Wednesday 12 January 2022

Seeking motivation - what kind of thing are we looking for?

I have often said that motivation is what is decisively lacking in modern (post-Christian, post-religious, post-spiritual, materialistic) Men; and (e.g. this morning) I inferred that the search for motivation is therefore one of the most urgent of all imperatives. 

But people often have the wrong idea about what it would be like to discover a strong and deep motivation appropriate to these times. They tend to seek an overpowering motivation - that is, they test the authenticity of a motivation by the evaluation that it is irresistible. 

I regard this as a mistake; because for Men to want this is (I infer) a covert wish to have motivation taken-from them. They want Not to have to think-about motivation, not to have to make a conscious choice. 

In other words, to seek to be overpowered is to seek the avoidance of responsibility ("I can't help myself, it is irresistible!").   

What is instead needed is a motivation that we recognize and can affirm (de profundis - from the depths) to be primary, core to our highest aspirations, and the bottom-line for how we ought to be. 

Thus we would not be overpowered; but we would acknowledge that this motivation is real/ true/ beautiful - and in general Good - and feel this as deeply and solidly as we know. 

Such a motivation need not be observed (not necessarily read, heard or seen) it may simply "come to us" or "strike us" as a thing directly-known, Just Known. 

And then consciously chosen

I hope this may be helpful in knowing what to look-for - and when you have found it. 

1 comment:

Todd said...

Somehow your essay made me think of the idea of "finding your passion."
That always struck me as a somehow non-useful concept.
Is a "passion" always good?
Of course not!
Some people are passionate about watching NFL football on TV.
Or fishing.
This is a helpful essay. Thank you.