Recently, I was reading a post by Raw Ginger about how she is hyper goal-oriented and being this is a double-edged sword. As I read her post about her life’s achievements-all grasped after countless hours of planning and hard work and other things that Type A people do-I realized that I don’t think I’ve ever set a goal in my life. No, I take that back. I have, once or twice, but they ended up forgotten and kicked under the bed.
Then, I was talking to a good friend about losing weight and how I was kind of stuck in that journey and discouraged and I felt like maybe I needed to shelve that idea for a while. She was understanding but asked me if maybe there was something different I could do to motivate myself. “What motivates you, Heidi?”
I was completely stumped. I couldn’t think of a single material object, ideal or state of mind that I could promise myself that would make me want to achieve that goal.
I thought that maybe it was just weight loss that was hard for me to commit to. It is for lots of people. No one LIKES to lose weight (except those freaks that are addicted to fitness. Those people make me want to punch a kitten.) No, it was other things, too.
If I wrote a book I would feel accomplished, people might like it and if I’m really good at it, I could make money. Meh.
If I practiced music a lot I could get really good again and play with a group, which I would love, and it would be really fun. Hmmm, I’ll think about it.
Then, I wondered what this says about me. Am I lazy? Not driven? Not smart enough? Does my butt look big in this goal?
You know, I’ve never really been one to care an awful lot about what other people thought of me, but this goal talk made me go there. I did. I got all up in there and rolled around a little bit and felt sorry for myself. Then I ate. Then I wanted a cigarette.
Soon though (prior to actually having the cigarette), my heart of ice froze back over and I started to think about it in a realistic way instead of flopping around like a big pile of vaginas.
Since I’m a learner, I hit the interwebs in search of… something. Affirmation of my slackerism? Someone else like me? I’m not entirely sure, but I googled “not motivated by anything”. Here’s what I learned:
- 97% of people are NOT goal-oriented.
- This 97% could be process- or growth-oriented.
- The thing I lack isn’t motivation. It’s discipline. Motivation is just the idea of doing something and is useless without discipline.
- There are lots of people who don’t know me who are very eager to yell at me for being a “waste of space”.
- Someone suggested I get a lobotomy and then used the word “anyways” in a sentence.
- There are lots of people who are willing to heal me of this debilitating condition.
- I am most likely fatally depressed.
- This is totally normal.
So, basically, I learned that I’m motivated by the process, not the goal. I write my blog because I like to write, not because in the end I will have written it. I paint because I like painting, not because I like art. I play games with my kids because I like playing with them, not because they’ll learn from it. I play music because I like playing, not because I want to finish a piece. I read because I like reading, not because I like finishing books. Basically, I’m artsy. I live for the artistic process, not the art.
And also, if I don’t like something, I’m not going to do it.
Unfortunately, grown-ups have to do lots of things they don’t like doing. Every day I do things that suck like dishes and wiping butts and bathing because I have to.
So, what about these optional things? Losing weight is something I don’t like doing nor do I HAVE to do it. I don’t have the discipline to write a book but I am motivated to do so. I don’t like going the extra mile with my kids and doing crafty nonsense and since I don’t have to, I don’t.
But if I did all of those things, I would be incredibly happy with myself, feel accomplished, feel more healthy, feel more loved and they would all add to my life in a positive way.
So, what I need to do is get more disciplined and move forward on some of these things. Yeah! I can do this! I’ll get up tomorrow early, before the kids are up, and write! Then, I’ll exercise! Then I’ll put together a bunch of supplies to make some super fun crafty junk with the kids later!
Yeah, I’ll do that.
I’ll think about it.
I’ll just set that riiiiight here and look at it while I think about it.
It probably won’t get moved or knocked over.
I’ll do that…