In Part 1 I talked about the first “extreme” way of looking at the issue of lack of motivation. Extreme #1 is all the way on one side of the spectrum, basically saying that if you’re not motivated, suck it up and forget about your feelings. It’s not about the feeling of motivation. It’s about straight up self discipline. Just do it.
So what does Part 2 look like? Now let’s go to the complete opposite side of the spectrum and discuss a much more “forgiving” way of looking at it.
Extreme #2: Mental Health
On the one hand, sure, self discipline is absolutely necessary to accomplish pretty much anything in life. But at a certain point there is the need to look at what it is that is causing the lack of motivation. Sometimes, it may very well be related to one’s mental health, or lack thereof.
Despite all the stigma of mental health problems, this is actually something that is probably more common than we realize. I was personally never too aware of some of these issues until I became victim to a stigmatized illness myself, for lack of better way to say it. I never thought I could experience a “mental illness,” but to my surprise, life happened and depression decided to pay me a nice long visit.
This post is not about me and my experience of depression, but rather to emphasize this often neglected point, that sometimes, the “lazy” person who won’t get his/her act together may very well have the best of intentions in terms of work ethic, but can only fight against the weight of internal imbalances so much before it takes over him/her.
I never understood why it was so difficult for me to get through college, or any other longer term endeavor, when I KNEW 100% that I was NOT a lazy person and had no intention to be lazy. In fact, I am probably one of the most ambitious people I know, to put it plainly. However, I couldn’t understand why my inner ambition and desire to overachieve didn’t manifest itself in my actions. I would try, and try, and try, only to succumb to that invisible weight that always seemed to win in the end.
You don’t have to feel sorry for me at all. I just don’t know how else to make my point more clear. But I would say that if you’ve been having some serious motivational problems over a longer period of time, and you know that you’ve tried your best (or close to your best), you might want to consider paying a visit to your primary care physician to discuss this struggle of yours. What can you lose just by inquiring?
I don’t know too much beyond depression and anxiety (which I’ve also experienced to some extent, but not as much as depression), but the realm of mental health is a vast territory of mysterious things that I don’t even know about or understand. We human beings are rather complex creatures, to say the least.
I do know however, that for someone with depression, having low energy is not uncommon. I’m not a doctor but I know it has something to do with our physical body and the chemical/hormonal stuff going on inside. And a lot of this “stuff” can be treated with just a little pill, or even just a little bit of therapy. Actually, I really believe that everyone in the world can benefit from therapy, because we ALL have deep issues and wounds that we probably aren’t even aware of. Tis true.
So, this second “extreme” approach or view of dealing with motivational lack is a rather forgiving one, and really gives a person the benefit of the doubt. But I am also hesitant about being too forgiving lest people who actually don’t have clinical mental health issues think they can get away with certain kinds of behavior. But, how do we really know what’s going on in a person’s complex soul? Meh. I don’t know. I don’t have all the answers. I just have my experiences.
So Part 1 stresses exercising self discipline, and Part 2 stresses taking care of mental health, both of which I feel are important. But both are also on opposite sides of the same spectrum. Hence, we need to find a way to bring these two points home, perhaps finding a happy medium. Which I guess will bring us to…
Part 3 – “Normal” – whatever normal means..