Huge self-motivation problems... how do I get started?

23 replies
Hey guys. I'm a 21-year old Computer Science major, a senior in college with a 2.7 GPA, and I've spent the last 21 years of my life just floating around. I don't think I've ever tried at anything, except at relationships with other people. I'm failing two classes this semester because I can't be bothered to go to class, I've been working out for the past 4 years but haven't seen any improvements in 3 years because I haven't been working hard enough. I've never made more than B average since high school, even though I'm smart enough to easily make all A's.

I just have trouble with not caring. I'd LIKE to be in better shape, and I'd LIKE to make good grades, but at the end of the day, I just spend all my time escaping through video games or books or whatever I can find to distract me. I only accomplish things at the very last possible minute, sometimes not accomplishing them at all; when I do accomplish them, I do the bare minimum of what's required.

I've always wanted to do things, like write a book, create a video game, get the job I want, make a website, make songs, learn an instrument, etc, but I end up always just doing whatever is most entertaining immediately. I really want to get out of the slump; I'm constantly depressed by how empty my life is and how I totally waste my talents that everyone else would love to have.

How do I get started? How do I keep motivation? Every time I get a little uncomfortable I feel the need to stop what I'm doing and play a video game or watch a movie to recover. It's not hard to convince myself that spending even a small amount of time each day towards accomplishing my goals would be tremendously beneficial, I just can't muster up the self control to do it. It's almost like I start panicking the second I think of doing something I don't immediately want to do.

Have any of you struggled with this? What do I do?
Thanks in advance for any help.
#huge #problems #self-motivation #selfmotivation #started
  • Profile picture of the author AwesomePossum
    Alright so the truth is you have a problem and you're not going to get over this overnight BUT...

    I floated my whole life and it took me a year to get myself straight...I had a brawl with myself but I made it out. I'm not perfect but I'm here and I'm writing this post now

    So basically you're going to want to get better...and you do but it's hard to break the patterns so my first bit of advice to you is to start small....

    So you have two choices:

    1. IMing can start fulfilling your time so you can work on yourself while having an income...aka: Be free.

    2. You can start a morning ritual...right when you wake up you work out, meditate(The master key system), and eat a healthy breakfast...

    Either way is a healthy start. Just let me know what you're thinking about all of this....

    Oh...

    And start reading and going over self help books & do audios if you can't help playing games...this doesn't happen right away and it's going to be a fight and you're going to think there's something wrong with you but hey...I was there and I'm launching my first WSO this week.

    It's a monument for me but it's not like I'm a pro IMer now you know? I'm just going to keep going and working...

    Hope this helped some,

    Aaryn(AP)
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  • Profile picture of the author Radcliff
    A common problem.Most of the people face this when they do not study what they like.First decide what you want to be...then work in that area.Unless it is a waste of time to be involved in something we don't like.

    Don't take it seriously..just think it like another game. The main thing is your likeness to what you do.All the best.
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  • Profile picture of the author MikeLiving
    The only thing I can offer you is some personal experience. I want to be a filmmaker. Like I really want to be a filmmaker. I have a nice expensive camera, some lights, etc. All the equipment I need but I can't seem to lift my finger and go shoot something.

    Rewind 18 months ago and I decided that the reason I wasn't "making an independent film" was because I didn't have the money to do so. Enter the world of Internet Marketing...

    Honestly this (IM) was the first thing I've ever really slept, ate, and breathed. I was behind my computer for hours on end learning everything I could and implementing it at the same time. I started to see success, and guess what? My camera still sat there. It didn't matter that I now had the money for the indie film... my camera just sat there.

    Two things came to my mind.

    Was I really not meant to be a filmmaker since this (IM) comes to me, excites me etc?

    Or did I just not try hard enough with my more creative aspirations.

    Thankfully before I made the fateful decision to sell my camera I decided to take it out and just shoot... shoot anything. Fling mud at the wall if you will and amazingly something stuck. I got all of that creative energy coming back to me at a rapid rate and I remembered why I wanted to make movies for a living.

    Moral of the story?

    I succeeded at internet marketing because I spent hours and hours of time working on my marketing plans.

