I spent a few years in Colorado before pot was legal. I’m sure the usage has increased since it became legal… But I knew a lot of people who smoked.
From my core group of friends, there wasn’t much pressure to smoke. But I always found it somewhat amusing how much acquaintances would put the peer pressure on you to try it. Especially when they found out I never had.
To this day, I still haven’t… But not because I have any moral stance on it. I always just kinda thought that life’s too short to dull the senses. And at that point, to each their own. If you’re not hurting someone else, I couldn’t care less if you smoke weed.
This got me thinking about other motivations I have for doing things though. Where does the desire come from?
I’d love to sit here and say I’m always intrinsically motivated and I seek no validation from outside… But I’m human.
But it’s another thing I think should show up on your habits radar. One thing that’s helped me over time shift my motivation was studying the Stoics.
Sure I don’t buy into everything they were talking about, but Stoicism is some useful philosophy.
From a motivation perspective, Stoicism talks about focusing on what you can control.
So when you’re constantly worried about what other people think… or how they look… and you keep measuring yourself against others… you’re playing a losing game. You have no control over what they do.
The whole “Keeping up with the Joneses” was very un-Stoic from that perspective. People weren’t ending up happier as a result of this unspoken competition to keep up with their neighbors.
Now it’s Tik-Tok or Facebook or Instagram. I plan to watch the Social Dilemma today that came out recently on Netflix. I strongly suspect it’s going to touch on many of these points.
Back to motivation though. Being externally motivated is like playing a shell game. You watch and watch and eventually you pick, hoping that you’re right. Maybe the magician called life lets you win a few times before they eventually walk away with all your happiness.
Again, I know it’s Sunday but I’m not preaching. This post was as much to myself as anyone. I’m going to try to be more conscious of my motivations in different situations.
One parting tip that I came across in the book Influence by Robert Cialdini…
Name it when you see it.
In his chapter on consistency, one of his strategies to combat the subconscious pull of consistency that often get’s used in marketing is to call it out when it happens.
Sounds like a good thing to write in your journal too.
Alright. Until tomorrow.