Accumulating Motivation

“As you continue to breathe deeply, you may begin to visualize some kind of constructive action. At first, it’s just a thought, but as time goes on, it becomes more appealing. Before long you really want to put all those newspapers in the recycle bin. But don’t give into the urge right away. Instead, keep breathing slowly in and out. The longer you do this, the harder it becomes not to take care of the newspaper. When you can’t stand it anymore you are ready to proceed.” One Thing at a Time: 100 Simple Ways to Live by Cindy Glovinsky


To some degree, this is how I live my life. I have to allow ideas percolate and motivation accumulate in order to have enough to keep me going. I have to feel like I can’t not do something. Then I am unstoppable. If something merely seems like a good idea, it is highly unlikely to ever get done.

My problem or issue with American consumer culture is that there are tons of outlets for urges, thereby dissipating all of them. That way, they never build up to a point of feeling urgent. The best intentions are forgotten with everything else that needs to be done that day. People get accustomed to having every urge satisfied and then there is no urgent need to do anything at all. Justice is easily ignored when every craving is fulfilled.

This is why, I believe, religions frown upon “dissipation” in its great variety of forms. Living a meaningful life is difficult in a sensual wonderland. Reducing the number of objects of attention is liberating and clarifying, as long as one does not proceed to live in an artificially-created tiny world that impacts no one. That’s the danger of monasticism. I appreciate Thich Nhat Hanh because he is a monk that lives in the real world. That balance is tough to come by.

I think this is why motivation is so hard for me to come by lately. I have gotten rid of so many things that there is little accumulation of anything. Hmmmmm……


About cdhoagpurple

I live in Michigan. I was Greek Orthodox (and previously Protestant), but now am more Buddhist than anything. I am single now (through the till-death-do-you-part clause of the marriage contract). My husband Barry was a good man and celebrated 30 years in AA. I am overly educated, with an MBA. My life felt terminally in-limbo while caring for a sick husband, but I am free now. I see all things as being in transition. Impermanence is the ultimate fact of life. Nothing remains the same, good or bad.

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