    I had never done that with my camera.

    It was then that I realized that if I really want to be a filmmaker or creative producer, anything, I'm going to need to get behind that camera for as many (if not more) hours that I did with the computer and internet marketing.

    It takes discipline and just sitting down (or standing) and doing what it is you want to get better at and succeed at. It's taken me five years and journey in the world of internet marketing to realize this...
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    • Profile picture of the author thedoctordavo
      Your "problem" is due to 1 thing in my opinion... Leverage.

      As you have stated there are many things you would like to do and there are things you should be doing to make those thing happen. "Likes" and "Shoulds" rarely get things done. If your going to go after something and truly know that you will succeed, you must "need" it, you must burn for it. So how do you change your mindset from "should" to "must"? Leverage.

      There are a few ways to go about gaining leverage on your perception of a given goal. I come from an NeuroLinguist Programing (NLP) background, so that will be the basis of the methods that I convey here.

      First you need to physically write down your goals. Once you have your list of goals, you need to do what any good marketer or sales person would to sell them. Explain the benefits. Youd like to make a website or get the job you want... okay... why? How will it benefit you? What are the effects it would have on your life?

      Once you have some goals and you have expressed the benefits of what they would really mean to your life its time to take a few minutes and live the dream. Picture yourself at a date in the future, I like to say 6 months or 1 year. Picture your life now that you have achieved these goals and now that you have their wonderful impact on your life. Go into detail, the more the better, if one of the benefits of a goal was more income, what are you doing with that income? Are you driving a new car? Living in a new home? Traveling? The more detail you put into your visualizations the better.

      Now Leverage is a 2 headed monster, and focusing on the positive or pleasurable elements of achieving a goal will rarely (in the beginning at least) provide you with the sufficient leverage to make drastic life changes. The second side of leverage is pain. Pain is what often gets over looked in motivation building, because its often very uncomfortable to even think about... but this is how you REALLY get leverage.

      Nest we are going to do some more visualizing as its the closest we can get to "being there" (in the future). This time your going to visualize yourself another year down the road, but you didn't go after your goals. Your still living the same life that your sick of. Your wishing that you would have only started making your life better a year ago and you'd be there now... but you didn't. Your still on the path to nowhere you want to be. How does it feel? Really let that awful depressing feeling hit you while you visualize.

      Now that your done with your visualizations, it is obvious what MUST be done. You can't afford to waste your life, it just sucks way to much and getting the things you want feels far to good. So decide, decide once and for all which life you choose.

      Once you have decided which of the 2 possible outcomes you want IMMEDIATELY take a step down the path. A small step mind you but do it right then. Research a keyword list, do some push-ups, write/re-write your resume depending on the goals you have set, but DO SOMETHING. Do not get up to pee, or for some water or food, do not pass go do not collect $200. Do 1 thing towards your goal before you do anything else after building your leverage.

      After you have done this I would suggest, breaking your goals down into a time line and setting small goals with very short deadlines (see Parkinson's Law for the elements behind this particular goal setting strategy). Goal setting could be its own forum let alone post so I won't go further into it then the couple of basic principals I already touched on.

      Anyway there you go, follow this and you shall have your motivation. No either go forth and do great things or don't. Either way you will have to live with the consequences. :-)
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  • Profile picture of the author pethanks
    Everyone of us has its own struggle. I know you have a different struggle but I know you can overcome it through prayers and trusting God.
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  • Profile picture of the author scortillion
    I was where you are long ago. The problem I had was I had the attitude that I didn’t care. I didn’t realize it until I started looking at what I was doing and started to try and figure out why I was where I was at in life.

    It’s is hard, no, impossible, to succeed at anything when you just don’t care about it. To want something or wish for something just isn’t enough. You NEED to make it a MUST.

    My change when I move from just lifting weights at home to joining a real gym and start reading about body building. I read Arnold Schwarzenegger’s biography, his book on body building, watched pumping iron, and many other body building books. I talked to those that looked like they knew what they were doing.

    I began to picture myself in shape and what it felt like. I made real good results and had 18 inch arms after 2 years. I didn’t do drugs, I stayed strictly natural.

