Anything is possible when you are young. Then you get older and the thing about getting older is that you don’t need everything to be possible anymore, you just need some things to be certain.

For some reason, this line from Brick Lane (movie) stayed with me. Age might be a number, but we are alive for a finite time frame, and therefore it has its own significance. I think, more than age itself, it is to do with motivation. There does seem to be some relationship between age and motivation levels. Of course that’s quite a generic and simplistic statement, since there are many subjective factors that play important roles.

At different stages we’ve different short term purposes. What these then also manage to give are specific motivations. From getting good grades to the bigger car to the fancy vacation and everything in between. Sometimes they serve as motivation and sometimes as means to the motivation. To reach somewhere or to remain somewhere. Sometimes we run the world’s race, sometimes we run our own.  In both cases, there is a certain amount of hard work that goes into the race. We can bring luck into this context, but I wouldn’t still like to trivialise the effect of one’s efforts. Like I wrote a while back, in the context of my friend R, it is difficult to grudge a person his success when you realise the toil that has gone into it. I read this excellent speech delivered by Yahoo co-founder Jerry Yang delivered about a year back, which dwells on efforts and doing what you love.

But I’ve also seen that sometimes the efforts are made and the results don’t show. Maybe it has to do with the direction or the efforts themselves or maybe its to do with perseverance. What does one, them motivate the self with? I’ve also noticed, from experience,  that when one resets one’s ‘race’, and tries to figure out a purpose outside the parameters of routine and conditioning, motivation is quite a tough job.  A bit like trying to find an answer to a question you don’t clearly know. Motivation is after all, dependent on the purpose. Thankfully, there’s something else that Hugh MacLeod has captured beautifully.

unfulfilled potential

The mind can will itself to be free of others’ expectations, but can it hold its own against the ego, which has expectations of the self. The fear – if that goes, what motivation exists? Except for the need ‘for some things to be certain.’ And that somehow is existing, and not living?

until next time, track shuffle?