About Incentive

2014.02.23 21:46:28

image A while back I realized a rather unsettling, but very obvious truth about how the human mind works. It at least gave me an explanation as to why I've been struggling with motivation myself. This blog is about this truth and my way of dealing with it so far.

The truth is very simple: There is no point to anything and the only reason people do things without falling into an existential crisis is because of two possibilities. Either they lie to themselves to produce an illusionary purpose or they do not think about the deeper meaning to it all and more or less act out of intuition. The crux of this isn't that there's no point to anything, that's a very simple fact to establish; no, it's that there's only two ways to conceal this truth from your consciousness to operate in a functioning way and neither of these choices are appealing or fulfilling.

Very often people use religious or spiritual means to project a purpose onto their lives. However, this fundamental lie can come in many different forms and depending on how it is chosen it builds an entire infrastructure of lies around itself to try and keep the mind away from coming to this very dangerous conclusion that threatens to break everything down. Now, I don't like lying to myself or anyone else, and I don't think I would have much success with such a strategy in any case as I am horrible at pretending.

Now the only remaining choice is to distract myself from ever peeking down this line of thought. As most people, I am reasonably adept at this already and in most situations I can function like everyone else to do what I need to do. What worries me is the frequency at which I tumble back down into the domains of complete doubt and uncertainty. I am convinced that I think about this way too often, which then feeds back into the loop of demotivation, ultimately making everything worse.

Matters are further complicated for me as I am not able to function in a fun or enjoyment oriented way. It seems impossible for me to simply enjoy something without convincing myself in advance that the time I will spend with just having fun is not indeed wasted. And even if I do manage to convince myself that this is indeed not wasted time, my mind is often still haunted by thoughts of belittlement. Sometimes, like now, there are also periods wherein I do not feel any desire to do anything whatsoever and cannot gain any enjoyment out of anything. This doesn't mean that I am without energy or incentive to do things. I just operate in a very disinterested and almost robotic fashion. I complete things, but there is no reaction whatsoever. The only reason to do anything is so I can at least tick it off my todo list and don't have to bother my conscious with it.

For most people it is rather simple to decide what they want to do when they're free to do what they want. Simply pick whatever is the most convenient and most fun-promising option. I don't know why I can't work like this, but I think that this is a large part of why I get dragged into the abyss of doubt so often.

I can't remember when it started, but I see that my life has become rather gray. I can hardly enjoy any games anymore and even movies or videos are becoming a bother and a waste of time more and more. I've practically stopped reading non-technical literature outside of a few webcomics, many of which too have become bleak and uninteresting. All I can fill my mind with is all the time I've squandered and all the tasks I should complete, all those goals and standards, all these ideas and ambitions, all this pressure to do everything the best I can, everything focusing on rushing upwards and onwards.

There's no end to any of it either. After one follows another immediately without a break. After all, there's no time to lose, no reason to stop, no point in settling for less, no good in not pushing forward, always reaching and longing for the day when I may finally consider myself good enough, when I can look at my peers and say with confidence that I have no reason to be afraid of them or their knowledge and experience, when finally and forever I can look around myself and see clearly and without a doubt clouding my vision that this has all been worth it, all this stress and fear and anxiety and worry, all of it has led to a collection of works that can be deemed good enough.

Sometimes I get the feeling that I may have gone properly mad and all of this immensely complex and convoluted construct of patterns and information that I call my consciousness is just one big broken architecture resting on rotten pillars above the sea of insanity, building higher and higher trying to get away from this black body of madness and reaching into the grand sky above. The further I build, the more pressure is put on the scaffolding underneath and I have no clue how much further I can go before it all comes tumbling down.

I realize that I am damaging this fractal of insanity a lot by not allowing myself much time to relax and enjoy things. I really wish there was a way for me to let go, sit on a raft and let myself drift across the obsidian sea to return to building some other day. Perhaps I myself am much more of a weight on its structure than the structure itself. Getting heavier the higher up I go, the more ambitious my goals become, or perhaps I am stretching this metaphor a bit far.

Recollecting my thoughts on this and formulating everything in a more straight forward manner produces the following wish: I wish I knew how to relax myself. As mentioned, I do not know a technique by which I can do this and simple minded ideas as watching videos or playing games would rather invoke the opposite effect in the end and are as such not feasible as a strategy.

Maybe I will never find a complete solution to this problem and I will always have to rely on trial and error. Though I should definitely open my mind to new ideas on how to go about it. Perhaps there does indeed exist a way somewhere out there, even if I remain skeptical. image

Written by shinmera