    Years later when I was working a 7 day swing shift the full workouts became impossible so I developed a 15 minute workout that worked real well and helped me maintain 17+ inch arms.

    I’m now 50 and don’t go for the mass or strength, I go for the workout, the pump, the great feeling good.

    What it all comes down to is that YOU have to REALLY WANT it… not just wish it. No book, no person, nothing but YOU will make this happen.

    Decide what it is you want to do and get yourself inspired! Read about those that do what it is you want to do, watch movies and articles. Picture yourself doing it, feel yourself doing it, live it, become it.
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  • Profile picture of the author tandren544
    Look, everyone here is gonna give you a cookie cutter solution to your problem.

    Only you know what's wrong with your situation. Take some time and search inside yourself. Then reorganize: what do you want out of life that you aren't getting? What is it that gets you out of bed each day?

    I know a lot of people get into Computer Science because they like computers and it pays well. I'm a Computer Engineer by trade. But don't feel forced by outside expectations. Do what makes you happy in the end.

    I would recommend you go to the library and read A Man's Search For Meaning by Victor Frankl. Also, rather than filling up your day with busywork and video games, take some time to reflect each and every day. Then, when you feel something is wrong, it won't get bottled up, but you can work toward a solution right away.

    Hope this helps! I wish you all the best.
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  • Profile picture of the author HugoG
    There are just to types of motivation in this life:

    1. Positive.
    2. Negative.

    So, almost everybody is motivated in a negative way, when they have their backs against the wall. Like me for example.

    So, I am looking that you want to get in better shape. But that is not pulling the trigger inside you so. Your are motivated negatively,

    So I want you to imagine yourself not fitting in the jeans were you fitted last time, and try wearing them for a day, it helps a lot, even though sometimes its depressing you will definitely get triggered by it.

    Want to earn more money, go and spend your money the way you would like to spend it, and soon enough you will realize that you dont have more month at the end of the money than more money at the end of the month. This will definitely get you frustrated and pissed to start working more and making more money.

    If the examples above didnt work. Then step it up a notch until you find your sweet spot and gets you going.

    After that is just a matter of habit forming and momentum.
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  • Profile picture of the author Duy Nguyen
    I know your situation inside out. Why? Because I'm a senior student too (telecommunications is my major)

    I think you are lacking of the thing called "self-discipline".

    My advices to start something? I have 5 for you:

    - Whenever you want to start doing something, go for it as fast as possible, don't over think it, or else the "devil" in you will pull you back to the comfort zone (games, movies, go to sleep instead, etc)

    - Every artist was first an amateur. You have talents? Great! But that does not mean you can succeed at something "overnight". Start small, and go consistently, and you will be far more successful than you can imagine right now.

    - Work with only ONE thing at a time, don't try to excel at everything at a time or else you will soon hit the wall. Your efforts will pay off better once you stay focus.

    - You don't have to quit your hobbies (games, books, movies, etc), just see them as rewards you'll have permission to do after hours of hard work.

    - My best advice is JUST DO IT! I know people feel sick when they just think, or see this statement. But it's the best way to overcome your fear, and doubts. Just do something toward achieving what you want to achieve, and you will find yourself going on the right track.

    This is just my personal experience:

    I jumped in IM, and Affiliate marketing on October 2010, and I chose article marketing as my weapon. Do you know how hard it was when I had to sit down to write my articles? In English (I'm Vietnamese)? I don't know about others but when I was in an IELTS training course, my hand writing papers are full of red-marks (from my teacher whose comments are: misuse of words, clumsy expression, grammar error, etc)

    And it actually cost me 1 day to complete my first article after a month of procrastination LOL! But I did it, I got it done myself That why I told you just do something, it may sound daunting at first, but you will go faster, I guarantee!

    Wish you all the best!

    Duy.
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  • Profile picture of the author ThomScott
    Not to sound offensive in the least bit, but frankly, the "pain" is obviously just not great enough for you yet.

    That means either someone else is footing the bill and you have the luxury of coasting through life and still maintain a relatively comfortable existence. OR, you have your internal "thermostat" set entirely too low - meaning that you are willing to settle for a life of average or below average comfort and security.

