Saturday, October 31, 2009

Internal Motivation

I'm just not. I'm not internally motivated. I never have been. I, effectively, require the external motivation of punishment or discipline in order to do much of anything in life. Even the promise of reward seldom motivates me to do something.

I only tidy up all the corners of my apartment when I am expecting multiple people. And even then it has to be more than one person and typically from more than one sphere of my worlds. And even inside those requirements I still seldom tidy every single solitary corner of my apartment. Usually my office area is what is left untidy-ed.

I only clean my area once something about the dirtiness starts bothering me. I won't go into details here mostly because it would gross most of you out.

I go to work because I need to pay my bills.

I walk or cycle only when one of two things occurs. 1) I desperately need to connect with God on a
deeper level or 2) I get jittery from the lack of movement.

There was a time I wouldn't balance my checkbook until I had bounced something or had to figure out if something was about to bounce. Now I balance my checkbook only when I need to pay bills and I need to figure out how much I can pay on debt. and this month, I got an extra paycheck so I haven't balanced it yet. In fact between facebook and this post I am effectively putting that task off for at least another 5 days.

I want to write a book. 3 books, maybe more, to be honest. I have the ideas in my head. I have a manuscript started for the novel. I have an outline started for my memoir. I have an idea in my head for a 3rd, a couple of titles I'd like to use somehow somewhere, and the novel? That could be the start of a whole series of books. What did I do today? Facebook mostly, while listening to Season 1 of CSI.

Recently I started doing some volunteer work with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship at my old Alma Mater. One of the few things I do without threat of punishment. I do it solely because I so incredibly and deeply enjoy it. College was an incredible time for me and I love sharing that time with students who are experiencing their own incredible time right now. This is very likely one of the only things I have done in years that I chose to do, set out to do, pursued and achieved, solely for the personal fulfillment and 'giving back' of it.

I am absolutely full of dreams. I have set goals for nearly every thing imaginable. I am not sure I have ever achieved a single one of the goals I have ever set in my entire life. This little fact is like a splinter in my mind. It niggles at me. It pokes at me.

It does not motivate me.

I have a side business. A direct sales company that I absolutely love. I can potentially help a lot of people change their lives on a few different levels. I haven't touched this business in a month, maybe two. I set goals. I take notes. I make plans. I have dreams. I look at our newsletters. I get motivational emails and follow motivational blogs.

I'm not afraid of the typical things consultants in direct sales are. I'm not truly afraid of the phone. I'm not afraid of approaching strangers. I'm not technically afraid of failure nor of success.

I'm afraid that I won't be able to maintain it. I think the maintenance idea is what's at the core of why NONE of my goals has ever been achieved.

I can't even tell you how many Januarys I have declared that this year is the year I'm going to lose this weight and be the healthier happier more active and hopefully more in love person that I think I am supposed to be. But it feels hypocritical to lose 40-50-60 pounds in order to attract a man when I'm convinced on this side of the relationship that I won't want to maintain that weight loss for the duration of my life. It's equivalent to bleaching my hair out to be a blond until after the honeymoon and going back to my natural nearly-black brunette. It's disingenuous. And I think rude and ignorant, not to mention stupid and immature. All things I despise!

My current life. This I can maintain. 40+ hours a week at a somewhat challenging job that brings me home a paycheck to pay my apartment, car, insurance, internet, cell phone, food and gas. A couple nights a week catching up with friends and family over TV shows or whatever excuse we want. Saturdays spent "Doing as Little as Possible, for as Long as Possible." Sundays typically up to go to church and be loved and show love. A night or two a week investing in college students who need a glimpse of life beyond campus once in awhile, and sometimes need that glimpse to just give them a hug and love on them a bit. These things I can maintain.

This life, I can keep up with.

But if I choose to "Work my business" and get bored in 3 months, then what? If I choose to work my ass off in workouts for 6 months and lose 40 pounds, and still don't meet a great guy who loves my sparkling personality, then what? If I spend months writing my fingers to the bone (figuratively and possibly literally) and pump out both manuscripts, and no publishing house will even talk to me about publishing them, then what?

I realized more deeply than ever recently that I 'process' through ideas and problems and situations out loud. Verbally. Sometimes i can't figure out what I'm thinking or what decision I want to make until I'm actually saying it out loud to someone else. Apparently I can 'process' a little bit in writing. I just had a small revelation.


All my goals are always set with the end in mind. Which, I believe, is typical goal-setting-theory. The problem is that I'm not convinced those ends are possible or sustainable. And I forget entirely The Process.

What might I find out about myself if I Worked my Business every single day for two weeks? Much less for Two months? How many people might I be able to help? How much debt might I be able to pay off?? How much savings might I be able to stockpile?????

What revelations would I see if I worked out, consistently, hard, effectively, for 3 months? What strength of character might I uncover? What focus of energy might I find? What euphoria might I be able to maintain??

What skills could I hone if I wrote, something, somewhere for any of my books, every single day for 365 days? if i wrote in a single book for 365 days I would have 365 pages at the end of a year. What if it never gets 'published' but I share it with my own circles and impact lives I personally know? What lives could I effectively influence by my written words if I improved my craft every day for 365 days??

I tend to see black and white. All or Nothing. I don't see 'and' nor 'or'. I see the beginning and I see the end. I don't see the journey in the middle. Rather, I don't see the value in that journey. I assume failure at the end so I don't see the purpose for the beginning.

And I stay mired in my messes, crying in my nachos, and filling up my days so I don't have to acknowledge how unfulfilled my soul truly is. I'll be pondering this journey idea. You?

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