The difficulty of staying motivated

This post relates to lucid dreaming in that motivation plays an important part in the process of achieving lucidity. However, the topics discussed here are, quite naturally, of a quite broad nature and can be applied to virtually anything that involves motivation. The main focus, however, will be on how all this relates to lucid dreaming. I want to discuss the psychology and the general principles behind motivation, and how they can be applied to the practice of lucid dreaming. The following are some of my own thoughts on this subject. I will begin with trying to identify the roots of the problem of staying motivated.

Part 1: The role of habits

From the very first day of our lives, we are mentally “programmed” to act in certain ways and follow certain habits. It’s important to realize how much of our behaviour is influenced by the environments in which we grow up and live in. If you have ever moved to another country with a different culture, you will know what I mean. You will have experienced several “cultural shocks”. You’ll have met people with completely different values, values they have received from their parents and the cultural setting in which they have grown up.
Why is it so often the case that people growing up in religious families, will be so integrated in the habits and values of their religion, that it will be a part of them before they’ve been able to think about it all and make a choice for themselves?

I think this is important to think about as a first step to change the habits of one’s everyday life. If we then continue along these lines, to see how this relates to motivation, think about the following.

Do you agree that people who grow up in lazy environments, with pizza and a playstation, are likely to have a harder time making a significant change to their lifestyles, than people who grow up in an everchanging environment with several tasks at hand every minute?

Now think about yourself. What environment did you grow up in, and what kind of environment do you live in now? How does it affect you? Then examine your habits. If you’re like me, you are here at LD4all hour after hour just because you find it easier than doing something really creative, instead of practicing lucid dreaming. If you start up on something, it might go well for a while but usually ends up at square 0 again after a while. This includes your attempts at achieving lucidity. That is, once again, if you’re like me.

Why is it so difficult to stay motivated? In Part 2, I will discuss this and try to give a solution to the problem.

I think your on to something really relevant. I am pretty interested, LD’s arent coming to me for a while now, and my motivation is slipping away, hopefully you have some good info for me! :tongue:

  • Cheers

Me too, i’d like to hear more from you since my motivation for Ld’s is slipping away. I rarely have a ld but the cause of that is that i gotta have a WILD before i do anything else if i don’t do WILD i won’t do anything else so that’s the problem with me that will go on and on.

Hmm Im pretty lazy … well to an extent, but I have around 5 LD’s a week. I think I grown up in a pretty free thinking family and haven’t been “forced” into any religious mindset …

Since I found out that I was losing my job, the lucidity has dropped dramatically! It could have shoved motivation out of my head…Could the thought about changing my daily habits as dramatically as not working anymore, a change I dread, make it harder to change other, smaller habits? It is as if I cling to habits while they are still there.

It could be interesting to see if the lucidity comes back after christmas when the daily habits are really changed.

ye motivation is my problem 2. i remember the days i went through the day always suspecting i was dreaming, just cause i was really motivated and looking forward to my next LD.
Im still looking forward but since life aint that great atm im not really motivated to check my state all the time, im very motivated to have a LD but the preparation is the problem u know ^^

I’m sorry the second part is so late, but here it is (by the way, I’ve decided to split it up in three parts instead of two, since I need more time to finish it):

Part 2: Identifying the three basic motivational factors

I think there are at least three basic factors influencing our daily habits and our motivation:

  1. Social or any kind of external pressure
  2. “Carrots”
  3. Interest

To exemplify the first motivational factor - external pressure - let’s look at our beloved old friend the school.
Why do people keep going to school every day, even though many of them are so tired of it they’d rather lie in bed just staring at the roof? It’s obvious – they have to! And they know it, since they have been taught their whole lives that “no school – no future”. In other words, they have been socially conditioned. In fact, they are being all the time, which I hope I made clear in Part 1. (By the way, I know there are exceptions to the “no school – no future” rule, but I think you see my point.)

But anyway, let’s say there was no external pressure on you to go to school. Let’s say your parents were super rich and they were going to give you all the money you would ever need. They didn’t care if you grew up to become a person completely unable to take care of yourself. No need to work in the future. You had servants following every step you took, and all you did was being lazy. Would you feel motivated to go to school? Well, I guess it would depend on your personality, but people not fond of schoolwork would probably… not feel very motivated.

But maybe you would go anyway, because your social life revolved around school. That would give us the second motivational factor, a “carrot”. Everything that gives you a reason to do something, a reward, can be considered a carrot. There are different kinds of carrots: small ones and big ones, long ones and short ones, thick ones and thin ones, sharp ones and stubby ones … no I’m just kidding around here. :content:
But there actually are different kinds of motivational carrots. There are indirect carrots, as in the friends above. That’s carrots that just are there without being placed there for the intentional purpose of being a carrot. Then there are the more strategic carrots, being offered as rewards for the sake of motivating you to do something. For instance, you could ask your parents not to let you use the computer unless you have written something in your Dream Diary. That would involve the first motivational factor, external pressure, as well, since people around you would press you to do something. If you have a wife or a girlfriend, you could even try to convince her to have sex with you every time you’ve had a lucid dream. Maybe that would give your subconscious a carrot to produce LDs like never before, lol. :tongue:

Then of course, we have the BIG carrot, as in lucid dreams if you’re practicing lucid dreaming. This is the very reason to why you are doing something in the first place, and goes hand in hand with the last basic motivational factor - interest. I don’t think I need to explain why interest is so important, but what I do feel I need to say is that interest alone doesn’t assure success. In fact, it’s probably the most unreliable of all three basic motivational factors. Of course, this varies greatly from person to person and with the amount of interest, but generally I think it’s safe to say that interest is something that needs to be backed up by other things. Indeed, it seems like most successful cases of success “purely by interest”, in reality involve quite a lot of carrots or external pressure of some kind. Humans are habit-bound creatures rather than interest-bound creatures, at least at the beginning stages of self-development. Let me give you an example.

I’ve been interested in Japan for a long time. Of course, I wanted to learn the language as a result, and made several attempts at it in the beginning. But no matter how interested I was (I could study for hours and even enjoy it), after a while my lazy side took over, and I was on square one again. However, I’m quite proficient in Japanese now, and my study habits are quite good. And guess what the reason is? I study Japanese in Japan. I have endless amounts of carrots and external pressure.

However, I don’t want it to sound like I’m banging interest as some kind of unreliable friend, it can be great source of motivation if it’s used in a good way. For instance, being in Japan is a good way to back up your interest in Japanese, but you can’t move to “Lucid Dream Land” in order to back up your interest in lucid dreaming. Or maybe you can… to some extent? In the next part, I will, among other things, discuss that.

It’s strange I recently got involved in LD, im the lazziest person i know, but for some reason this has sparked my intrests above anything else. I mean i have finals tommorow and im reading a LD forum. The fact that I can learn to obtain an alternate reality, one where i do have control over everythin, and to be able to reach this state in my sleep fascinates me.

The way i see it LD is 10 times better (if not more) than real life. It is important not to become obssesed with it or else your real life will suck. However, if you can learn to LD most every night, the life you waste sleeping will develop into a very thrilling part of your life.

Its been day three of being extreamly motivated, and I have already achieved an hour and a half to a two hour LD, which was pretty clear. Im not stoppin lol

Good topic. I’m gonna keep an eye on this one.

Grasswar, you had a two hour LD? Wow. The longest I’ve ever had was around 15-20 minutes.