    As humans, we are normally motivated by great inspiration or desperation. You obviously aren't yet the greatly inspired type. So, if you want to get motivated, either remove the safety net or decide that where you're at is not good enough for you.

    Just my opinion anyway.

    all the best,
    Thom
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    • Profile picture of the author DawnMarie
      Make a bargain with yourself - you want to play a video game? Do 15 minutes of what you should be doing first, then play your game. There's a good chance you won't want to stop once you get started because you'll notice a growing sense of achievement.

      Also, have someone hold you accountable. For example, tell your parents you've been cutting classes, and tell them you will send them an honest report every week as to how many you missed for the week. This can motivate you to go - because who wants to tell their parents they're snoozing when they should have been working?

      One last thing - you've got issues you need to get rid of (no worries, we ALL do). Google EFT for Emotional Freedom Technique - it's a life changer.

      Good luck! (And by the way, you make your own luck, too.)
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  • Profile picture of the author ada
    Originally Posted by awjustaguy View Post

    ...and I've spent the last 21 years of my life just floating around. I don't think I've ever tried at anything, except at relationships with other people. I'm failing two classes this semester because I can't be bothered to go to class, I've been working out for the past 4 years but haven't seen any improvements in 3 years because I haven't been working hard enough. I've never made more than B average since high school, even though I'm smart enough to easily make all A's.

    I just have trouble with not caring...I've always wanted to do things, like write a book, create a video game, get the job I want, make a website, make songs, learn an instrument, etc, but I end up always just doing whatever is most entertaining immediately. I really want to get out of the slump; I'm constantly depressed by how empty my life is and how I totally waste my talents that everyone else would love to have.

    How do I get started? How do I keep motivation? Every time I get a little uncomfortable I feel the need to stop what I'm doing and play a video game or watch a movie to recover. It's not hard to convince myself that spending even a small amount of time each day towards accomplishing my goals would be tremendously beneficial, I just can't muster up the self control to do it. It's almost like I start panicking the second I think of doing something I don't immediately want to do.

    Have any of you struggled with this? What do I do?
    Thanks in advance for any help.
    First, let me explain where I was so you have a little history on me. I am Bi-Polar, which is a mental disability that causes depression, mania, hallucinations (both visual and auditory), etc., etc. So, I know where you come from. You need to get out of the depression mode.

    The only way to do that is to find those things that do motivate you. Unfortunately, this could take some time. It took me 3 years to seek out my motivational cures. I am not one to tell you that you are in a depression, but it is possible.

    If you see yourself or if others tell you that you are lacking the will to do ordinary daily tasks, such as showering, then you have gone way to deep into depression and I would suggest professional help. Believe me when I tell you, it's easy to do, and hard to come out of. Some people may tell you to just "pull yourself up by your bootstraps" and this is the wrong thing to say. Because it is not that easy to do when you have a mental imbalance. That doesn't mean your crazy, it just means that you have a chemical imbalance inside your brain.

    If you start hurting for no reason or if you see yourself doing the symptom above, this is the sign to get help. I cannot stress this enough. GET HELP. It's the only way to overcome clinical depression.

    I wish you luck in your search and if you see those symptoms I mentioned before and you can't find help, then PM me immediately. I will do everything I can to help you.

    Your Friend,
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    • Profile picture of the author keep.livin
      Originally Posted by ada View Post

      First, let me explain where I was so you have a little history on me. I am Bi-Polar, which is a mental disability that causes depression, mania, hallucinations (both visual and auditory), etc., etc. So, I know where you come from. You need to get out of the depression mode.

      The only way to do that is to find those things that do motivate you. Unfortunately, this could take some time. It took me 3 years to seek out my motivational cures. I am not one to tell you that you are in a depression, but it is possible.

      If you see yourself or if others tell you that you are lacking the will to do ordinary daily tasks, such as showering, then you have gone way to deep into depression and I would suggest professional help. Believe me when I tell you, it's easy to do, and hard to come out of. Some people may tell you to just "pull yourself up by your bootstraps" and this is the wrong thing to say. Because it is not that easy to do when you have a mental imbalance. That doesn't mean your crazy, it just means that you have a chemical imbalance inside your brain.

