I have to admit that over these past few weeks I have had this strange phenomenon of not being motivated. I don’t want to run, I don’t want to work, cook, or even get out of bed. So not me! And no, it’s not that I’m unhappy or depressed. I have so much to be grateful for and I have so much that makes life worth living. I’m just honestly at a point where it feels as though I am in limbo, waiting for that next level of engagement so to speak.
I guess we have all heard about Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. The need to sustain our bodies in every way; the need to feel safe and protected; the need to truly belong to family and friends; the need to feel respected and hold a level of recognition across all groups; and finally the need to be who we were made to be, the epitomy of peak spiritual experiences.
Simply put, the hierarchy is as follows:
And maybe the answer is right in front of me. What I do know is that I am most likely in limbo between Esteem and Self-Actualization. But how does one move into and remain in this realm? How does one tap into that deep innermost potential? How does one simply become?
I often imagine myself going to a Buddhist retreat in Tibet and working progressively through a meditation programme until it has been mastered. And once attained, the Bhuddist monk will declare: ‘You have arrived, you have become!’
Somehow, I don’t think it is that easy!
For some time now, I’ve been setting goals, achieving some and coming short in others. The ones I have achieved, those experiences are short-lived, despite learning so much about myself. So of course I decided to consult one of the most popular resources known as the Oracle (The Wisdom of the Oracle).
Before I go any further, I just want to point this out: You know that feeling when someone dangles a really juicy metaphorical carrot in front of you and it gets closer and closer the harder and harder you work at it? And just when its almost in your grasp, you reach out to take hold of it and just as you do so, the puppet master (AKA life) pulls the strings and instantly moves it away. The carrot is replaced by a different carrot, further away, maybe much smaller and less appealing. And all you can think about is that you’ve expended so much energy and time and effort on the first carrot that when the goal post changed, you’re left feeling exhausted, confused and frustrated.
So this is pretty much how I felt after consulting the Oracle. I found this additional motivation theory model:
It doesn’t end at Self-Actualization! So now we enter a realm that is no longer driven by need deficiencies but driven by the need for self-growth. The need to be the best that one can be. Here we need to identify what will lead us to the ultimate self-fulfillment.
What is that? What form will it take? Will I have enough curiosity to explore? Will I be able to generate as many peak experiences of growth that will bring self-fulfillment?
In all honesty, I cannot answer these questions. So now what? How does one transition forward without the reverse happening? How does one look towards and embrace Self-Actualization when one’s country is falling apart and again brings us full circle back into questioning our basic needs, needs where one really shouldn’t have to worry anymore. Progression should not result in regression. The goal posts are not consistent.
I have to admit I have yet to find the answer here and I’m guessing this may just be a long journey. I’m also pretty sure that I’m not alone in this so any words of wisdom would be happily invited.