Finding Motivation

October 4th, 2022

It is scary to think that motivation is something we need to rely on in order for life to not become a slog. I'm sure you understand what I mean. There are a lot of things you don't want to do but need to do, whether it be work, school, etc. It's difficult to do these things because they're boring or uninteresting.

It's hard for me to figure out how motivation comes to me. I feel like it's pretty spontaneous to some degree. I have tackled so many hobbies throughout my life; drawing, music, game development, speedrunning, and now working on this website. A lot of these hobbies come from the end product. I've always wanted to draw because I want to create amazing things, same for music, and speedrunning I feel most of it is just going for times on a leaderboard. I have always hated the process of drawing, which is why I rarely take on art anymore. I really wish I enjoyed the process, because I used to at some point. I am probably just in eternal artblock or something.

So here I am, trying to figure out why I have no motivation for doing things I have done before. I feel that I am always looking for new things to do. It makes sense, because new things are fun. It is an experience that hasn't been taken on yet, and that's exciting. It makes me worried that I'm going to get bored of updating this site, because I truly love doing it. I have all the motivation in the world to continue updating this site right now.

Some motivation comes down to others' expectations of me. I want to do art so I can create amazing things and show other people. I speedrun so I could get good times to show off my cool leaderboard spots. I develop this website so that you can read what I'd like to share. At the same time though, a lot of motivation comes from doing things for myself. I want to do art so I can create amazing things for myself to conceptualize. I speedrun so I could enjoy games in a different way. I develop this website for myself and so I could write my thoughts down somewhere.

It's been difficult to find this balance for me. I believe that I have been a bit of a clout chaser. I have done a few things that I did not necessarily enjoy for the sake of numbers going up. This was motivation, sure, but looking back it was only a temporary source. I relied on the expectations of other people heavily, and that is the only reason why I did things. This is why I think that my motivation for speedrunning has run dry. And it sucks, because now I have set this expectation for myself that if I don't have people watching, then what's the point in continuing.

For those wondering why I have "quit" social media, this is basically why (not quit for good, but rather strict with the amount of time I spend on them). I think the numbers have really gotten to me, and so I needed to just run away from it all. I believe this was especially apparent when I was strat finding for Kirby RtDL last year. A lot of the big runners would retweet the stuff I'd find and it would blow up, and I'd get a huge dopamine rush. I'd think "wow, I'm actually doing something really cool", but it still would've been cool if I never posted that to Twitter. Whether it had blown up or not, I really need to begin to give myself "dopamine rushes" for my own hard work instead of relying on the numbers of social media to do that for me. When working on this website, I started to get that personal dopamine rush I was looking for.

Unfortunately, Neocities isn't free from "social media" numbers, as there is a follower count, view count, comments, etc on Neocities profiles. I know I could just not view these statistics, and I know many people that choose not to, but it is hard to resist that temptation. I want to try to stop myself from viewing these numbers like I did with Twitter, but for now I'll just enjoy the moment. It isn't as apparant as what it used to be.

I thought of the topic of motivation because a friend of mine was talking to me about it. They pretty much lost motivation to do anything, whether it be school, working, or just doing stuff for themselves like art, etc. A lack of motivation can also come from exhaustion, and sometimes it hits me hard too. I think it is important to balance everything, because too much of it can destroy being motivated to continue anything. This topic being brought up to me also led me to thinking about where my motivation has taken me throughout the past year or two, which brought me here now. I'm hoping that I could continue to be motivated through actual creative motives and not through artificial means.