You know someone's invested in something if they do that thing right before bed, and then again right when they wake up. If they spend 10,000 hours doing something within the space of less than 5 years. If they come up with new ideas about it, or have epiphanies about it, while in the shower.

One of the supreme challenges of life is getting yourself invested in the things you want to be invested in. Wanting to be invested in something doesn't cause the investment to happen. If it did, we would be a nation of healthy, happy people who are madly in love with whatever they do for work. But we see, every year, people making new years' resolutions to go to the gym more often, creating structures for themselves, setting goals, and then failing to reach them or to fulfill on their resolutions, because they lack the willpower, drive, gumption, or any number of other descriptions for it. They are not sufficiently invested.

Investment is, by its very nature, a choice, and choice is one of those very slippery things. The fact that you are not currently invested in something implies that you have:

But it may be outside your power to make a choice other than the choice you have made; that's just the way choice works. All there is for you to do is to choose that you chose what you chose, and move on.

“But,” I protest, “I want to be invested in going to the gym. Being un-invested doesn't work for me. Isn't there some way to reprogram myself so I will choose to be invested?”

Sure there's a way. There are the old motivators of guilt, greed and fear. But I'm committed to not use those. The alternative would be to alter who I am, to my core, like a whole new possibility of being for me, that alters my self-expression such that I am someone who is invested in going to the gym.

I'm making an attempt right now. I am not invested in going to the gym. There are reasons it's on my mind:

You know a really good motivational speaker when you pay them to get you to do things you really don't want to do.

If I were to go to the gym, it would not be part of my self-expression. It would be “in order to” burn fat, gain muscle, re-shape my body, and maintain (perhaps improve) my health. These are all sufficiently noble goals.

No they're not. They're all expressions of fear: fear of loss of vitality, fear of not being good enough, fear of being alone.

Besides, I remind myself, I'm not real. There isn't actually a “me” to be uninvested in the gym. Or to be afraid of these things.

investment.txt · Last modified: 2011/05/05 03:39 by naptastic
 
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