Lack of motivation and meaning in life
I'm a high school junior, suffering from lack of motivation and drive. This might be a common story, but I don't feel the usual "motivational" quotes or poetic lines are enough to budge me. I'm not sure if what I'm feeling is just a hormonal outburst, depression, or just a phase that teenagers have to live with, but this problem is really starting to plague me so here I am.
I'd like to preface this by saying that I have an okay familial relationship. I don't really have a romantic relationship but I have a few friends that I talk to. I don't get bullied nor am I drinking/smoking/whatever. My grades are straight As, and I'm not quite sure it'll last, but academically I'm not at rock bottom or anything.
Anyway, I've lost much of my motivation to do anything in life. Not only am I procrastinating on school work, neglecting friendships, and retreating into my hedonistic lifestyle, but I can't even force myself to care about my future including college and a job. Any attempt to force excitement in my life is greeted with the problem of lack of motivation. I see life as the unexciting process of birth, going to school, graduating, (marrying), working, then death. I just simply can't see the meaning of anything I do. I pretty much embody the nihilist that Nietzsche warned against. I don't think objective morals exist and anything I do in life won't matter. In the end, I will be just as dead as anything else, and ultimately the universe will end leaving all traces of humanity in the dust. The unfairness, cruelty, and the indifference of the universe leads me to my existential angst.
Furthermore, I've had suicidal thoughts to deal with this. I didn't go as far as making elaborate plans for my suicide, though I do have a general idea of how I will die (which I won't go into). However, I feel like most of this thought is just a means of consolation that if something goes terribly wrong in my life, I always have a plan B. I don't think I've really been seriously close to killing myself. Like the quote goes, “The thought of suicide is a great consolation: by means of it one gets through many a dark night.” But ultimately, I see suicide as a preventative gamble against future sadness. I don't know if this thought process is normal or healthy, but I'd like to hear what others think about this.
It is as if my life is a game of never ending pac-man, where it doesn't matter how much I succeed in life, how many points I get. No matter what I do, the game will end sooner or later with the game over screen. Trying to get farther in the game is like trying to live longer in life, it is merely prolonging the inevitable, playing the same old pac-man game, going through the motions of the mundane daily cycle of work and sleep until you reach your death.
I'm sorry for the long post, this is my first time here and I just wanted to unload my thoughts.
reading you makes me feel like I'm reading someone close to me I know very well : the exact same words, thoughts, feelings and way of looking at life - as you doing overall fine in life and in studies but lacking a foundational meaning to stick to it all
yes - indeed - it's a nihilistic way - which is an interesting way to look at life but it carries with it this cold feeling of "being out there in the universe all by yourself" - it's cold out there in the cosmos and you're indeed basically on your own : so why not come back down to earth - here with us all - and let's keep each other warm
what keeps warm ? the sharing of : energy, presence, thoughts, feelings, being there, doing things, fomenting-projecting-imagining-idealizing - basically "getting over oneself" because isn't that what we're all striving to do one way or another ? to go above and beyond, to innovate and create, to stumble and try, to somehow globally be more of us - be more of life - be more in life ?
what for - could you argue : what's the point ? again - I would say : the sharing and while we're at it - why not share the good stuff - the love and friendship, solidarity and collaboration, looking for synergy in community
isn't that what all living beings in nature do ? don't they somehow somewhere look to create synergy and symbiosis - for the sole purpose of making life possible ? some will do it for themselves and play out the competition but sooner or later they will need somebody somewhere around the block to give a helping hand
then life : what's life ? if we look at the physical - indeed all that comes from dust returns to dust and from that point of view - why even bother to invest ?
but then there's space-time and we know that time is relative and space the unfolding effect around it or because of it - furthermore we know that an observed particle will react to the one observing : so everything seems to be intrinsically intricate and interconnected - therefor : how can we even consider to be all alone ?
so there we go then considering the universe to be one huge breath in contraction and expansion, inhale and exhale - manifesting diversity to no ends - but why ? why when at the core all is one and the same ?
maybe the purpose for all this life expanding in it's glorious paradoxes and endless contradictions - is to express the fundamental motive for all this : the sheer pleasure of being
pleasure brings us to feeling good and feelings of well-being produce happy emotions which translate into feeling love and friendly feelings in the heart with a happy mind and the natural spontaneous desire to share and make more of it : and so here we are back at square one
I know the system on which society strives - doesn't work this way that much : it seems more to be about an endless competition in being the first and the best and making "the American dream" of having and having more and more - real - to show our fellow citizens how well we cope under the pressure to make a collective dream come true
society seems to strive on stress : that is something totally different then being dynamic - stress relates to something to attain and obtain : it places the person outside of the game for the game's sake of winning - dynamism on the contrary is a potential - an energy source to be used from within - no wonder people at one point may feel they're not considered or nobody seems to take them into consideration because what counts is not them but the goal: then of course any genuine dynamism can end up by disappearing along with the associated motivation
we don't live for society : society is a group of people and people are individuals - society has been created basically for commercial/trade purposes and as a means to "contain" a population : hence the need for morals and ethics - morals and ethics are not the same : an ethic is a value someone adheres to for himself - in regard to how he sees himself and what self-esteem he develops thereon - morals are safeguards built on laws and regulations on what is considered to be good or bad for the collectivity so that the group as a collective may function if and when personal ethics are absent
maybe it's time for the world to rediscover the value of personal ethic so that we can built a new sense of togetherness not based on restrictions and punishments but on the reality of the usefulness in being in synergy and symbiosis for reasons if sustainability so that we can share more abundantly and happily
ultimately life is being - look around you when in nature : many animals don't do much more then basically being (apart from the basics needed for survival) and we think they're just being stupid - but we don't know what's going in in their hearts and souls and what wisdom the glean from just being - have you tried to just stay still for a moment and feel all that life going on around and inside you ? the wind, the birds, your breath, time endlessly unfolding in space and we here to witness it all ? just the witnessing is already a reason to live : to witness this immense variety coming from one source of universal aware presence - that you and I embody
well - I'll leave it at that for the time being : feel free to comment - I would be happy to hear from you and continue this discussion