We grow up where all of our belief patterns are shaped by our superiors. Our thoughts on right and wrong, discipline, etc, are GIVEN to us. They are not our own. Especially in western cultures, we constantly feel we are inherently more special from the moment we are born. Which can be a very frightening realization, because now you feel you need to do something magnificent before someone else does. And that goes on and on until you die.
What I see as a major problem to many people nowadays is that constant feeling of “not being enough” and hence, having a need to jump through so many loopholes just to feel adequate. People take themselves mega seriously, and spend years pretending to be someone they’re not. They play the game of life in such a tryhard fashion thinking their egos are the meaning of life. If you’re lucky, you’ll realize you’ve been fooling yourself and give up on that nonsense. But for some, they are totally convinced they need to keep trying to act a certain way & think a certain way to get what they want.
This kind of mentality isn’t realistic. In fact, it’s delusional thinking. It stems from a sense of inadequacy & inferiority with the present moment. It’s not accepting yourself for who you are. It’s not loving yourself and the environment.
If you really, TRULY wanted to do something, wouldn’t you just do it? Wouldn’t you not need “motivation” to boost you?
You see, this is exactly the problem; it’s not intrinsic. It’s placing a need for happiness on external circumstances. And this kind of thinking can plague people for years. People can become neurotic and develop very unhealthy mentalities because they feel pressured to accomplish greater than what they already are.
The only person who will ultimately make that decision is you. Needing external motivation isn’t going to make you do anything. It’s “feel good” propaganda that gives us a reason to rationalize “we could do it–IF we wanted to”. All of these modern motivational tips and tactics are another way to hide. A better question to ask yourself is, “What is it for?”.
Change is important, however. Experiencing life in as many ways as possible is a necessary tool for growth. Sometimes we genuinely don’t know what we want until we have experienced something firsthand. And there is a lot of power in knowing what we don’t want.
As Alan Watts famously said, “The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance.”
So with that being said, do things you are genuinely passionate about and love. There will always be obstacles that we will run into. Skills make us happy, and we need to have discipline to develop skills, as Alan Watts discusses. But be real with yourself, because it’s very possible the majority of things you feel obliged to do are things you’d be much happier not doing!