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Unmotivated, Distracted, and Passionless – Now What?

By August 29, 2012 4 Comments
[dropcap type=”2″]W[/dropcap]eek 4 is complete. This week, being unmotivated, distractions, and my waning passion. But first, SCOREBOARD:

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Total Earnings

Driving: $137.00

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Bank Account

$184.22

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Bank Statement 8-29-12

Bank Statement 8-29-12

Unmotivated

What do you do when you stop caring? Really, what do you do? Do you keep working at your job even though you know, deep down, that it’s dulling your senses and killing any life you have left? Do you stay in a relationship just for the kids, even though you feel more and more depressed as time goes on?

Or do you just drop it, say thank you, and move on to something greater?

It’s not an easy question to answer, there’s just too many variables involved. But this is where I find myself, even at the beginning of my long quest.

No, I haven’t given up on my goal of $50,000 in the bank by August 1, 2013. Not even close. And no, I’m not depressed or lost my zeal for life. Far from it.

But I am questioning my way of getting to this goal, because as I plod along on Value Detectives, I’m realizing that I don’t necessarily want to do web design and internet marketing for just anyone. I actually learned these skills out of necessity to get my own sites going, but when others (who are even less clear than I am) get involved in the process, it can feel like the workload has doubled.

Surprising revelation, I know.

Can I make money at this? Sure, and I’ve done that. But I find myself NOT trying hard enough to get my own site and business going, and that is concerning me.

I could list numerous reasons why, but we’ll just say that I’m not super stoked or passionate about convincing people that they have a huge hole in their marketing, when most are pretty clueless about the entire subject of marketing, particularly marketing online (from my experience, anayway).

And this bothers me. It bothers me because I go back and forth between providing this valuable, much needed service for others on the one hand, and on the other, I say to myself, “Why do this for others when I could be doing this for myself and my own projects?!”

I would be more than happy providing this service for people who’s projects I actually CARE ABOUT. But to do it for just any ol’ body is not making me jump for joy. (As I write this, there’s definitely a clue for me to really get within this paragraph)

It’s conflicting, and I realize that on some deeper level, I’m not congruent and in sync. My mind is split, and my actions express what I feel deep inside. In those moments, when I’m conflicted, Value Detectives is laborious at best, and energy sucking at its worse.

And this conflicting behavior leads to a lack of productivity and inaction, and an increase in distractions…

Distractions

When you work for yourself and from your own home, there are pros and cons. The worst part are the distractions, and for every distraction, there’s a reason why behind it.

I know a few reasons why I get distracted, but lets’s list some of these, though not in any particular order:
[list type=”numlist”]

  1. I’m Alone

    Working from home sucks because you have little interaction with others. The neighbors must think I’m a hermit or a recluse, until they see my car gone for the two-three days a week that I need to work for that other company or get groceries so I can survive.

     

    It’s important for me to distinguish being alone (physical) and loneliness (emotional). Being alone doesn’t bother me, and I’m used to it. It doesn’t necessarily give me an advantage over having a smart team around, but there are some advantages.

     

    Loneliness is something that creeps into my psyche from time to time, and I’m ok with that. It’s rare, but when it does come, it comes with a wallop.

     

    The point is, when I’m alone it’s so much easier look at email, answer a phone call, read a text message, and click on anything that appears interesting, because it’s as close to human contact that I can get at that moment.

     

    Of course it’s not human contact, but it at least FEELS closer to it than what I was. Also, when you’re alone, working as a one-person team, there’s no real accountability….

  1. No Real Accountability

    Who’s going to say, “Hey! Did you produce ‘such and such’? Nobody. I’m accountable to myself, and that can be good and bad.

     

    When deadlines are set, and they’re not met, what are the ramifications? What are the consequences? What’s going to happen if this doesn’t get done? It’s all on me, and it’s easy to block out and justify why something doesn’t get done.

     

    I do it all the time. And that’s just a lack of discipline…

  1. Lack Of Discipline

    It’s easy to run on auto-pilot and default mode. It’s easy to get caught up in Youtube, the politics of the day, Facebook friends’ updates, click on pics of hot chics, read email of other people’s agendas (what else is email, anyway?), look at the latest sports news, chat with friends, etc.

     

    It’s just a lack of discipline, which could mean a few things. Either I’m doing the “wrong” thing, which could mean I don’t care about this activity or project enough. So why am I even doing this?

     

    Or, maybe I’m not clear on what the next step is, so I click on anything (an article or an email link) that will give me a focus for the time being.

     

    Or, maybe I am clear on next steps to take, but I don’t think I’m skilled enough to do a particular activity or  so I sit there stuck. Imperfection is just another form of fear, and maybe I need to take my own advice.

     

    I’m sure there are more reasons for undisciplined behavior, but these are mine.

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Obviously distractions aren’t getting me anywhere, but as I look at the reasons WHY I’m distracted, then I really have to re-examine the path I’m taking, as well as the activities I’m willing to do to get where I want to go.

Money follows value. And people act, in any given moment, based on what we value most in that moment. Any action taken by anybody in the world in this very moment represents what they TRULY value. No exceptions.

And as I click on another Youtube video, this reflects what I value the most in that moment. And that means something needs to change, stat!

Realization: The value I provide to others must include activities which I value doing AND must also include problems that I am passionate (highly value) about solving.

Passion

I simply mistook my capabilities and skills as my passion. In reality, I’m not passionate about doing web design and marketing FOR MOST PEOPLE. It’s enjoyable, but it can also be very frustrating, especially when all involved are going in different directions.

When I’m working on a project with someone else, especially a design project, then I can expect a lot of miscommunication and I usually end up with more work than I originally set out to do. Working with the right people is crucial to my sanity, and goes a long way in the quality of work I produce.

