Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Young people Don't Know What To Do with their lives - the modern motivation deficit

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If you ask modern young people what they want to do with their lives, they will either not be able to answer, or give an answer that reveals they have no real answer.

Non-answers include travel, 'cool jobs', working abroad, taking a 'year out/ gap year', or further training and education (without any particular desire to embark on a vocation or profession).

Which is to say, nothing much at all.

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But mostly the desire is to pass the time in as pleasant a way as possible - hanging-out with friends, going-out for meals, 'partying' (intoxicating music, drink and drugs), sexual adventures and psychodrama, adopting a series of fashionable lifestyles and causes, 'cool' holidays and hobbies... that kind of stuff.

Which is to say, nothing much at all.

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More important, most important, is the negative side: modern young people do NOT want to get married and do NOT want to have children.

They don't want to rule-that-out: not at all. They would like to have the option of doing that kind of thing, sometime or another - but they don't want to do it yet...

They would much rather delay doing it; because... well, because they have all this other stuff (see above) - which they do not particularly want to do (nothing they would sacrifice anything for!) but which, well, everybody else seems to be doing, and talking about, and communicating on social networks, and so on.

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Of course everybody goes to college - but they don't go for the education, merely to pass the exams; and they don't want to pass the exams to do anything in particular - but merely to take the next step towards [see above]. 

As a rule, modern young people are not truly preparing themselves for a job/ role/ profession - although they say that this is the most important things to them (much more important than raising a family of course!).

(In fact there have never been many people - a few percent of men [I am among them] and less than one percent of women - who are genuinely motivated by their 'work'. A job just insn't the kind of thing that motivates many people.)

And although college life is highly sexualized, modern young people are not even trying to find a wife or husband - that would be altogether too uncool, gross, tacky, sad, lame, desperate.

And if they do college sports, then it is not for any goal but to keep fit (i.e. slim, tanned and toned to assist with sexual adventuring), or to pass time, find some friends, have something to talk/ boast about, whatever...

And if they search for the meaning of life, they do not look towards religion but towards self-help psychotherapy and spirituality - which helps pass time pleasantly and seamlessly supports the above lifestyle.

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We live in a society where there is a very serious, perhaps terminal, motivation deficit - except the motivation to avoid doing the only things which actually can serve as real, powerful motivators: marriage, family, religion.

So in fact there is a social situation of less-than-zero motivation; because the most powerful motivation is to avoid those few things which are capable of motivating.

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