      If you start hurting for no reason or if you see yourself doing the symptom above, this is the sign to get help. I cannot stress this enough. GET HELP. It's the only way to overcome clinical depression.

      I wish you luck in your search and if you see those symptoms I mentioned before and you can't find help, then PM me immediately. I will do everything I can to help you.

      Your Friend,
      i'm glad some one mentioned this before i did

      i am also bi polar, (signs of depression since around age 10, i'm 34 as of this writing) and just began proper treatment 2 years ago. finally found a med combo that helped 1 year ago. i always imagined it would be a gradual increase of "good" feelings when i was on the right meds. wrong, it was more like a switch being thrown over the course of 2 or 3 weeks.

      awjustaguy,
      this part
      "Every time I get a little uncomfortable I feel the need to stop what I'm doing and play a video game or watch a movie to recover.... almost like I start panicking
      leads me to believe there is some anxiety condition.

      like ada, i'm not one to tell you that you have a condition either, but this does not sound like a motivation problem. a lot of what i've seen on this thread is good advice for finding motivation, but can be dangerous if you have a true problem. please do not hesitate, go seek a professionals help. there should be some type of clinic that the psych dept or local hospital can refer you to. there is almost always some type of low/no cost help, its just hard to find them on your own sometimes.

      remember, its better to get checked now than think its something you can handle yourself, and find out you were wrong. cause it could make you dead wrong
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  • Profile picture of the author DanteIlluai
    There isn't as much of a secret as you might think. Just from the beginning get used to always taking some action. Even if you aren't sure of it. Don't get too caught up on deliberation.

    One key thing to keep in mind, though, is that it is worthwhile to learn from someone who knows what they are talking about. Just be sure to avoid scam artists.

    If you are looking to get into affiliate marketing I recommend the online affiliate income program at simpleology.com. make your account and then look on the right hand side to see it.

    It costs $97 but has everything to get you started. It gives a lot more information than many courses that cost 3x as much. It also gives something that most don't. A clear path to follow.
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  • Profile picture of the author Caleb D Miller
    awjustaguy if you really want change and motivation... start to really focus and think about what you don't like about your life. If you were fat, you would step on the scale, see the numbers, and notice the flab on your butt. If you are in debt, look at the statements, if you smoke, get your lungs checked.

    You have to get honest with yourself about what you don't like in your life.

    Then you have to think about what you want for your life. What sort of life do you believe you are supposed to live? What are you good at? How could you help people?

    So this exercise is not meant to depress you, but to motivate you from your problem (which you must feel in your gut), to what you believe you are supposed to be doing with your life.

    You can't compare yourself with others. What matters is what you believe about yourself. Change your expectations of yourself.
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  • Profile picture of the author Simon H
    Originally Posted by awjustaguy View Post

    Hey guys. I'm a 21-year old Computer Science major, a senior in college with a 2.7 GPA, and I've spent the last 21 years of my life just floating around. I don't think I've ever tried at anything, except at relationships with other people. I'm failing two classes this semester because I can't be bothered to go to class, I've been working out for the past 4 years but haven't seen any improvements in 3 years because I haven't been working hard enough. I've never made more than B average since high school, even though I'm smart enough to easily make all A's.

    I just have trouble with not caring. I'd LIKE to be in better shape, and I'd LIKE to make good grades, but at the end of the day, I just spend all my time escaping through video games or books or whatever I can find to distract me. I only accomplish things at the very last possible minute, sometimes not accomplishing them at all; when I do accomplish them, I do the bare minimum of what's required.

    I've always wanted to do things, like write a book, create a video game, get the job I want, make a website, make songs, learn an instrument, etc, but I end up always just doing whatever is most entertaining immediately. I really want to get out of the slump; I'm constantly depressed by how empty my life is and how I totally waste my talents that everyone else would love to have.

