Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Getting bored

Question : (Unedited)
I appreciate your answer and thank you very much for your time. But I'm still confused over motivation - especially for the job I hold. I just don't see the point of working hard at my job and doing my best at it anymore. And it's not so easy to just say "find another job" because I feel I would end up feeling the same somewhere else. You answered a 16 year-old student asking something similar (something like Why should I try to "win" in track and get good grades?) Your answer was that one should do their best if living in the worldly side of Buddhism. But I still don't understand why? What is the point of doing that? I have read Victor Frankl's book Man's Search for Meaning where he was in a Nazi concentration camp yet found a way to motivate himself and find meaning in it. But I don't understand how to motivate myself and find "meaning" in what I'm doing. What would you recommend for me to do to find the motivation and "do my best?" Thanks again for your time. 

My comment:
Hi B...,

How I wish I am a motivation Guru, making tons of money motivating rich people like you.  That's what they do through seminars and books.  In fact I got so many motivation books that I spent so much time trying to finish reading that I forgot to motivate myself into rewarding actions.  Just joking!

The comments I made for the young person was ages ago!  
You are just getting bored with your job. Take a holiday, go to places where you enjoy.  I would say this is the "American Way".  Hope it works.  

Actually, motivation to do something is a state of mind.  Read any motivation book, it is always the same message: stay focus, perseverance, have a burning desire to achieve the goal that you have set, never give up. This means logically, once you have achieved your goal, the motivation is being fulfilled; period. Then you need another goal to get motivated.  This is a vicious cycle. You see, right now you simply don't have these attributes of motivation.  This is because you are contented with what you have, with what you have achieved.  There is nothing wrong with it.  You can't be motivated with something that you have already successfully achieved. You have successfully arrived! If you insist on staying motivated then I have to say "find another job".  That will get you motivated for awhile, as you already knew.  It is a vicious cycle, to repeat my earlier comment.  In Buddhism, we try not to fall into this vicious cycle, by staying in the present and be contented.  That doesn't prevent us from being motivated as and when we want.  I can quote you lots of advices from the motivation books, but that would be deceiving you. You could always read them, if you haven't done so yet. The remedy from my point of view will be your change of mind-set.  Maybe by focusing on the more spiritual side of life, you may consider it as your responsibility to continue to do a good job for the benefit of those concerned. After all it's only fair as you are paid to do the job.  

I think I should stop as I am not a professional counsellor.  In the Buddhist context what I can say is to be contented, give your fair share, and reflect on how lucky you are compared with many others.  You know the old story of the man complaining about not having shoes when he suddenly saw a man with no feet!?

You don't have to be motivated all the time.  Be content and be happy.

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