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[flagged] You’re Not Lazy, Bored, or Unmotivated (forge.medium.com)
53 points by tkt 49 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 26 comments

Poorly written, factually incorrect, written to give the reader a small short-term motivational boost, soon to be diminished by the reality.

It goes as far as to suggest that laziness, boredom and the particulars of the sort do not exist.

Such big claims are supported by anecdotal stories, and occasional quotes from psychology professors, all convoluted in order to do say one thing: just do it.

> And my specific advice is only going to work for a tiny fraction of people who happen to be in the right place at the right time and for whom it will click immediately.

It clicked for me. Gave me a new take on the very things I struggle with right now. Why did you write your comment? What did you want to give me, the reader?

He isn't giving you a anything except for his own experience with the article. And I agree. Witticisms don't do anything to help these very real neurochemical issues...

> to help these very real neurochemical issues...

Smart people are always quick to blame neurochemistry and easily dismiss problems at a higher level, even though there is so much evidence that chemistry is only part of the equation. Perhaps the increase in mental issues we see over the last decades is due to people thinking "it must be because of molecules", resulting in patients not making fundamental changes to their lives, and doctors continuing to "hack" the brain with drugs.

> these very real neurochemical issues

Are you sayin that eg boredom is a neurochemical issue? Something that could/should be remedied with chemistry instead of theraputical work?

Both behavioral therapy and drugs work for neurochemical issues. What I am saying is that no amount of one liners or witty articles are going to help. Hard work or abrasive drugs will. And yes, therapeutics are definitely superior to drugs which often times are not sustainable solutions.

It diagnoses all people's problems in one article based on the fact that 'they have internet connection'. Maybe people have more complex and different problems? Like failure of a startup after years of struggle? Like working on ugly and complex problems in high-responsibility, high-stress jobs? Health problems, or health problems of a loved one? Problems in the family, or relationship? Work-life-balance? Debt? As if the biggest struggle in life is 'writing the first chapter of your book'. No, the struggle begins when writing your third book and still not much financial success or recognition... I am suprised that such a shallow article is voted up so much on HN and have so many claps on medium.

> just do it.

That's basically the only take-away from these kinds of motivational articles, and the only piece of advice that works. Once you start doing the thing you were nervous about, it becomes much easier and less stressful.

> Once you start doing the thing you were nervous about, it becomes much easier and less stressful.

This is not necessarily the case. Sometimes you lack confidence with good reason because you are (currently, potentially will always be) unsuited to the task at hand, so you become nervous and stressed. There is nothing wrong with this either. Sometimes, it is worthwhile to persevere other times it isn't.

The hard thing is to know when to persevere and when to quit.

Indeed. And I should probably have clarified in my comment that this method works for tasks for which you are too lazy, bored, or unmotivated to do, but you know that you could do them if you put your mind to it. Like you said, being too nervous to work on a particular task because of other reasons is a different experience altogether.

Isn’t that descriptive of pretty much every medium blog entry? It’s anecdotal and a tad in jest, because I’m sure there must be some value to the platform, but I’ve never seen it.

Most “articles” seem to read like someone who took a twitter post like “just do it” and wrote it longer, but without adding any additional value to the original statement.

I wasn't sure about the "ripped the gear shift off" anecdote. Not sure I believe it.

Why be so crudely reductionist as to take problems of laziness, boredom and lack of motivation and try to simplify it down to Fear?

Is the idea that we have a whole arsenal of tools already for successfully dealing with Fear, and if we can just bend all our other problems into the shape of Fear we can apply some existing techniques?

In my experience this doesn't work for me, and the mental model just doesn't fit.

If everything comes down to a mental cost-benefit analysis, I think fear situations are ones where the cost can seem massively over-inflated and getting over that initial hurdle with "Just Do It" can help re-tune the estimation so that the cost doesn't seem as bad.

The problem for Lazy, Bored and Unmotivated is on the benefit side of the analysis, where even if the cost isn't that high, I will feel that the long-term payoff is not worth it. That isn't helped by "Just Do It", because there isn't an inaccurate cost to be corrected, and I won't get the rush of motivation of "oh this isn't so bad" that comes from the cost correcting itself in an anxiety-type situation.

https://outline.com/3jMWxb Just in case you are asked to upgrade to read.

Of course I can be bored.

I want to work at the company I work for -- it has a great culture based on a lot of trust and openness, the people are fun, we make tech choices that I agree with, we work on things I think are important, it's important that I am here because I know all our systems and can immediately spot code problems on more junior programmers' screens when they ask for help, the company is financially sound and it pays well.

It's just that my actual work is often too easy because I have done similar things too many times, and thus I get bored.

That's nothing to do with fear and I still want to have this job.

Haven't read the article, but my initial reaction to the tile was: "and if you are that's fine".

To elaborate a bit more not just for anyone reading it, but also for me:

You don't HAVE to be not lazy, not bored or motivated. No one is all of these all the time and setting the expectation to be is both unrealistic and not helpful.

It's fine to be lazy (many tools came from people automating their work because they were lazy)

It's fine to be bored (I don't know about you, but for me when I had the luxury to be bored back in school or univeristy, my imagination was running wild and I was in my most creative mode)

It's fine to be unmotivated (Not everything needs motivation to happen. I never have motivation to do laundry or to go shopping. For things that do need motivation to happen like going every day to work, you can just wait. Either you'll get motivation or you won't, in which case you look for something else)

Poor. I know for a fact why I'm not doing more. I know why I haven't jet-setted off to Silicon Valley and started a dozen start-ups. And it's not because I'm scared. It's because I'm contented.

Sure, my current position pays a whopping $18k/year. Sure, I'm spinning the wheels until something more interesting blocks my path. But I don't care about this because I am happy anyway.

I could do so much more, but I don't need to, so I won't. The suggestion that this is done out of fear seems like a juvenile attempt to classify life as some kind of game where one is expected to aim for a high score.

Some people might be afraid.

Some people might feel intimidated and defeated by these brutal "motivational" posts that tell you how unfulfilled your life is if you're not at least X% "productive".

Some people might have better things to do.

Some people might understand that your psyche is not a machine, and goes through cycles conducive to "productivity" or not.

Some might understand that this whole "productivity" thing is a cargo cult that keeps you toiling away your best years on the hope for a distant future where the universe will somehow realize the favor it owes you.

Life owes you nothing. Your only hedge against it is friends and family, people and relationships. That's how we survived millions of years, and that's how all of the rich folks of today got to where they are: people and relationships.

Don't be the horse.

You’re not bored. You’re terrified of being alone with yourself in your own head.

How common is this?

Because I do get "lazy"(whatever that means), bored and unmotivated but at the same time I love being alone with my own thoughts.

Lazy writing, boring article.

- Just do it.

- I can't. Otherwise I would have done it already. This is impossible for me at this point.

- Just do it.

Great stuff here...

"Yes, you are lonley..." is too much to infer from that I have internet connection ;)

The "just do it" strategy doesn't seem to bond well with ADD/ADHD.

> You’re not unmotivated. You’re not lazy. You’re not bored. You are afraid.

Well put. Being afraid of failure is the root cause.

TL;DR: You're afraid. A great read!


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