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> Do You Need To Motivate Yourself?
Ben Higgins
post Aug 7 2015, 09:50 AM
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I was reading an old thread earlier today about avoiding complacency and retaining conviction in what we do. It makes me think about the idea of motivation behind doing something like writing a song or just picking up the guitar for a jam.

We nearly always associate writing music with the need to be motivated. We often picture motivation as something that needs to be acquired, not something that we just have.

The only times we need to motivate ourselves are the times where we're not feeling it. The mood isn't right, our head is somewhere else, maybe we just don't feel like writing anything but we force ourselves to do something. How do we motivate ourselves when we just don't feel like doing it?

We could make ourselves focus on the positive rewards we will reap from doing something. It could be as simple as "If I write this song, I'll have something new to upload to Youtube and I'll feel good" etc..

Or you could go the other way and use the forces of darkness! You could allow yourself to acknowledge the negative consequences of not doing something. "If I don't start working on this I'll feel even worse about myself" or "If I don't finish this project I won't make my rent payments this month." Negative consequences can be a very powerful motivator.

But these scenarios deal with making oneself motivated. This usually comes about because we're not inspired. If we're not inspired then we're not motivated to act on an idea. Therefore we have to conjure the motivation out of thin air. I find the force to act is a lot different this way but can still produce unexpectedly great results.

I find that a lot of the time, motivation doesn't really come into because we act without thinking. Sometimes you just pick up the guitar, play and something good happens. You're in the right mood, no external pressure. It all comes together and you just lay some brilliant stuff down. In those cases, does it ever feel like you had to motivate yourself? Did motivation even come into it? I doubt it. What you felt is pure inspiration but it was effortless.

Sure, the inspiration motivates you to act on an idea but the issue of motivation itself isn't felt nearly as much as if you were not inspired and had to motivate yourself, like the scenarios described earlier - is that making any sense??

When it feels right, it just happens. No motivation needed, the inspiration is the motivator.

When it feels harder (don't even go there...) you have to dig deeper for a reason to act.

Either way, both situations can produce great art - creation is an amazing process and more people should experience its rewards. Just act - one note, one brush stroke, one word at a time.

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Just that little action means you've created more than you had a few seconds ago and that is something to feel good about.

This post has been edited by Ben Higgins: Aug 7 2015, 09:50 AM


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Hajduk
post Aug 7 2015, 11:24 AM
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So true Ben smile.gif So many times when I'm not forcing myself to make a new riff or lick up and just relaxing is when something awesome comes along smile.gif


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Marek Rojewski
post Aug 7 2015, 11:54 AM
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Happy people generally don't have motivation problems. Of course it is complex and I am not the right person to explain it all, but we do different things when we are happy and when we aren't. For example I spend much time playing computer games. Am I doing it because I am happy? Probably not. Probably I am playing these games to escape from real life problems, because everything is easier in those games. Sometimes it will help, after all we can enjoy games, they are oftern quite entertaining. But what I try to convey is:

I often find myself in a place where I think "oh no, I played video games too much again, I didn't practice my guitar/finish my work, I shouldn't play video games so much etc. etc.".

This is too shallow view, the real question is "why have you played computer all day long?". Probable answer is "because something bothers me, I had to give myself some free time from my worries". So the real question we must ask ourselves is "hey bro, is everything allright? It isn't? Well maybe we should think what we can do about that?". This is difficult, way more difficult than it sounds, but if we solve the problem that "brings us down" we won't have to worry about motivation, because motivation is the natural state of happiness.

All above is centered around the situation when we are responsible for our state. There are times when we aren't, and we are not able to solve the problem at once. Than the whole "forcing motivation upon ourseleves" mechanism that Ben described can take place. And the good news is that good things can happen in that way too wink.gif


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Ben Higgins
post Aug 7 2015, 12:36 PM
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QUOTE (Marek Rojewski @ Aug 7 2015, 10:54 AM) *
Happy people generally don't have motivation problems. Of course it is complex and I am not the right person to explain it all, but we do different things when we are happy and when we aren't. For example I spend much time playing computer games. Am I doing it because I am happy? Probably not. Probably I am playing these games to escape from real life problems, because everything is easier in those games. Sometimes it will help, after all we can enjoy games, they are oftern quite entertaining. But what I try to convey is:

I often find myself in a place where I think "oh no, I played video games too much again, I didn't practice my guitar/finish my work, I shouldn't play video games so much etc. etc.".

This is too shallow view, the real question is "why have you played computer all day long?". Probable answer is "because something bothers me, I had to give myself some free time from my worries". So the real question we must ask ourselves is "hey bro, is everything allright? It isn't? Well maybe we should think what we can do about that?". This is difficult, way more difficult than it sounds, but if we solve the problem that "brings us down" we won't have to worry about motivation, because motivation is the natural state of happiness.

All above is centered around the situation when we are responsible for our state. There are times when we aren't, and we are not able to solve the problem at once. Than the whole "forcing motivation upon ourseleves" mechanism that Ben described can take place. And the good news is that good things can happen in that way too wink.gif


You speak a lot of truth, Marek.... there are many activities that can help us escape from the realities of our life but at least you have self awareness enough to realise this and self awareness is one of our most valuable tools in identifying deeper issues smile.gif



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klasaine
post Aug 7 2015, 05:41 PM
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A long time ago I was motivated just by the guitar itself.
Now, I generally need a 'project' to get me to pick it up. Not always but most of the time.
Said project may lead me to working on unrelated music. It usually does. So, I've learned that in order to get motivated on my own - I need to fake a task.


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Monica Gheorghev...
post Aug 7 2015, 06:42 PM
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The fact that my dream is to become a good guitarist/musician it's already a motivation to keep me focused at maximum to touch my goal. Also judging that I never consider that something it's good enough and always we will have something new to learn, I think I got a motivation to study for the rest of my life wink.gif
Of course using "forces of darkness" (BTW nice expression) and positive rewards will always maintain the main motivation and sometimes can help for a much faster evolution.

Talking about "the forces of darkness" - the single thing which haunt me all the time, it's my afraid to not achieve and remain at a mediocre level. This idea makes me to not have limits when it's about practice. That's why when something it's hard I don't stop to practice that thing. Sure I become very angry, I cry when something not sounds good after millions of tries but I don't give up and on the contrary I become more ambitious.
Positive rewards - when I upload something new on YT it's great and also nice comments, likes, number of views, friendly people and of course the personal proud that I made something good which it's "approved" by people are things which makes me to feel good. But the fact that when I pick up the guitar I feel a huge relaxation...this is the most important positive reward for me.
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jstcrsn
post Aug 10 2015, 02:06 PM
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I started learning sweeps a few years back , and for the life of me can't remember why I stopped all of a sudden. I think I got to the point were I thought I could do them if I needed to, but being out of a band (I didnt think I needed to ).So a few weeks back I memorized this Thought I would record this find out where I am . 1st take / no mtronome . looking back I should have RECORDED WITH A metronome

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PosterBoy
post Aug 26 2015, 10:37 AM
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There is a lot of truth in this article

Pain Pleasure Principle


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