There are days, weeks and sometimes even months
总有那么几天 几周 甚至连续好几个月
where your desire to do something productive
is barely existent.
Theres a possibility that you’re having a depression episode,
but most likely you aren’t
because you’re not sad.
you‘re just not feeling compelled enough to get up
and do stuff, stuff that maybe not today,
but surely in the future will contribute to a better life for you,
or maybe even for your family and society.
And to properly understand the reasons and solutions to this problem,
we need to have a better understanding of the underlying processes
that are taking place when we talk about motivation
If you ’ re hungry
that’s not just a simple drive that’s pushing you to get something to eat,
it‘s more of a subpersonality that has a goal
it has a bunch of action patterns related to that particular goal
and it organizes your emotional responses around that goal.
We can look at it from another perspective.
We could say that motivation set goals, and emotions track progress towards goals.
Generally speaking motivation determines what your aim is
so if you are thirsty
you are going to aim at something to drink
and that will automatically alter your perception
so you zero out everything that is not relevant to that goal.
Once you start to focus on the few things
that will guide you forward， your emotions start to track your progress
so when you encounter those things that facilitate your movement forward,
that produces positive emotions.
On the other hand
when you encounter some kind of threat,
or blockage between you and your goal,
that produces negative emotions,
and that can be anger, disappointment, grief and so on.
And if you experience some of the more powerful negative emotions like pain， for example
that can cause you to abandon your goal and turn back.
So why is it so hard to get up and do stuff.
And it might be that you just don ’ t have any goals,
it might be that you ’ re aiming at nothing.
So no aim, equals no emotions,
which equals no neurochemical fuel to keep you going.
Your case might not be exactly the same,
but it is a pretty accurate scenario.
And you might ask, how do you fix that?
Well you need to sit down and set your goals. See,
If you observe a starving rat
in cage and it knows it has food at the end of a corridor,
if you put a little spring attached to his tail,
you can measure the rats motivation by measuring how hard the rat pulls,
you can measure the displacement of the little spring,
and that will give you a quantization of the motivational force of the rat.
What ’ s more interesting is,
if you set up the same scenario with the rat trying to get to some food
and you spray some cat odor behind it,
the starving rat would pull even harder,
because it it starving and he really wants to get the hell away from there.
So getting away and and getting somewhere are two distinct motivational systems, and
if you can combine them together then you can make a really powerful motivational force.
And you can start by sitting down and writing your perfect future,
and also the possible hell you want to avoid.
Let’s say for example you’re not motivated to work out.
让我们假设 比如说 你没有锻炼的欲望
You can start by imagining how perfect and healthy your body would be
if you only started to work out for 30 minutes a day,
you can then imagine the clothes fitting you perfectly,
your posture, your health, stamina etc.
你的仪态 你的健康 精力充沛……诸如此类
You can write everything down,
you can write about the positive mood and outlook on life you adopted since you started to work out.
Then imagine the opposite, imagine you being overweight,
your IQ dropped because you didn ’ t exercise or had optimal body weight,
so naturally your IQ decreased as you aged.
Imagine going to the doctor and he ’ s telling you
that you have an increased chance of heart attack.
Imagine feeling anxious and depressed,
without any self confidence or motivation
stuck being overweight forever.
And that’s a pretty terrifying future as far as I can tell.
Then once you do this, you can sit down and negotiate with yourself.
You can ask yourself,
what would you want in return if you would work out for 30 minutes a day for the next week.
That can be a walk in the park,
a beer with your friends, playing video games like whatever
和朋友来一杯酒 玩游戏 或者其他能让你兴奋的东西
gets you excited, and then agree on that contract with yourself.
combined with the visualization of the ideal future and possible hell
is going to produce a high level of motivation
and drive to get you started on fixing the dimensions of your life that need to be fixed.
Now you have the knowledge
you know how emotions and goals contribute to your motivation
you know techniques to combine two distinct motivational systems,
and you know that you need to negotiate
instead of punishing or tyrannizing yourself.
So my advice is, do the visualisation,
write your goals get up do stuff.
Because If we all get our act together collectively,
then maybe we can make this world just a little bit better for all of us.
There are days, weeks and sometimes even months