Motivation to work, it’s not about the money

I learnt something new today while reading through Lifehacker.com. After reading the below article, I have started to evaluate what has been keeping me doing the same job for the pass 11 years.

At a high level, SDT makes a simple claim:

“To be happy, your work must fulfill three universal psychological needs: autonomy,competence, and relatedness.”

In more detail…

  • Autonomy refers to control over how you fill your time. As Deci puts it, if you have a high degree of autonomy, then “you endorse [your] actions at the highest level of reflection.”
  • Competence refers to mastering unambiguously useful things. As the psychologist Robert White opines, in the wonderfully formal speak of the 1950s academic, humans have a “propensity to have an effect on the environment as well as to attain valued outcomes within it.”
  • Relatedness refers to a feeling of connection to others. As Deci pithily summarizes: “to love and care, and to be loved and cared for.”

Article:Beyond Passion: The Science of Loving What You Do

Only when I shift into my writing mode do I truly feel the presence of the three factors above. Does this mean I should consider quitting the job I am doing now to fully pursue a life of writing? I am really not sure, but it would really give me the chance to be autonomous. Yet, in Malaysia being a full-time writer does not pay the bills. It’s really a bummer.

I really do not want to be caught in the rut where I work for the money. Instead, I want to enjoy doing something that fires me up, which pays me well for that passion and allows me to be content with who I am (work-wise).

What motivates you to do your work?

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Some days I Just want to be an arse.

It’s one of those days again. The kind where you wish you were radioactive and everyone around you would die from a radiation sickness.

Today I am an arse.

That’s not the writer in me writing nor am I being philosophical about my day. I’m just an arse. Grumpiness, indeed comes with age. Irritability comes with too much sugar and an overly critical mind.

I’ve been called jerk, sick, assh***, freak, etc..you get the picture. I’ve given my service to several causes, only to be forgotten. Yup, only when you are needed are you truly remembered.

Read more of this post

I have depression.

I have depression. And I am a writer. Most writers, it seems, suffer from this condition of the human soul.

Yet, I find members of my tribe; putting forward some of the best in their current condition. Maybe because we are more sensitive to the human condition, or we experience more on a personal level.

I was sad but I found this article and it really helped lift my spirits up this evening.

Another writer died by her own hand, just two days ago. I got the news this morning. I cannot say I knew her — to the best of my knowledge, we never met, or exchanged e-mails, though certainly at one point or another we may have. I did not know her. But she was, nonetheless, my sister, and one of my tribe.

And she fell, as so many in my tribe fall.

Psychologists note that writers suffer from a higher-than-normal incidence of depression, that the same qualities that make us writers tend to make us more sensitive to the ups and downs of daily life. I do not know in how many cases this is true, but I know it’s true for me. I have faced the abyss of self-destruction once, when things were very bad, but managed to walk away. I’ve suffered from serious depression on a couple of other occasions, also from situations and events that were unbearable, and unfixable.

I count myself lucky to have gotten this far. Now that I’m here, though, I intend to stay. Because along the way, I’ve discovered that everything changes, and that no matter how horrible things are, they are not horrible forever. Every moment you’re breathing is an opportunity to change. If not your surroundings, your trials, your sufferings, then yourself.

From someone who has found a way to hang on even when things are terrible, I want to pass on to you what I’ve found. Because my tribe has lost enough voices and enough magic, too soon and needlessly. Don’t let it lose yours.

Full Article: Live to Write Another Day

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There’s a story in every moment

You can sit on a plane or at a (boring) meeting and there may be a story lying in wait. All you have to do is turn, smile and talk to those around you. Every one has a story, has a phrase that sticks, has a tale to tell and places they’ve been. All you need to do is turn, smile and start talking. Do not be afraid to strike up a conversation with the ones near you. And above all, after asking, listen to what they have to tell and take note. You never know when that phrase would seem appropriate when you are writing conversation or laying down a plot.

There’s a story in every moment.

Too many times we try too hard to fomulate a great story. We labour over ideas that HAVE to be spectacular, mind blowing and out of this world. We fashion large words and create outlandish worlds to plant our single dimensional characters.

But stop and talk to those you meet on the bus or a plane or sitting at a coffee shop and you’ll gain a wealth of stories. Real stories with real people, living real lives with real problems and moving in real time. You then take on the role of scribe and thus, chronicle the lives of everyday people. It doesn’t have to be outlandish or spectacular, just honest and true.

Try it. talk to someone and listen to the story, yet untold.

