the dirt and stomp on you while you're down. It's about getting back up, learning from it, and becoming a better person. If you let it, life will keep you down forever. Get up and take it by the horns or you'll forever have a tainted image of the world.

 

Accepting that you don’t always have to follow the rules

My fiancée said something to me the other day and I can't shake it. We were discussing what I should write about for the blog, and she said, "I think you should focus on things that matter. I don't think you should have a set topic."

Initially, I was apprehensive because I was sure that the only way to have any kind of success blogging is writing into a niche. That's all I've ever read when researching, and of course, everything is right on the internet.

However, I've been thinking about what she said and I think she's right. If I stop trying so hard to focus on one topic, my writing is better. Whenever I sit down and just start writing, no matter if I had a topic in mind, the quality of that piece is usually ten times what it would have been had I limited myself. I'm not saying that you should never niche, but I'm saying that it's okay to just write about something that isn't your primary focus.

But this has a bigger picture.

Life is full of dilemmas. You're going to be faced with hard decisions, problems with seemingly no way out, and moments where you feel like you just can't win. Life is hard, so you need to break away every now and then. Do something you enjoy.

In today's day and age, breaking away from the traditional 9-5 is at an all time high. The internet has paved the way for entrepreneurs and the like to become whatever they want! They didn't follow the rules, they did something they enjoyed, and they took risks! The new workforce is already here and it's in the form of social media. How is that? I'll mention it again for you.

They didn't follow the rules.

And it worked. If you just do what you love to do instead of focusing on minor details, you just might be surprised at what comes of it.

Self-Reflection

I’ve taken an indefinite hiatus on writing and doing something I truly do enjoy. I don’t know why I stopped writing or why I haven’t started back. There’s a part of me that yearns to sit down and just write, yet every time I find myself typing a few sentences, erasing those sentences, and just staring at an empty screen. Why do I put myself in this situation? Do I have nothing to write about? Or is something holding me back?

Even when I was writing on a semi-regular basis, I always wrote on easy topics, and by easy I mean topics that didn’t require any actual work. For example, when I first started this website I decided I’d focus on flash fiction. Why? Because it required the least effort. FF required minimal research (if any), they were short, and I could jot them down in ten to fifteen minutes.

At that time in my life, I was searching for a sense of accomplishment. I was being lazy, unmotivated, and honestly, I didn’t give a damn about anything. I thought that trying to do something I enjoy and creating something with it might help me get out of my slump, but it didn’t because I didn’t enjoy writing it. I didn’t even try to make it something fun for me.

Fine. That was my mistake and I learned from it. I stopped writing flash fiction and decided to write about something else… except I never did that. I just wrote what was on my mind. Half the time, it never had a point. It served as more of a diary than anything except it wasn’t personal or heartfelt. It was just something to fill the space, another post that I didn’t have to try and create something unique and original. I just stopped writing after this because I was disappointed in every piece of “work” I made.

I made myself hate writing.

That turned out to be one of the best mistakes I’ve ever made. When I realized what I had done to myself through laziness and procrastination, I saw what else it was affecting in my life. I had become bitter. I was lazy. I was unmotivated. I had no discipline. I didn’t care about anything. My schoolwork faltered. I pushed my fiancée away. I disconnected myself from friends. I lost contact with family. I was in terrible shape mentally, emotionally, and physically. And the worst part of it all is I didn’t care. I just kept letting it happen. Self-imposed torture; a reel of potentially life-altering decisions and mistakes kept playing themselves out day after day. I had to change.

I realized that if I wanted my life to change, I had to quit blaming my faults on external sources. I had to look within myself and find what was wrong with ME. Change comes from self-reflection. How did I become this person? Why did I go down this path? As I began answering these questions, I quickly realized that I didn’t have a reason for any of it. Sure, there were certain circumstances that might have helped influence my behavior, but I got to this point in my life on my own accord and that made me uncomfortable.

Is it really that easy to screw up your life? It is. It’s so, so incredibly easy to fuck up when you’re left to your own devices. And it’s going to be ten times more difficult to change your life for the better, but in the end it’s so worth it. I am, by no means, at the end of my journey. I have a lot, and I mean an enormous amount, of work to do. However, I am such a better person in my own eyes. I had to put myself into view and work on me before I could move forward in my life. I learned that putting yourself first is the best thing you can do for yourself if you’re struggling.

As I’ve already mentioned, I’ve got a long way to go. However, I want you to understand how I feel now vs. how I felt almost a year ago. When I think back to those times, I felt as if my mind was cloudy; my thoughts were shrouded in hopelessness, the mental fog was fueled by low self-esteem, and I felt almost numb to anything other than when I sought instant gratification through spending hours on social media, reading pages upon pages of useless information, and obsessing over changing but never actually changing. Those fleeting moments were evidence of dopamine chasing. I used these stupid and pointless acts to feel something… anything.

Regardless, I never want to feel that way again. Now my mind is clear and I can focus on whatever task is at hand better than before. I seem to experience life in a new light. It’s weird, but everything seems more colorful and brighter. It took me a long time to understand what was happening to me once I began this journey to better myself.

In the posts to come, I’m going to discuss what it is I did to get to where I’m at now. I hope to help anyone whose reading this and can relate. Just know that if you’re lost and you haven’t found yourself, there is hope. You just have to work hard for it. I’ll be here along the way.

Since I started this blog, it’s underwent two major redesigns. Well, it’s going to get another one. This one feels… clunky and outdated. It’s also dark and moody — a reflection of how I felt at the time. It’s time to change again. I’m going to update the color scheme and layout, and I’m also going to be archiving my old posts. That way they are still accessible, but not the first thing you see when you come to my website. I’d like to keep them to display my growth as not only a writer, but as a person as well.

To all my family and friends who I haven’t talked to or visited like I should have, I apologize. I just needed some time to myself to try and figure this crazy obstacle course called life out. I’m finally becoming somebody I can be proud of, so I appreciate your patience. I love you all.

One more thing: I would like to give a special thank you to my fiancée, Miranda. Without your love, support, and patience, I don’t think I would have gotten this far. I’d still be in that dark place, so for all that you’ve done, thank you. I love you so much.

Thank you all for reading if you’ve gotten this far. Stay up to date by following me on Facebook and, if you have a wordpress account, on here as well. More to come!