Tag Archives: Motivation


Dr Shyam K Bhat MD is a
Psychiatrist and Integrative
Medicine specialist.

He is board certified in
Psychiatry, Internal
Medicine, and
Psychosomatic Medicine,
with additional certification
in clinical hypnosis

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Read a Random Post


The Running Man


Does it seem that you are running from morning to night, always running, in pursuit of your dreams?

Do you have to do that? Can you achieve your goals without running?


Don’t be driven. Be the driver


Are you being pushed towards success by a force that is not entirely under your control?

You are probably the sort of high achiever who has little time for frivolous nonsense. Sure, you might party hard on weekends, perhaps play a round of golf or two, spend some ‘quality time’ with the family, but for the most part, you are oriented towards tangible results. You are constantly aware of the ticking clock and are propelled onwards in your life by a need to excel. You are competitive. You often compare yourself with others, and with yourself – with your past achievements, with as yet unrealised goals. You cannot help but feel a twinge of jealousy if a peer gets a promotion before you do, and occasionally, you might look at your boss and think, “I could do a better job. When will my time come?” All the while, you are aware of your juniors, who are even now nipping at your heels, increasing your sense of urgency. This is your inner world, one of restless desire, of relentless striving. People probably refer to you as being ‘driven’, a high compliment in our contemporary corporate culture.

But since you are taking a few minutes to read this article, and this is your space for reflection, let me ask you this: If you are driven, what drives you?

Is it possible that you have always been driven by fear? The fear of insignificance, of annihilation, of mediocrity, ceaselessly pushing you, ever onward, not allowing you to breathe. Yes, you are successful – fear often propels people to success, especially when combined with talent and discipline, but like an engine that is feeding off the wrong kind of fuel, fear ultimately clogs up the system. Sooner or later, the soul begins to hurt. “What is the point of all this?” the soul whispers to you in the quiet of the night. Victories bring momentary respite but the need for success is a bottomless pit, swallowing everything you feed it, reducing it all to meaninglessness. Like a drug, the fear that drives success is difficult to give up. As one senior executive I saw in therapy put it, “If I let it go, then I might just sit around and do nothing.”

Ironically, at the root of all fear is the fear of giving up fear – “Without this driving force, will I be complacent and ineffectual at work?” And so, the cycle goes on.

But consider the artist who creates art for the sake of art itself, consider that he or she wakes up in the morning enthused not by the results but by the process, the joy of putting paint on canvas. The truly inspired artist is a pure expression of the energy of creation, creating art for art’s own sake, although success, the kind of meaningful authentic success you really crave, has a curious way of arriving at the door of a person who is not seeking it.

So don’t be driven. Focus instead on the doing, on the process, on the joy of creation and of being alive. You will be inspired, you will be even more of an inspiration to those around you. Of course, people won’t understand your newfound energy and might say, “You seem so driven.” Upon which, you might want to tell them, “I am not driven. I am the driver.”


Difficult Decisions


Sometimes I cannot make a decision, especially when it seems like there’s no good choice. How to make the right decision? Can you please help me improve my decision making ability?

Thanks

 

KG
Mumbai

Dear KG,

I am reminded of the time when a therapy client said to me, “The time for inaction is over,” and then added, “I will make my decision tomorrow.”

I knew that he would say the same thing next week, and of course, he knew it too.

Talking about action was enough to ease the anxiety of inaction, and so he continued to hold back from making this important decision that could change his life.

Most of us, during the course of a lifetime, will have to take many life changing decisions.

Of course, it could be argued that all decisions are life changing, especially the ones we don’t consciously make – If you weren’t late by five minutes for that train, you would not have met the person who would become your life partner, and so on.

But there are times in our lives when we know that the decision we have to make will have far reaching consequences.

Should I get married? To this person or to that? Should I move to a new place or stay here? Should I take this job or that? Or, should I join this university or that?
And so on.

If you have a difficult time with such decisions, if you are stuck, then it’s probably because you are thinking too much.

Decisions that force you to choose between ambiguous outcomes are difficult to make – your rational, theoretical brain will not be able to find a solution and will often spin in a closed ended loop.

Decisions can be difficult and complicated for a number of reasons, but often, difficult decisions are those when the 2 alternatives presented seem equally bad, or equally good.

(The first – 2 bad choices – is referred to as Morton’s Fork (more here at Wikipedia) and the other, Buridan’s Ass (here’s the wiki link)

While you struggle with the decision, thinking about it, weighing your options, the “correct” decision eludes you.
That is because your decision will not feel like the “right” one, unless it resonates with the emotional center of your brain.
When you make the “right” decision, you will not question it, you will know it.

Sounds kind of self-evident, but it bears underlining. The right decision – as Malcolm Gladwell discusses in his book, Blink – is often made in an instant.

So in order to make the right decision, you have to trust yourself.

If you are caught between a rock and a hard place, or between a stack of hay and a pail of water, act with conviction.

Trust your instincts, your emotions, your gut, and you will have made the right decision.

Best

Dr Shyam Bhat

 


Your Someday is Today


Dream all you want. But put it to action.

Many people die with their dreams still in their heads and hearts. My “someday” never happened, they would tell us.

Why do so many people wait?

What prevents people from acting on their dreams?

Most people cite practical obstacles such as the lack of money or time.

“I am too old now.”
“I am too young, I need experience.”
“I need to save more money.”
“When I retire…”
“When I take a sabbatical.”
“The idea is not good enough.”

But no matter what your reason for inaction, it has its basis in one emotion only – fear.

The fear of the unknown, the fear of failure, the fear of uncertainty. But most of all, the fear that in order for dreams to become a reality, we have to first be willing to kill the dream.

As long as we want the comfort of the dream, its fantasy alive, we will hold on to it and nurture it, play with it in our minds, but never willing to release it into the world, to act on this dream.

Dreams are fragile. It is the nature of your dream to resist the light of day, because it is fragile. It lives a tenuous existence as it is, between the world of fantasy and reality.

But in order to act, you have to first be willing to let your dream go. To see the dream die and be reborn as something tangible, imperfect perhaps, but real.

So harness the fact of your death. The best antidote to inertia is to harness the knowledge of your mortality. Fight the fear that makes you continue living in the safety of shadows, by reminding yourself that you will not live forever.

You do not want to carry your dreams to your grave. Act now. Your someday is today.