For me to be firing on all cylinders, I need to be doing what I really ENJOY doing (which involves something I’m highly skilled at and something I’m talented in), AND I have to be working on a problem that I’m extremely EXCITED about solving for others.

You may have heard the mantra, do what you love and the money will follow, especially since a book with that same title was written. And you may have also heard that doing what you love will NOT bring in the moolah, so don’t focus solely on what you’re passionate about, because the market doesn’t care about what you love to do (and they don’t).

It’s not an “either/or” situation for me, and as I tend to conclude, the answer is usually a mixture of BOTH.

I think people ought to do what they love and enjoy their work and lives as much as humanly possible, and integrate that with what they’re talented and highly skilled in. Yes!

But I think the missing piece of the equation to the “do what you love” motto is applying those skills, talents, and unique abilities to a PROBLEM you’re also passionate about solving.

Passionate Doing x Passionate Problem Solving = Following Your Bliss

Motivated, But More Importantly, Inspired

And as I reflect upon what I just wrote, I see that I have NOT brought the two elements together in my everyday experience properly. And that’s why I fizzle and slow down on my main project before a month’s work has been put in.

Following my bliss is essentially doing what I love to do and applying that to a problem I’m passionate about solving or alleviating. Not just solving for self, but for other people as well.

I’ve done this before. I think we all have to some degree, and it seems, for significant results, spectacular even, we must marry the two. Of course, it’s easier said than done, BUT, it does give me a north star. And as I write this, it gives me a greater sense of clarity on my next steps.

But, can you imagine not doing this AT ALL?

You’re NOT using the unique talents you were born with — AT ALL?. You’re NOT doing what you REALLY, REALLY enjoy doing — AT ALL?. You’re NOT working on problems you’re passionate or deeply care about solving, but instead work on problems that bore you, dull you, and turn you off?

Yes, you may be highly skilled at doing something, but if the other elements are missing (caring deeply about something, expressing your true talents, etc.), then how are you benefiting? How will you reach your true potential? How can you feel invigorated and TRULY ALIVE?

Guess you’ll just have to wait for the weekend to experience that, huh?

Dreams

Value Detectives is still part of the plan, but not how I originally envisioned it. I will need to angle it so that I am working with the people I want to work with (still to be defined), solving THE problem I care about the MOST, and focusing on applying my unique abilities to the work, so I’m not bored or even frustrated.

My main strategy is now clear.

Marry my talents, skills, and unique abilities with a problem I deeply care about solving. And that will become my ultimate business.

It will propel me to refine and define myself more precisely. It will bring the best out of me because I will have a specific message to give people, rather than having the 3-5 elevator pitches I have on hand depending on who I’m talking to.

It will also keep me driven and inspired, instead of the whole, “I need to work for the money” mentality. Granted, I still do a bit of that, but I am learning not to compromise my core integrity and sell out on my dreams.

And NO, the $50,000 dollars is not a dream of mine. I just see it as a means to do greater things, as well as an awesome indicator that I am giving tremendous value to the people of the world.

I am actually living a portion of my dream now, it just needs some expansion. I really enjoy writing, but next year, I want to be on a train, speeding through Europe, working on my next book.

Next Steps

For the week, I will:

[list type=”checklist”]
  • Figure out and really nail down my offer for Value Detectives (What I’m willing to give, who I’m willing to give it to, and for how much) — September 5, 2012
  • Work on video script for Wake Up Smiling (outline is almost complete)
  • Finish reading The $100 Startup — Still September 5, 2012
  • Figure out the Kindle platform and get Butt-Naked Abundance on Amazon
[/list]

That’s it for now. Take care of yourself and have a great week.

4 Comments

  • Reema Hanrahan says:

    Your intelligence, personality and credentials are incredible… Why, may I ask, are you driving a truck on the side? It seems you could be employed at amazon, Microsoft, google, etc… I know you have a lot of projects, but realistically, you could be making a six figure income with a reputable establishment. 50K would be so easily attainable. I know I'm not exposed to everything else you have going on, but from the outside looking in, and from the few encounters I've had with you, any company would be lucky to have such an insightful, well spoken, charismatic individual like you on their team… Have you considered working for a company who could pay you what you're worth? Or am I missing a vital puzzle piece here?

    • Reema, there's a couple of things going on. First, I'm a jack of all, not really a master of one. Sure, I can help people lose weight, accomplish their goals, give them frameworks to help clear things up, but I always felt weird about taking money for that. Strange, I know. (And you know I'm strange)

      Second, I also believe in what I'm doing. I know it doesn't make sense to anybody now, but there is a plan, which also includes making this private part of my life public. Now, whether that plan pans out or not is another story lol

      Third, I have applied to Amazon, actually last week. So we'll see, but not having the ABC's after my name may disqualify me faster than most applicants, BUT, it doesn't deter me — not one bit. If I see something I like or something I might enjoy, I'll go for it.

      And as for social work, my time in that field is finished. I need to work on bigger issues, and that field is just too confining, generally speaking (unless I start my own non-profit, which is still an option)

      And finally, thanks for caring 🙂

  • Reema Hanrahan says:

    Your expression of your belief in what you are doing far over powers all the doubt hidden within the text above! I'm certain that if you continue to follow your intuition, it will guide you down the right path. You have the capability to achieve anything you imagine possible… Keep visualizing and aligning your thoughts/actions with your vision for the future and undoubtedly, you will accomish all your heart desires. I have faith in you and know the only limitations that exist are those you impose upon yourself! I wish you success, luck and happiness. Thanks for sharing your blog; it is inspirational and motivating!

  • Asatar Bair says:

    Paul, I'm kind of in the same place. We have to get our group going!

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