How does thinking about the future affect my levels of motivation?
The oversimplification of the answer to this question is that thinking about the future drains me, and I feel I become a husk of what I once was. Career aptitude tests are a sure way to bring yourself down if you do not have a desire to go back to school or to obtain other degrees. I mean the straightforward paths with answers on how to get a specific job always have some extended timeline that requires long term determination and commitment. I cannot even decide on what I want to do later in the day.
The question of, “what do you want to do with your life?” is a rather silly one. It’s a question that we are asked at a very young age, and I believe it is a question very few have the answer to. We as humans are not designed to be complicit with the so called daily grind within a society. Look at things from an evolutionary perspective, each day was originally composed of seeking food and water, ensuring safety and shelter, and reproducing. Except for the unfortunate who find themselves in poverty or extreme mental health problems, most of us have access to these essentials. So what’s left? Exploring our curiosities and attempting to avoid boredom, and continuing to earn and spend money.
I feel that this is a pretty good reason why people have such a strong desire to have a family. It gives one a reason to push through the boring tasks of daily life. “I don’t want to do this for myself, but I want to do it so my family can have a good life”. This is kind of a cynical point of view, but at the same time it is kind of endearing. A life lived through martyrdom and sacrifice for others. It raises the age old question of whether or not altruistic behaviors truly exist. Philosophers and psychologists will likely never have an answer that cannot be contradicted by some nihilistic arguments.
So back to the answer of my main question. I am a husk of a person, the energy sucked out of me by the proboscis of an existential question of what do I want to do with my life? I want to make money to support my family, but I do not want to make some large commitment for a questionable payoff. Nor do I want to work a dead end job, simply hating what I do until the day I die just to get a paycheck every 2 weeks. It is a privilege to not having to worry about making ends meet. However it is also a curse. Oh my precious serotonin and dopamine, where have you gone?
The only thing that has brought any solace to my mind lies within the Dharma. The faith that suffering ceases in one way or another. This alone helps staving away feelings of hopelessness, but it requires memorization and dedication to use spirituality as a means to help find motivation in daily life. I must return to the path in order to help me find the ground beneath my feet as I take each step, day by day.
-Thoughts of a Writing Freak