J.D. Moyer

sci-fi writer, beat maker, self-experimenter

Month: December 2011

Letting Your Motivation Find You

Intrinsic motivation flows from the subconscious.

All good things must come to an end.

In my case, it’s a two week vacation during which I did not travel, but instead watched Portlandia, played Skyrim, finished the Song of Fire and Ice series, visited friends, ate and drank too much, got along well with my family, and let my brain totally uncoil.

Intrinsic motivation fascinates me. I was curious to see what work (if any) would pull me back, engage my mind, and get me up early and ready to go. It’s not that I don’t have certain tasks I have to do (everyone does — even the 1%), but at least 60% of my working hours are consumed with tasks that I pull out of thin air (writing, making music, etc.).

Why spend all this time and energy trying to create stuff?

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Engineering Success vs. Attracting Success

Rihanna channels Deadmau5, or something.

This is not the kind of blog post where we look at two things and conclude that one is better than the other.

Instead, let’s check out one side of a coin, then flip it over and look at the other side.

The coin is success. While there are many ways to define success, for now let’s think about success as more sales, more attention, more attendees, more customers, more wins, etc. Not success in life, but rather success of a thing, a product/service/event/team, etc.

When we work very hard on something and then present it to the world, we’re hoping for success. More often than not, we get a flop, or a break-even-ish kind of semi-success. This is true even of the most talented, experienced people with every resource at their fingertips. Here’s a great post about a group of extremely talented, well-paid songwriters, producers, and marketers creating a flop for Rihanna.

Why is it so hard?

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Pivot Points — When You're Done Being Broken

There are times when we’re ready to change. We run a particular pattern for years, even decades, and then, suddenly, we’re done with it. We’re ready to try something else. We have no idea if or how the new way will work, but we know we’re done with the old way, and there’s no going back.

Pivot points.

Me, 12 years old, in my first year of junior high. I was hanging on to my old crowd of friends from elementary school, but I was on the periphery, and being driven out. I was the whipping boy. My “friends” slammed my locker closed, made fun of my clothes (Sears “Toughskins” jeans — anybody remember those?) and were generally shitty to me. Finally, one of them figured out my locker combination and stole one of my textbooks.

The next morning I approached my “group” and said, in short, “You guys used to be my friends, but you’ve been treating me really badly. If that’s how you’re going to treat me, I don’t want to hang out with you anymore.”

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How To Prioritize by Getting Your Heart and Mind in Synch

Spock and Kirk -- sci-fi archetypes for mind and heart.

Once in awhile I read a blog post or essay that actually changes the way I live.  That’s happened more than once reading Steve Pavlina’s blog.  While I don’t follow all of the practices he advocates (like raw veganism, or abstaining from coffee and alcohol), I consistently find that Steve hits the nail on the head when he writes about emotional processing, creating/manifesting the life you want, and generally following your heart path.

Steve makes a great point in a recent post; trying to set your priorities via logic alone will yield inconsistent and unhelpful results.  Life priorities made from a purely logical basis, without achieving resonance from the heart, can leave us pursuing goals that we aren’t entirely committed to.  From the post:

Generally the way you’ll notice that an adjustment is needed is that you’ll notice a nagging feeling that something isn’t right with the way you’re currently living.

Another clue is that you won’t seem to be making much progress in your top priorities. If you look at your actual results in those areas, you’ll see evidence that you’re drifting or even declining.

Often this happens because we like to assume that we can improve some area of life by making it the #1 priority. For instance, if you feel that your finances are weak, you may decide to focus on making more money for a while. But then a few years pass, and your finances don’t seem to be that much better. Overall you feel more stressed too. The main reason you failed here is that making money wasn’t a true priority. It was actually a distraction from a deeper, more important part of your life.

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