    How do I get started? How do I keep motivation? Every time I get a little uncomfortable I feel the need to stop what I'm doing and play a video game or watch a movie to recover. It's not hard to convince myself that spending even a small amount of time each day towards accomplishing my goals would be tremendously beneficial, I just can't muster up the self control to do it. It's almost like I start panicking the second I think of doing something I don't immediately want to do.

    Have any of you struggled with this? What do I do?
    Thanks in advance for any help.
    Start by going to the gym. Build momentum, and confidence. Working out naturally releases endophins which will make you feel better- its almost addictive.

    Take 1 step at a time and write down your goals. Look at them daily and cross them off as you complete them- get in the habit of doing productive things.

    Sounds like you just need the momentum.
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  • Profile picture of the author txconx
    Seriously, I suggest you find a therapist and spend some time working on the issues that are holding you back.
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  • Profile picture of the author Joshua Horton
    This is a Self Image issue.
    I would suggest taking a look at Dr. Maxwell Maltz and Dan Kennedy's "The New Psycho Cybernetics".
    I was in a very similar place as you, and implementing the information in that course has completely changed my life.
    Today I am excited and motivated every day, sometimes after a bit of internal work and self coaching, to go attack my to-do list and accomplish my goals.

    Don't bother buying the course unless you're committed to taking action on it. It won't do you any good unless you apply the knowledge there. If you do it is very powerful!
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    • Profile picture of the author cynthea
      Originally Posted by Joshua Horton View Post

      This is a Self Image issue.
      I would suggest taking a look at Dr. Maxwell Maltz and Dan Kennedy's "The New Psycho Cybernetics".
      I was in a very similar place as you, and implementing the information in that course has completely changed my life.
      Today I am excited and motivated every day, sometimes after a bit of internal work and self coaching, to go attack my to-do list and accomplish my goals.

      Don't bother buying the course unless you're committed to taking action on it. It won't do you any good unless you apply the knowledge there. If you do it is very powerful!
      I am currently working w/ the CDs/audio version of the New Psycho Cybernetics and am so appreciative of how this course is changing how I view myself and my place in the world. I've always been a very creative type and loved working w/ ideas, but was too much of a free spirit to set goals and really apply myself. With the New Psycho-cybernetics, I'm finding that I can apply my creative imagination to goal-setting and it is a Whole New Ballgame! I am so inspired and loving the new discipline I'm finally realizing... and I don't have to sacrifice my creativity.

      OP, I hope you can hang in there and find the right resource to help you get on a really strong and inspired path.
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  • Profile picture of the author IMoptimizer
    I agree with working out when you wake up. I usually do it myself as it's the best time of day to do so.

    I'd also recommend scheduling your time better. If you like playing video games, make sure to schedule it for an hour or two near the end of the day, but make sure you've finished everything else on your schedule first, otherwise no video games. That's just one way of helping you out.
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  • Profile picture of the author Max Stryker
    hey man, had sort of the same problem back a few time ago.
    this is your problem:
    You are way too creative and you need to express and channel that creativity some way. And, I can see there's a problem, cause everything you do / read /see is associated and processed in a creative way, so you'll never be fully satisfied until you actually create things yourself.

    My advice, try to go to classes and study and at the end try to use that recently acquired knowledge in some creative way.

    If that's not enough, just see life as a game, cause in the end that's all it is. You're a player, life's a game and you have to make the most out it.

    BUT, you have to set goals, you have to give your life purpose. Set goals, chase them and achieve them no matter what.

    Add me on Skype (maxstryker91) so we can chat a bit more, i think i can help you out.
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    • Profile picture of the author cynthea
      Originally Posted by Max Stryker View Post

      hey man, had sort of the same problem back a few time ago.
      this is your problem:
      You are way too creative and you need to express and channel that creativity some way. And, I can see there's a problem, cause everything you do / read /see is associated and processed in a creative way, so you'll never be fully satisfied until you actually create things yourself.

      My advice, try to go to classes and study and at the end try to use that recently acquired knowledge in some creative way.

      If that's not enough, just see life as a game, cause in the end that's all it is. You're a player, life's a game and you have to make the most out it.

      BUT, you have to set goals, you have to give your life purpose. Set goals, chase them and achieve them no matter what.
      Max, nice advice !!
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