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10:35 am - Sat 11/08/03
Motivationally Speaking

Motivationally Speaking

Weds 11/05/03 (9:41 p.m.)

I've been thinking a lot these days about motivation.

I've never had a lot of motivation when it comes to...well, when it comes to doing much of anything. I get upset about it, I try to understand the reasons why, I try to cut myself some slack (Since beating myself up about it has never done any good). But no matter what, I continue not doing anything I don't absolutely have to do (Acting and Diaryland are two big exceptions to the rule...though I guess you could argue that, in each case, I found something I needed there).

Lately, I've been trying to attack the problem–and it does feel like a "problem"–from a pragmatic standpoint; Jim is not motivated to do the things he could/should do, so what is the key to motivating him?

(I haven't found one, at least not one that's very practical--For example, I don't think I can arrange for a beautiful woman to have sex with me every time I do the dishes or avoid junk food--but I've applauded myself for at least thinking in terms of "problem solving".)

But something Kathy B. said about a recent entry got me to thinking...She emailed me, saying that while she found my writing about God interesting, it probably wasn't going to get me where I wanted to go.

I knew what she meant (Or at least I think I know what she meant. Forgive me if I'm misrepresenting your thinking here, Kath); you can intellectualize about "God" all you want, but the existence of "God", however one defines "God", is, to steal a line from Kierkegaard (sp) "...not a problem to be solved, but a reality to be experienced".

Similarly, I've spent way too much time trying to "solve the problem" of Jim Hoffmaster, and not nearly enough time "experiencing the reality".

Thinking about why I'm not motivated to do much, trying to figure it out, berating myself for it, being gentle with myself about it, trying to do some mental "end-run" around it–None of that's going to work, because I'm not just a problem.. I'm not a puzzle to be solved, or a broken thing that needs to be fixed.

There's really only one reason to do things I'm not doing now, or to do things differently in some way: I'm not satisfied as things stand.


That's all the discussion about "motivation" there really needs to be. If something doesn't work, don't just do it over and over, hoping for a different outcome. Try something else. Try something else cause it might work. Try something else cause it might be fun. Try something else cause you're bored and at least it's something different.

I don't need to explore the root causes of my laziness/lack of motivation. I don't need to search high and low for the "key" to making myself try new things, or shake bad habits, or whatever it is I think needs to change. It really comes down to one question–"Am I happy with the situation as it is?". If not, I know what I need to do, and I don't need a therapist or a self-help book or lengthy entries in diaryland to figure it out; if anything, that's just a crafty ploy to get around having to take action. Cause taking action involves some risk. But if that risk stops short of killing myself or anyone I care about, I think that's risk I can afford to take. I think that's risk I have to take.

Thurs 11/06/03 (10:10 p.m.)

Just got off the phone with Cary a few minutes ago.

I'm so ignorant of the area outside of LA, I didn't consider how close they might be to the recent wildfires; turns out, they were close enough to see flames in the all-too-near-distance. It sounded pretty surreal; smoke-and-ash-filled sky, a bright orange sun, fire trucks everywhere, sirens blaring. And all the while, hoping you're not going to get the word to evacuate your home.

But they're okay, the house is okay, and life is good (They were even able to get away for the weekend. I imagine the timing could hardly have been better).

(Watching ER, and just saw another commercial I auditioned for, something for Discover; like the Pepsi/Beyonce spot, they cut out the part I read for at the audition. I've also seen the McDonald's "McGriddle" commercial at least a half-dozen times over the past week. It's kind of sucked, if you want to know the truth.)

We talked at some length about my writing.

I've tried to do some writing outside of Diaryland, but so far, things have come out with a distinct Diaryland feel (Both the "Bad Things" and "Old Memories" entries started out as non-Diaryland writing). But it makes a certain sense; I've been keeping a journal for half my life, while the last time I tried to do any creative writing was back in college, so it follows that it may take time to start thinking outside my journaling "box".


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