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September 20, 2013 / Dale Melchin

The Reason for Cynicism and how to Get out: Lack of ambition or motivation

The second fruit of cynicism is a lack of ambition or motivation.  I touched on this a few posts ago on the power of words, but this is also what happens when you become a cynic.  You may have high ideals, and that is great!  But if you don’t manage your attachment to those ideas and the expectations that come with them, it can lead to a serious lack of motivation.

This is understandable to a certain extent.  Lets say you’ve tried for a number of years to move up in an organization.  Your numbers are good, you are one of the special teams in the organization.  You’ve done all your interview prep, and you really believe you are a good fit for the role.  But again, you are found wanting as a fit for the role.  Several of these defeats can be annoying, at worse they can leave you to want to give up, and you do.  Some organizations are like this.  Some aren’t.  Instead of giving up, it is best to look else where, and I know of a few people who have.  Unfortunately, in some places, that is just the way it is.

Lets try this on a larger scale.  Lets say you’ve really been trying hard to get ahead.  You’ve worked a lot of hours, you’ve managed to save up some money.  But for whatever reason, you keep getting defeated.  Say your car breaks down, your you get sick, or you sabotage yourself in some way.  It is very easy, instead of taking a scientific approach to the situation and diagnosing it and find out whether it was you, your circumstances or something you over looked to just give up.

You either begin to develop a devil may care attitude, or worse you start to fall into sadness and even depression and despondency and you want to give up on life itself.  Now, from an observer standpoint, this doesn’t make sense.

But speaking as someone who has suffered set backs by life, lived through the despondency that repeated defeats can bring and has come out on the other side of them, it makes more sense to tend your wounds, get back up and keep fighting.

Eventually you are going to win.  Especially if you take the approach of continuous improvement and learn from the things that set you back.  Becoming cynical about life itself isn’t the way to go, and it is all within our power if we learn to choose how we respond.  This leads me to a logical fallacy that we often internalize.

Often times, we give up on an endeavor because of misleading vividness. The negative event hits us so hard, that we lose all objectivity and begin to think that the endeavor itself is the problem, rather than things surrounding it.  As a result we walk away from things we otherwise would’ve been successful at.  An instance of this for me is my painting business. I will discuss that at another time.

The main thing is you can talk yourself into being motivated to troubleshoot your life and fix the elements that for whatever reason are hanging you up.  If you can’t talk yourself into it, get yourself in front of someone who is qualified who can, tell them about your problems and be open minded when they start talking, even if they interrupt you.  Then listen and do the homework assignments.  You will get better if you apply the principles your counselor, formal or otherwise gives you.



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