Saturday, January 8, 2011

Your Drive

To understand the forces that move us or our drives, you have to comprehend three basic terms. Motivation, Endurance, Perseverance

Motivation; What is it? What is this force that compels us towards our goal?, Why does it affect us so? According to Wikipedia. "it is the driving force which causes us to achieve goals" Even when your strength is dwindling and any light or hope is waning, There is this fire in all of us, a sort of espirit de corps in your basic nature or disposition that prevents you from giving up, pushing us upward and onwards to whatever we want to achieve.There are other queries of this Force's nature,we would like to know where it comes from, how it affects us and how we can gain control over this thing that propels us. But above is a sufficient basic definition of motivation.

Endurance; Some people use stamina and endurance interchangibly, But stamina is just the wrong word for me. Every time I hear it, I automatically think of an old man who just can't get it up. Endurance according to wikipedia is " the ability for an animal to exert itself for a long period of time" This includes mental and physical aspects of the creature in question.

Perseverance; 'Don't give up', ' Gambare ' , 'Keep on keeping on'. This are phrases to spur on to encourage one to persevere. If you are able to persevere, according to the textbook definition of the word - you are able to keep steady persistence in a course of action, a purpose, a state, etc., esp. in spite of difficulties, obstacles, or discouragement. You could say commitment, patience, hard work, but what it all comes to is that you are going on about a task or action that if without importance, you would have already given up on.

When we crap, have sex, dream or do anything; all these different events have a drive behind them, whether the drive comes from a basic need, or is an instinctual drive or just born out of random events. If you are performing any task, it is assumed that there is a basic motivation involved, you are experiencing or enduring some type of unwanted stress, as such you are also persevering in some fashion. You could go through the spectrum from least enjoyable tasks to most enjoyable, Most complex to most mundane and you would still need these three things. To some even life itself can become a most arduous task.Where does these drives for something originate from?

Emotion are the fuel and source of drive for all human life, they affect behaviour, they direct cognition, they are even attributed give rise to other emotions. When we are happy, our mind,body and work routines change in a given way, the same goes when we are sad, angry, curious e.t.c. While endurance can simply be given by a physical measure, the same cannot be said about motivation and perseverance. If you do not have basic emotionality, you would not be compelled to do even the most simplest of tasks. If you are not in control of your emotional self then you have no means of controlling your motivation, you might have the greatest endurance in the world but you will not be able to persevere through difficulty. It is then imperative through whatever means available that we learn how to always be consious of what we are feeling, to govern and control and use our emotions effectively to strive to become more rational, more logical and to steer our emotions in a way that increases your motivation and determination . This is one of the most important peices of knowledge of human physiology, i.e. emotions are inextricably linked with drive.

If you have ever seen Japanese anime, then you undoubtedly know Naruto, the anime. In this animated series the main character, Naruto Uzumaki has a demon sealed in him. Imagine unlimited motivation, endurance and perseverance at the twist of a tap. Many people think that is how humans are but they are wrong, we are humans, our resolve is determined by our tenacity and strength which is not limitless. Mr. Uzumaki has a monster with unlimited rage and power without a beginning or end , a creature born of pure hate and resolve is sealed in him and if he were to fully unleash it, he would be able to rain chaos and destruction till the end of time, or at least until he died. If you do not have a supremely powerful mythical creature trapped in a your stomach , your situation is undeniably different. Your endurance is simply a physical measure related to your strength, your motivation is controlled by your mind-state and emotions, and your perseverance is just a product of what you think of the importance of your task and your motivation. You cant be motivated to do what you don't want to do, increasing endurance is only possible over a long period of time through tough workout regiments of whatever aspect of the body is in question and you have a finite limit of perseverance possible.

I do not want to say that one can accurately determine what tasks a given person can or will do, and to what proficiency he or she will do them in advance based on motivation, endurance and perseverance, but one can reasonably gauge these things.

