Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The Power of Apathy: A Question of Motivation


Lately I have been thinking about apathy and motivation. Essentially my question is this: is one more likely to be more successful in an endeavor if that one basically "does not give a shit" about the outcome.

This thought experiment is somewhat derived from several George Carlin interviews in which he describes himself as having stopped caring about the human race and what its outcome is and how as a result of this lack of caring he has unlocked a way of life and found a new form of creativity.

I was thinking about how as a primarily a coder, I often describe myself as a horrible designer however if I simply stopped caring about not being a good designer, perhaps that would unlock a level of undiscovered design creativity that I was previously not able to tap.

The counter argument to this of course, is that personally accepting ones lack of ability to do something (i.e.: a proper design) does not eliminate outside comparison of that work to other works in the same field of interest.

So following that it would seem that such "not caring" attitude towards things is more beneficial to personal endeavors and individual philosophies and ways of life. If I were to say that I don't care about financial gains as a result of work, then I am more likely to portray and act with an underlying attitude that expresses genuine interest in a certain subject which would likely result in my finding of work and jobs that I really enjoy become really good at and then produce higher financial gains from.

It kind of sounds like the whole "find a job that you love" line that is professed by so many. But I think that thinking of it in more of a mindset and psychological tendency manner is key to unlocking more doors in terms of personal accomplishment, creativity and development.

In a recent conversation it was posed as a longing thought that the person I was talking to wanted to get a car but was wary about entering into the lifestyle in which more money was being spent. It made me wonder right away what kind of life they would rather live. It wasn't as though they would have to work more, or have less time to spend on hobbies or past times. They would simply acquire a vehicle and life would continue on in that direction.

Otherwise what is the point of working? What is the point of earning money? What is the point of going anywhere? Why educate yourself? Why bother with anything at all? If you care too much about something, its going to cause you to worry about it and its going to become a problem in your mind. IF you just don't really care about anything, then you'll just decide to do things or not do things based on what you actually feel like doing.

This of course is not to say that you should be care<strong>less</strong> while living and doing things. I thin k there is a distinct difference between not caring about something and acting carelessly. I suppose you could say one is a state of mind and the other is actively portrayed through action.

At the end of the day, you just have to ask yourself: Do I like what I do everyday? Do I like the people in my life? Do I like how I interact with the world and do I like the outcomes I am getting? If the answer to these sorts of questions are no, I'd rather be doing something else or would rather have a different attitude, then it simply means its time to change. It's not a bad thing to need a change. It's okay to not posses great amounts of skill at something. It just means you need to fundamentally alter your strategy and your state of mind and approach things from a different angle.

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