Motivation and all that jazz

Post date 2013-04-07
Category Writings

As I near my 30:th birthday I find myself in a bit of a slump. The trouble is finding motivation. The dust has settled after my failed house purchase, I've pretty much adjusted to my new work situation, and feel ready to take on some new goals. Awesome! So I sit down to figure out what I want to do. Pen and paper at the ready. Let's do this.

I said: LET'S DO THIS!

Huh. Nothing. I don't know what I want to do.

I google "How to set goals", "How to find goals", "Awesome motivation h4xx0r" and similar. And realize that a lot of people feel as... existentialist as I do. Moreover, a lot of them are about my age. And they have a name for this. Apparently it's the famous midlife crisis I'm beset by.

I read on. It seems the midlife crisis usually strikes people around 30 and 40 or so, but you can be younger and older as well. At 28, I'm obviously younger. Common symptoms are the same lack of motivation: you question why you were put upon this earth, what you should dedicate your life to, when and where to get your dinner. Many feel they've wasted away their youth, are afraid of getting older, wonder why they haven't gotten a proper job yet.

I feel sick. Having time to think about this is such a luxurious problem. Ask starving people if they wonder what to do to get fulfillment and they'll probably say "food".

Anyway. Comparing my feelings to these, I pretty much feel the opposite. I've done most of the things I want in my career already. I've bought and sold a home. I've traveled a bit. And I actually enjoy getting older and wiser.

Holy crap. My "crisis" is about my life having been too good so far. And instead of being grateful I'm just... bored.

My closest friends argued that life is all about balance. I think this is a lesson I need to learn now. Enjoy work. Enjoy friends. Enjoy family. Enjoy hobbies. Accept that you don't always have to be heading somewhere. Enjoy the present.

I've always claimed that I'm pretty good at that, but the truth is... I'm not. I have to get better at just enjoying my life. So that's what I'm going to do.

I've made two lists. One is public. It's pretty much just a constantly evolving list of things I think I'd like to do, own and achieve. The other is private, and is a summary of things that make me feel good and things that make me feel worse. It's been a good exercise - I realized that I'm basically confident and content with my working life, but that there are things outside of that I need to handle. I also need to spend more time with friends and especially family, and remove a few things that has been bugging me.

For now, motivation still eludes me. I'm not always sure why I do the things I do and many times I don't feel like doing anything at all. Apathy. But, I figure the only way to break that spell is to get out there and play, do things, explore some more. It's just weird that I now have to force myself to do that, instead of it coming naturally.