Jan. 19th, 2016

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So I've been reading Clausewitz's On War (deliciously thinky / categorizing book, I'm really loving it so far, even though I keep wondering what he would have thought about WWII), and yesterday I was surprised that he categorized the quality of resolution mostly under "feeling".

Today I realized that motivation is also mostly a feeling. You can't really logic your way to motivation (or at least it's pretty hard, in the same way that logicking your way to any emotion is hard), you have to feel it.

(Unless maybe you hook it to something you do feel, like duty? I feel like this is often the hack that people try with motivation, at least. New Year's resolutions, for example. Try to set up things so that doing what you want to do is something you should do. Speaking purely for myself, this is generally not sustaining. If it's all duty, or if the duty aspect comes to predominate, then I can dutifully do things for a while, but then it inevitably breaks.

...but some people may have stronger senses of duty. It suddenly occurs to me that when someone said to me that they were doing something out of a sense of duty, what I got out of that (oh no, that'll never work) was probably not what they meant to communicate (very possibly more like don't worry about this getting done because I have a strong motivation to do this)... Communication is hard.)

(This also reminds me of a conversation I had about the Ancillary series a while back, and the role of emotion in setting priorities...)

So now I'm wondering, if motivation is mostly a feeling... It seems like this is an important revelation that should help me to sustain my motivation, and yet...

I mean, the only way to motivate myself that really works is to start doing something for the sake of doing it, for the pleasure of the task, and hope it grows and sustains itself.

I suppose now whenever I lack motivation, at least I can blame it on the mysteriousness of emotions.

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