Holding one’s interest–more on motivation

I don’t know about anyone else, but I find it extremely hard to make myself work on something that I have no interest in, or have lost interest in. Especially if it requires a significant amount of thought and effort. Oh, I’ll still do it, but with nowhere near the focus and efficiency as if I were interested. And I find myself procrastinating more and more, finding other little tasks to do that are easier, if no more interesting.

Am I just lacking in self-discipline? Are other people better at forcing themselves to expend a lot of effort on something uninteresting? Or are they just more successful at motivating themselves in other ways, whether it be financial incentive, or the incentive to get a good grade? For the most part, a look at my grades from school could tell you exactly which subjects I found interesting, and which I found boring. I never really cared about grades as much as some people did. I guess most of my motivation comes from my interest in a subject.

This brings up the question: how can something hold one’s interest? There are certain areas that will never be interesting to certain people. But there are others that hold one’s interest for a while, but gradually start to lose it. And I suppose there could be things that seem boring at first, but gain one’s interest with more exposure.

For me–taking out of the equation subjects I will never find any interest in–I think what probably holds my interest is the learning process. Learning can sometimes be scary at first–it can be hard to push out of your comfort zone. But at the same time, it can be very rewarding–just the feeling of learning something new, and mastering it. The problem comes when you’re in a situation where you aren’t learning anything new. Unless the subject is something you find intrinsically interesting or fun, you get stuck in a rut, doing the same boring thing over and over. That’s not so bad if it’s something easy, but if it’s something requiring effort, it sure gets old fast.

If you’re like me, and have trouble motivating yourself with outside factors (money, grades, guilt, pats on the back, etc.), it seems that the only good solution is to change your situation. Thankfully, we don’t have to live in a feudal society–change is possible. Embrace it!

One Response to “Holding one’s interest–more on motivation”

  1. Mark Says:

    Jennifer -

    Even though this is a cliche, I think it really is a “matter of how you look at it.”

    In the broad scope of thinking, most everything really is tied together somehow.

    If one can take a subject, which at the very basic level is uninteresting, and find a way to connect that with something which is highly interesting, then I think a happy motivation to achieve that otherwise uninspired purpose can be achieved.

    Also, I believe “thinking out of the box” with some things leaves too much out in the open, thus no focus or vision can be achieved and a project loses it original flare. Better to assign some type of boundaries.