Sunday, October 19, 2008

My Problem:

I have no one to impress, and so I'm comfortable being unimpressive.

: (


SuiginChou said...

I have noticed that I have run into the same problem. There are many things that I say I want to do, and I do want to do, but which I do not do because life continues to go on as normal the way I am right now. For instance ...

- I'm not actively studying my old undergrad studies like I used to,
- but I'm easily distracted from my new studies, too
- my many hobbies are shelved
- I say I want a social life but I never go out


And I realized something a while back, maybe you did too: my most successful friends have high, tangible stakes whereas I have high, intangible stakes. My failure would mean not becoming a doctor. But what does that really mean? Whereas one girl is married and would be letting down her husband; one man sold the family farm for medical school so he can't fail now; one guy has the potential loss of his girlfriend should he become a bum to whip him into order; and one girl knows she would be disowned by her family if she shamed them by failing to meet their expectations.

Our society tends to denigrate these stressors, but the truth of the matter is that without them we fall into complacent mediocrity. There has to be some risk to life or limb, or else some risk of losing something more precious to you than life itself, to really stir people to action.

So, paradoxically, it is the man who finds himself surrounded by family and friends who love him no matter what that finds it difficult to motivate himself to work harder and achieve great things. It is the man spurned by society, the man who has never known tender love, who rises to the occasion with an "I'LL SHOW YOU!" fire raging inside his heart and who captures the stage.

What you need ... is someone or something that you treasure which threatens to be lost to you forever if you don't change. But it's hard to make one up out of thin air and to respect it. It seems, unfortunately, that these things must come from outside our own awareness, like some placebo of the work-ethic world.

We must believe that to fall is to die, even if the ones threatening to push us off the ledge know that there is a net ready to catch us should we in fact fall. Knowing the net is there ruins everything.

Jay said...

Well said.