Sunday, June 9, 2013

Motivation is Motion (So Stop Thinking)

I'm not going to pretend to be a motivational speaker.

Because even when my younger brother asks me for advice, he always mumbles away how terrible it is. I think this is because even if you try to advise someone (no matter how well you know them) the advice you give them can never be authentic.

My words aren't to help him. They are to help him if I were him.

I don't know if that completely makes sense, but it goes into the whole if you put yourself in someone else's shoes mentality. I like my shoes. Hell, I don't even think that I'm that fond of wearing shoes.

So what am I supposed to do in your shoes? Let alone my brother's size twelve shoes?

And as I used to think of ways to help someone vocally, it occurred to me that I do not get much out of someone telling me things. If I see you do something, or if you encourage me to do something, then there's some progress.

There's motivation.

This kind of reminds me of a TV show. I don't know if you've seen the episode of How I Met Your Mother where the character Barney tells his friend-hitman-compadre Ted to stop thinking. But Ted's a thinker. He probably read the book "Oh, the Thinks you Can Think!" repetitively as a child. Anyway, once Ted has this mentality (and a little alcohol) in his system, he ends up doing some pretty courageous (and stupid) things he would have never attempted.

A pineapple? Holy crap, I messed up bad...

Now I'm not saying, "Go out! Be as reckless as possible! Just do, don't think!" But I'm not advocating a total think-happy existence. Because it's not a happy one. It's actually sort of dismal.

Because when you think about things, you remember the odds of life. Like the fact that your book might not get published. Or the fact that you probably won't even finish it. You think about how many other people are trying to do whatever it is you want to do. And a lot of them are better at it then you, too.

You think about how much high school sucked. Not really in the sense that you were bullied, or mocked out-rightly, but in some sense you wished you were. You think about how being completely ignored hurts in a numbing kind of way. But it hurt all the same.

Okay, okay. Enough of the sad feelings. I'm trying to say that your mind can destroy you before anyone else does. Or it can produce great things. But sometimes you have to distance yourself from your thoughts, and just do something.

Stop thinking about how much you hate math and just finish your math homework.

Stop thinking about how scared you are of your audition and just rock it.

Stop thinking about how hard it is to publish a novel and just write it.

Just do it.

And see what happens.

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