Thursday, November 5, 2009

You are a master in the art of time suckage.

It's funny what we find time for. And what we have every intention of doing, but somehow gets lost in the intervening hours between first coffee and laying head on pillow.
I haven't had a steady job or major time commitment for over six months. That's a long time, approximately 4,320 hours since I've had to get up, drive to work and hand over eight hours a day to another entity. I thought I would be productive. I thought I would have a solid writing practice, or record an album, or get really fit and learn Spanish better. None of those things has happened. And it's not because I don't have the time.
Instead, hours get sucked away staring into mirrors, analyzing new wrinkles, plucking eyebrows.
What is motivation, and how can I get some? What separates the doers from the dreamers? Studies suggest that extrinsic rewards - money, grades, recognition - are poor motivators, or at least not as good as once believed. It seems that intrinsic motivation, doing something for the love of it, is a much better indication of success. Well.
So why, then do so many of us ignore or put off doing what makes us happy? Why do I? Why have I seen hours of mediocre tv at the expense of having played guitar, finish knitting a hat, or writing a song, a paragraph, a novel?
I was talking about this very phenomenon at lunch the other day, with two similiarly challenged friends - why couldn't we muster the effort to do the things that were most rewarding in our lives? One, ever wise, said after popping a bite of sushi in her mouth, "I know. It's just like Crest Whitestrips. I never finish those."

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