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The Reclusive Writer

I am quick to admit that I am a very reclusive person. By nature I am painfully private about things in my life. There was a period in my life where I sought to fit in but that was as successful as trying to drown fish in water. I have since come back home to being the recluse that I am. Yet in being reclusive, intoxicated in my own reality, I find the well-spring of creativity. I imagine the lives of other people. Living and breathing the air of the characters that populate the world of my mind. It is a world undisturbed by the harsh reality of this world.

There is nothing bad about being shy about yourself. In looking myself, I realized that I have a lot of acquittances yet only a handful of close friends. People with whom I can be vulnerable with and comfortable to share my thoughts and ideas.

Yet it is in my own quiet retreat, I am able to write and spin the tales that flash within my head. I put on my beenie, wake up my iBook and type away. Some stories go unfinished, some take flight yet others remain empty pages waiting for another visit.

I sometimes shun writer gatherings for the very reason, I prefer to write alone. I am not saying writer groups are bad. No. By all means join one if you feel it would help your craft. All I am saying is, it may not work for me. I enjoy writing alone. In the comfort of my own thoughts and the quietness of my own space. Do what is best to express your craft. Don’t compromise on what makes you a writer.

If you are a reclusive writer like me, don’t worry. You are in good company.

Depression and this Writer

I never thought I would fall into this state of mind but it happened. I was depressed and this was the reason I had turned cold towards my writing. I did not know it was depression and instead blamed other factors such as work, commitments and people as the reason to why I couldn’t sit down long enough to write a sentence. Yes, within the period of depressive foggy-ness, I did managed to churn out several short stories (most appearing on this blog) but my main project merely sat on the sideline.

Depression hits for no reason and your mind just fogs over and your motivation to do the things you love just evaporates, leaving you with this perpetual sense of emptiness. In the end, you feel as if you are merely a shell and life has ebbed it’s way to the twilight zone. Nothing seems right, you become sensitive and needy. Needy for attention or someone to understand but you full well know no-one can fully understand the state of mind of a depressive person. My mind and heart were locked in a bind of negativity. Nothing seemed positive and optimism became a curse word.

There were evenings I spent walking in my backyard, devoid of thoughts and merely walking. I viewed things with an emptiness, a detachment from what was real or fantasy. In this state, plants looked alive and the world just seemed a shade of gray. It was bad.

Yet, I knew all this and I am glad I had friends I could just talk to. People I could open up to and vent. And I also had my writing. I realized the most passionate of my writings were done when I was in this state of clawing myself out of my emotional black-hole. The stories were real and the emotions raw. Sometimes our very weakness is the source of our greatest strength. Our insanity is the root of our creativity, the source of the logic for which we write about and our readers get transported to.

In my depression, I wrote about the need for love, the strength of hope and the desperation of one who has reached their end. Maybe it’s good for me to walk in that dark alley called depression, if only to gain the stories but not to dwell in it.

Am I out of my depression? I don’t know because its a part of me, yet I know I can keep it in check and continue to write with passion due to it.

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My short depressive state of mind

I’m going through a bout of depression. Just feeling “blue” over some incidences that happened last week. But it has given me cause to read up on the whole matter of Depression and it really is an interesting subject. I can clearly see why so many people with chronic depression choose to commit suicide. It is a really bad state of mind to be in. I realized, I’ve learnt to cope with this trait of mine in my late teens so I am able to function better now as an adult.

I think it was due to the fact I changed my thinking pattern and embarked on a quest for self-discovery at the age of 18. I came across Edward d Bono’s book – Lateral Thinking and it changed the way I thought about things. This coupled with the fact I took up meditating on Bible verses could have been the reason for my ability to cope with depression.

Being depress is not a good thing and no-one can really understand how it is, unless you are also a sufferer. For me things just become very slow and mundane. I do not enjoy doing the things I like and I end up sitting in a chair pondering or sleeping. I have since learnt to slow down my thoughts and to enjoy the simple things in life. To not take everything seriously and to know that life is worth living. Depression robs you of the joy for living and creates an unrealistic world where nothing is right and everything is wrong.

Yet, in this state of gray paint; I have found emotions to write. I find it easy to write about someone down on his luck and about living for hope or someone entertaining the thought of suicide. These emotions and thoughts are real to me and I merely chronicle them down onto paper for an audience to read. It can be said that my depressive state of mind is also the well spring from which my inspiration flows from.

My insanity is the cradle of my creativity.

So folks, our (perceived) weaknesses may in fact be our greatest strength as long as we learn to harness it to its full potential and shape it into the form for which we like. There is nothing wrong in being depressive as long as you can turn it into the reason why you love life with full zest.

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