Why is the search for motivation harmful? [15min.lt talks about promises to yourself]

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Original: https://www.15min.lt/gyvenimas/naujiena/pokalbiai/debesyla-apie-tai-kuo-mums-kenkia-motyvacija-ir-kodel-gera-gyventi-nieko-nesiekiant-1040-893520

Blogger Danielius Goriunovas (Debesyla), author of the more positive lifestyle magazine debesyla.lt and the book "The Lazy Manifesto", is convinced that the modern trend of motivational training can do more harm than good, because it robs people of the joy of life. Get to know his arguments.

- Currently, the word "motivation" is very popular. We are constantly being challenged - bolder, higher, faster. It has almost become a competition to see who can achieve something first. Is it really always necessary to strive for something?

- Once a friend asked me if I knew any mobile phone app that would be motivational. I've never actually looked, but I figured there should be. And indeed - you immediately find at least a few apps that will constantly remind you that "you can".

People often even choose their friends in search of motivation: one friend comforts me when I'm sad, another one constantly compliments me, the third one motivates me to take on challenges and encourages me. Some even support their romantic relationships with it - they find a partner who constantly praises them. As long as you are with such a person and he does not get tired of giving you only compliments, then you feel good. However, you get used to external motivation and you constantly need a kick from the side, you can't do anything on your own anymore.

Personal archive photo/Danielius Goriunovas Debesyla

Before Christmas, there are especially many motivational calls to start a new challenge next year. But how is it different from Christmas promotions: "It's Christmas - it's time to buy a new mobile phone or tablet and experience a new world with them." You go to a clothing store, and there are mannequins, dressed in the most beautiful clothes - just imagine how you will walk down the street dressed like this , and everyone will be looking at you. Isn't that motivating?
For example, I read about 70 books a year and most of them (about 40) I read while sitting on the toilet, spending about 5 minutes each time. And no speed reading technique required.
- But the other extreme is to do nothing, not to try, to follow the flow of life. Maybe that's wrong too?

- My point of view is that nothing bad will happen if a person does not have motivation. And nothing bad will happen if a person does nothing with his life. Want recognition? After all, everything you create will be forgotten by people after a while - sooner or later. If you're a writer, your books might last longer, but if you're a good cook and bake delicious pancakes, you'll probably forget them after a few hours.

I don't think there's a problem with living without anything in particular. It is much better to enjoy life.

- We all want to enjoy life, but why is it so complicated? Especially since pleasure is usually also given to us by external things - comfort, certain things, trips, delicious food, and all this requires money. Money has to be earned, so you can't avoid striving.

- There is such an English term "fear of missing out". In Lithuanian, it should probably be translated as "fear of missing something". So those extrinsic motivations are more about not stimulating our inner desire to do something, but the fear of missing out if I don't do it.

For example, if I don't exercise, I will be ugly. If I don't go to the concert, I will miss a good concert. If I don't do something yet, I'll be missing out on good opportunities. It really has nothing to do with real motivation.

Personal archive photo/Danielius Goriunovas Debesyla

Recently, we are surrounded by such noise from the outside, various invitations to do this or that, to set ourselves various challenges and goals, that it is very important to learn how to deal with these invitations properly.

In this case, the philosophy of minimalism, which I really like, can help. Minimalists are people who choose what is really important to them. They don't buy what's available just because there's a discount on something, they don't take on challenges just because they have five free minutes and can cram something into them, that is, squeeze everything possible out of themselves. You really need to develop the ability to choose.

For example, one can open Facebook and sit on it all day. And you will definitely find something to do. But do you need it? Maybe it is enough to choose one or several people and follow them? And choose one out of 50 challenges and do it well? When we give up a lot of things, including acquaintances, friends who are not really friends, but only perform certain functions in our life, things, jobs, what remains is the best and most important thing.

You don't have to make all the money in the world, you don't have to set yourself every possible challenge, and you don't have to wait until next year to start making changes. The most important thing is that you do what you enjoy and what you really want.

If you want to lose weight and this is your internal motivation, you exercise every day without shouting out loud to everyone that you have accepted the challenge. You just do.

Sometimes it seems like you don't want anything. But maybe there's too much noise around you and you just can't hear what you want. True desires are purified when you find yourself in silence and peace, so it is necessary to weed out of life what is unnecessary.

- How to deal with that outside noise?

- People often place their happiness and joy in the hands of others. If, for example, I go on a trip, I will be happy. But why? Because I love to travel or because I can brag about where I've been, I'll share my experiences on Facebook, get a lot of likes, and have a lot of fun. So who creates happiness for you - yourself or the people around you?

Personal archive photo/Danielius Goriunovas Debesyla

Of course, it is necessary to be guided by external noise gradually, slowly. First of all, you need to look at yourself. It can be scary, because you will find out that, for example, you studied a specialty for three years that you do not like at all. You tried to motivate yourself in every way, you visited personal trainers who kept saying: "You can". Well, you don't like it, and it's scary to admit it, because then what can you do?
True desires are purified when you find yourself in silence and peace, so it is necessary to weed out of life what is unnecessary.
In such cases, it is important to remember that everything always works out for the best. Especially if you live in Lithuania and the European Union, because here it is almost impossible to die of hunger or not get a job at all. Everyone survives here.

Yes, your situation is bad right now, you don't know what to do, but it will pass. You just now have a chance to clear your life of what you don't like.

Coming back to the challenges, if you want to take on a new challenge, great, but not because you want to contribute one more activity, of which there are already many. You just need to think about what activities can be done instead.

Let's say I spend six hours every day watching TV or sitting on Facebook. I can reduce this time to five hours - I won't feel much difference, but there is already a lot to be done in this spare hour. There will never be extra hours in the day, but it is always possible to replace one activity with another or combine two activities. For example, I read about 70 books a year and most of them (about 40) I read while sitting on the toilet, spending about 5 minutes each time. And no speed reading technique required.

- So it is important to review what I use my time for and what motivates me to do one or another action?

- When you love what you do, you don't need any coercion or motivation. You just do. For example, a person in love does not need to motivate themselves to strive for the attention of their object. He just works for him. Or reading a book. After all, you read a book not because you need to read it, but because you really like it. If you need motivation to read a book, then you are reading a bad book. It is better to just drop it, because there are endless books and you can really choose. It all comes down to pleasure in the end. You will not experience pleasure by forcing yourself to be motivated.

- However, you yourself do not deny that nothing happens without work. What is that "job"?

- You can dream about a lot for a long time, but if you don't start doing it, nothing will happen. If we have any problems, it is our problem and no one else's, because we ourselves have created these problems during our life. But that is precisely why we can solve them ourselves. So the only person who can solve your problems is yourself. And to solve them, you have to do something, no one can help you by somehow magically fixing your life.

If you don't do anything yourself, you won't have anything. If you really like chocolate, but you ate it in one sitting and now you don't have it, even though you want it, that's your problem and you only have yourself to blame.