I am wondering if you have thought about what keeps us going in life. We all have our ups and downs. What motivates us to go up when we are down instead of just staying in the down? I noticed two things that help me with this: meaning and hope. And I often discover that those are already within me and I might lose sight of them at times.
My down times are often characterized with a sense of meaning loss. That is when I feel I don’t have an idea of what I am meant to do and so I can’t do anything. The more I can’t do anything, the more down I feel. Then it becomes a loophole, until I find a meaning somewhere. And somehow, I find that meaning within me. For example, I might go down when I lose the vision for my writing. I write to discover more about myself, others and about human nature more generally. That is always a good motivation and meaning for me. But sometimes I can come to a point where I am like, meh. Let’s say at the same time I lose the meaning I find in my job and maybe in my relationships with people. So, overall, I don’t know what life is supposed to be for. Somehow, those times make me turn to myself and eventually find the lost meaning again. I remember why I was writing when I discover the intricacies of human nature again. I remember why I am in my job and why I keep in contact with people. All of these relate to my need to connect myself to the universe at the end. As long as I can remember that connection, I feel I have meaning in life.
Loss of meaning leads to hopelessness. If you don’t have motivation to do anything, what are you going to hope for, right? Finding my meaning again gives me hope. But there is one more step regarding hope. Even if meaning exists, it is a bit general. The statement ‘I want to discover human nature’ is too general for hope to arise, at least for me. I need to say something like ‘One day, we will discover the human nature’. Now, this one is a bit more specific in that it focuses on the day when we will (hopefully) know a lot more about the human nature. This idea of a hopeful future gives me motivation to work towards that today.
I kind of rambled here, but I want to know your thoughts. What makes you go up when you are down? Are you as obsessed with finding meaning as me? Does hope motivate you too?