I woke up this morning thinking about motivation. About what pushes me to act in the world to do anything. What pushes me to write this, what pushes me to work and earn money, and what pushes me to keep pushing.
The coronavirus world is insane. Every single day I get a notification that notifies me about a new cure, about a new wave of the disease in China, good news, bad news. A freaking rollercoaster that’s likely fueled by the need the media has of my attention, my precious attention. This rollercoaster is mostly fueled by fear, that powerful emotion. And it’s pervasive, you don’t really see it, but it is there, in the back of your mind, pushing you.
It’s hard to notice that you’re working out of fear and, really, living your life out of fear when you cannot see it.
What drives you is a really important question.
For you can be driven by beautiful things like courage, love, friendship, and community. Or you can be driven by horrible emotions like fear, anger, neediness, or envy. Not that emotions are bad or good, fear is helpful depending on circumstance. But not being aware of them driving you is the problem. It’s a problem because, if you’re smart, you’d want your life to go as smoothly as possible, make it a good ride. You can do this up to a degree, by taking the reigns of what you can control.
Choosing what emotions are going to drive you is up to you. However, if you’re not even aware of the emotions that are driving you, you’ll have no chance of deciding what emotion will work best for the situation you’re living. Courage, for example, will always benefit your life more than cowardice, think about it.
The quality of your life
The quality of your life will depend entirely on the level of responsibility you choose to take towards what happens to you.
The very first thing that’s under your control is your capacity to choose you attitude. Again, the comparison between fear and courage. Let’s suppose, and I hope not, that you go, as many people currently are, unemployed. I know a lot of people, I was one of them, that wouldn’t dare to think to work as a waiter after having a high paying job. In this case, you’re being driven by vanity and by your precious status, which is how you think other people perceive you. In short, you are being driven by shame and by fear. But sometimes life is hard, and hard measures need to be taken.
Now, let’s suppose that you fall down economically. But instead of being driven by fear, you become aware of what’s driving you, and you decide to replace it with courage. Whereas fear locks you up and closes you down in a prison created by your own mind. Courage opens you up to possibility. Sure you may have to work as a waiter, for a while, but not forever. For you are open to what’s next. If that’s what’s needed to keep going forward. Sure you’ll do it.
Can you spot the difference? You hold the cards for how you are going to face life, for what you are going to let you drive you.
“In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer.
And that makes me happy. For it says that no matter how hard the world pushes against me, within me, there’s something stronger — something better, pushing right back.”
― Albert Camus
The quality of your life is directly correlated to your decisions. The best way you have to ensure quality is to take charge of what drives you.
You’ll have to be extremely honest with yourself. It’s hard to accept that you do things out of validation for example. Think about one thing that you do, that if no one were around to see it, you’d still do it?
Here’s an example about what I’m trying to say:
This Russian guy is building a cabin in the forest by himself, and it’s freaking fantastic. The work itself is the pay. This mind exercise helps you to discover the things that are driving you at the moment. How many girls on Instagram would still spend 2 hours a day on the mirror putting make-up on if they hadn’t their Instagram accounts? Not many I’m sure.
Epictetus said that the only worthy goal in life is freedom. You cannot attain freedom if you cannot control what is going to drive you.
So, what’s driving you now?
Thanks for reading
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