I have sat down to write a blog post and I have been staring at the cursor flashing at me for about 5 minutes. I feel like it’s getting impatient with me, it seems excitable, like it’s been waiting for me to produce something for an extremely long time, and now I have finally opened a page and unleashed it, it’s starting to run out of patience. Perhaps that is why they call it a cursor, because the longer you stare at it, the more you are cursed with writer’s block. In an attempt to curtail the cursors carousing flashes, I have,as by now I am sure you are well aware, just started to type. A literary, or perhaps an unliterary stream of consciousness thrashed out upon the keyboard like a peace offering between and the blank space that was this page.
Perhaps my drivelling divulgence is down to the fact that as I glance to the time, it is now 8:41 pm on Friday night and my to-do list has been all but satisfied, apart from “write blog post”. So here we find ourselves, me, typing an aimless externalised internal dialogue, and you generous, bored, or confused enough to still be reading it. I think a part of me had hoped that by now if I just started exploring would have found myself somewhere of import, or at least interest, but alas, no such joy as of yet. I think possibly the most poignant of ironies is that before landing upon my blockage, I had optimistically entitled this post “Motivational states” having hoped to articulate a recently garnered understanding I have accumulated regarding how our differing motivational states come “pre-loaded” with behaviours and patterns of thought, and how it is highly beneficial for us to raise our awareness of these states, as to not find ourselves at their mercy, puppeteered by their whims. One way to think of these states is as different pieces of software on a computer, preloaded with behaviours designed to obtain an outcome. These states are relics of our evolutionary past, when our consciousness was not so sophisticated. Let me give you some examples of what I mean;
Hunger can be thought of as a motivational state, now that “state” will come preloaded with a set of behaviours designed to increase the likelihood of you getting a meal. We have all met “Hangry” individuals in our life, maybe you even are a hangry person. A former girlfriend of mine was quite hangry and would transform into a snarling-saber toothed serpent should her supper be delayed. I have heard her expel unrepeatable expletives to delayed deliveroo drivers. There was countless occasions that her first few bites of food would be followed by an apology as she returned to her more sain and sanguine self. It just so happened that her hungry motivational state comes preloaded with impatience, anger, and apparent hatred to all human beings.
These motivational states make us act in ways that left in a resting, content state, we would never elect to act. These states veil us from ourselves. Think of the time you have eaten lunch, and gone to the supermarket full of good intent and loaded your trolley with the healthiest of produce. Only to go home and come dinner time cursed yourself for not picking up the frozen pizza, as you stare down at the recipe for your courgetti in basil pesto. Another example is sexual arousal, you may have experienced times in your life where you have made a decision in a state of arousal, that you may have not made had you not been engulfed in that motivational state. And those motivational states can change very quickly, in the case of sexual arousel, very quickly indeed. You can spend a good couple of hours thinking something (or someone probably more accurately) isa good idea. Only to regret that decision, immediately after, how should we say… completing the mission of that state, whoops. It is very wise for us to observe ourselves in different states, so that we can step back from them and ask ourselves the question, is this how I really want to act? Or is this the result of my motivational operating. Do I really think that? Or is my sleep seeking motivational state on the driving seat. Would I choose to say or do this, if I was to sit down at the start of the day, and select how I would respond to this situation? The goal is for us to make choices that are closest to the trues self as possible. The highest self. The small decisions we make in our daily lives accumulate to take us in large directions. Allowing our motivational states to decide our fates is allowing our old automated software to be running our lives. We can’t choose what comes at us in life, but we do have the luxury of how we respond to it, and that will be what defines us. Don’t leave a chimpanzee behind the wheel.
And next time you have writer’s block, just start typing.