For example-when i came to America, I was urged to join high school track and field. Everybody seems to assume if you are Kenyan, you are predestined to be a great runner, you automatically have great endurance because of your heritage and are used to running everywhere, but sadly this is not the case. I suck at running! I simply don't have the motivation to run, or at least competitively run(why not rather competitively race cars?). My endurance was so bad that when i was running, the track coach would not let me run with the men. I was too slow,I kept slowing everybody down, so he had me run with the girls. I really did not mind much, running behind high school girls who usually liked to dress quite liberally was very nice but tiresome. They usually had to wait for me every 2-3 miles, and by the time i caught up, I was wheezing, sweating and almost catatonic with exhaustion. I just did not have the stamina, I mean endurance - for such a type of strenuous activity; which was just running.I also lacked perseverance or discipline for it, even though i was getting good times at the end of one week in the 800m challenges, i had quit. In summary, I lacked drive for running and this is obvious.

Even though, there is a way of gauging what one is able to do and not to do with respect to drive. There are ways or tricks to accomplish tasks that you are not able to complete normally. It is possible to 'go past your limits' in various ways. One of my favorite stratagems for completing something i don't have the endurance for is simply called the "bull rush","Zerg rush" or "bare your guts" strategy. Simply try to accomplish a huge part of the task in a condensed time schedule. Overwhelm your opponent or the situation you are in by madly attacking with all your resources at once. If i don't have the perseverance for something, I would simply break it down into minute tasks and relegate doing most of them till a later time. If you don't have the motivation to do something you pump yourself up at the beginning of your task with false confidence or false motivation and then plant yourself head first into your task with no way of turning back. But even with these tricks, your endurance wont increase, your motivation will not be changed much and your perseverance wont be endless.

What if you utilize all the strategies you can and you still come up short? What if anything you do is not enough?Let me suggest a hypothetical scenario. Picture yourself on boxing day, you have been working all day and you are supremely exhausted. All over sudden, your toilet is welling up water. Your sewer pipe is clogged up, So you get some extremely caustic chemicals, dump them in your drainage and hope for the best. The next evening, the same problem occurs. Your chemicals were useless, so you go to the garage and grab the plumbers snake(closet auger) and twist till your arms almost drop off. By midnight, You have grabbed some gunk but still no solution. So you pour your chemicals in and hope they are able to clear the way, now that you have weakened the enemy. At 3 a.m. You are woken up by rushing water, the water from the drain has overflowed into the carpet, so put your shoes on and splish, splash, splish, splash out the door you go. Your work area has been desecrated since someone has decided to wake up past midnight to relieve themselves even though the sewer system is clogged and you specifically asked them not to. So you are now outside, cold, suffocated by smell, You have to work carefully to avoid stepping on the little brown pudding cakes that have welled up out of the ground, your back-stabbing, evil little brother has decided not to help you and is enjoying his sleep, you are extremely tired, and also you are working in almost complete darkness since your flashlight has decided to give up for no apparent reason . At day-light, it is now raining and you are soaked but still optimistic that your twisting closet auger, will solve the problem. After all it was this same auger that solved the VERY SAME STINKING PROBLEM last year, at around the same time in the year. It is a pity that you never washed the auger, because now you are churning it with your bare hands, with the caked up shit from last year since it seems to be necessary to do so and you just really don't care now. You are now very sleepy, very tired and you now realize the auger that worked last year just wont work this year. So you go get a new one from the hardware store and continue churning the mixture of chemicals,piss and poop hoping for just a little bit of luck, but it is not working. You are now cold, wet, tired,literally covered in crap, demotivated, out of endurance and unable to persevere. What will you do? Of course you will find out later that you have been slaving for naught since there was a god-dang tree root that has been blocking the pipe, and your puny home depot closet auger was probably not even able to scratch the bark on it,but that is meaningless at the moment, How will you proceed to try and solve the problem when you don't have any drive?

The drive of an individual or even of a society as such is a very important element in being able to perform tasks, accomplish goals or even exist. Much effort should be taken to understand and utilize drive properly.

P.S: Happy New year to all.

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