How to stay interested in something for a longer period?

 Dreamer (@heartbeat)6 years, 10 months ago

How come if i think i want to do something, then i do it, and then i don’t like doing it? What am i expecting from it? How come something in your mind seems so much better than in real life? If it actually happens it is not what you imagined it would be like. Then i dont feel interested anymore, how come? How can i change this and stay interested in the reality instead of the imagination, or how do i stay rose colored? is it wrong to stay rose colored?

May 17, 2013 at 3:37 am
Demiself (2) (@Dimitrij) 6 years, 10 months ago ago

It depends on what you want to stay interested in.
If you want to pursiut skillbased activities, then there will be periods where you are going lose interest in it. This is because you have to get better at stuff and getting better is usually hard instead of interesting. The key is to stay strong and focused. Because as soon as you find yourself improving at whatever it is you are doing, it will be the most intense and happy feeling you’ll ever have and chances are high, you’ll find interest and reason again. Following this concept, the process of getting better, of doing all this hard work will be interesting itself and make your life worth living.

If it is not the process you are intressted in but the result, you’ll need to understand, that most of the time it’s not the result you desire, its the process itself, that makes you happy.

These are my experiences and can’t garantee you of course, that these is the universal truth, but I hope this helps at least a little.

Remember: Enjoy the procces! Do not seek the result.

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Helena (8) (@dream7er) 6 years, 10 months ago ago

@heartbeat: I know that feeling all too well! Sometimes I just fel an overwhelming urge to create something and then I need to find a way to put that creative energy to good use. Most of the time it doesn’t work out the way I thought it would, but I have to agree with @dimitrij here: You can’t let that stop you.
I’ve been writing stories for all my life. I’ve had the most amazing ideas and the always started off great when I started to write them down, but after a while I always got stuck, didn’t like them anymore or had a better idea. I must have started hundreds of stories and not finished one. However about six months ago I had an idea that was simply too good to end up like all the others. I decided that this time I would approach it differently, and I did: Instead of just letting everything I had in mind flow right onto the pages I started planning out everything in detail: My characters and their backgrounds, the setting, the timeline, every question that could possibly arise within the writing process.
I have now written ten chapters and I can tell you, there were times I just wanted to throw it all away and start over. Creating something beautiful is in equal parts inspiration and hard work. Working on my story gives me a kind of satisfaction even though it’s not finished yet, but sometimes when I just want to let out some of my creative energy I try to distract myself by doing something completely different. Sometimes I draw, even through I’m not particularly good at it, I create collages, play guitar, or make little trailers for my book by cutting videos from youtube and adding music.
The truth is that there is no way for you or me to simply push a button and make all the amazing ideas in our head become reality, doing that takes time and effort and can sometimes be exhausting, but in the end it’s always worth it.

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Sandy (115) (@sandman) 6 years, 10 months ago ago

@heartbeat, If you rely solely on moment-to-moment motivation to keep you interested, you’ll flit from one thing to the next. (Watch any parent getting their kid to practice music.) That’s why there are structured and scheduled lessons to learn things, and a whole system of rewards, from gold stars to grades, to keep kids motivated. Also diet plans that actually work involve meetings with other people, tracking, and scheduling. You’re not the only one who can’t stick with something, even something you think you’ll like. Look at gym attendance: a million people on Jan 2 after their New Year’s resolution. A month later: back to normal.

If you’re interested in something, try to do it in a structured way: join a club or a class that meets once a week, get to know the other people, and put it on your schedule. Make a commitment to a project that involves someone giving you a deadline: that will force you to learn something, solve problems, and deliver. You learn by doing, and the more you are involved in something, the more you deepen your appreciation for it (rather than just being attracted to the surface gloss, the impulse buy.)

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Ellie (1,363)M (@tangledupinplaid21) 6 years, 10 months ago ago

@heartbeat, find a way to stay inspired! then it won’t even feel like work.

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tkirk (15) (@tkirk513) 6 years, 10 months ago ago

What I find that helps me with parkour/freerunning is that whenever I think of doing it or if I watch a video about it, immediately after that I’ll get up and do it. If you think too much, it won’t be fun and it’ll become a chore, but if you just go do it because you had the urge to then it’s easy to form that habit.

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Dreamer (25) (@heartbeat) 6 years, 10 months ago ago

@tangledupinplaid21, yeah that is what i mean, HOW do you stay inspired???

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tkirk (15) (@tkirk513) 6 years, 10 months ago ago

@heartbeat, You love what you do and you don’t force yourself to do things.

There’s a difference between “pushing through” and “forcefulness”.

Example:
if you want to start the habit of running everyday, you start your run and it goes great and near the end you want to stop but that’s just your body saying so and then you push through.

The next day, you put off your running and then it gets later in the evening and you say to yourself “Oh sh1t! I have to run! Ugh!”. That’s a very negative thing. The day before, you had fun running and really enjoyed it, but now you feel like you “HAVE” to commit and by forcing yourself to it’s no longer fun.

A great way to get past forcing yourself is just do it when the urge arises. I find with working out, the longer I put it off in the day, the less I want to do it and the more likely I’ll be to just not work out because of lost motivation. So whenever your motivation is up, jump in!

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Andrea (21) (@yourefunny) 6 years, 10 months ago ago

@tkirk513, The example you used of someone deciding that they want to start running everyday is interesting. Sometimes some forceful behavior can lead to some very positive mental and physical results. I often find myself not wanting to start a task, but as soon as I get up and I’m doing it, I instantly feel better about myself.

A lot of times laziness and complacency with boredom will lead to an overall dissatisfaction with ourselves.

@heartbeat, I sense that you are thinking of something in particular when you ask this question. New things and tasks that we look forward to always have a magical attribute of novelty. Once we get used to something, and incorporate it into what is normal for us, it loses that magic and can become uninteresting.

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Obfuscate (126) (@HowardHolmes) 6 years, 10 months ago ago

@heartbeat, Possibly it was that the thing was done with intent (intent to be interested).

A good traveler has no fixed plans
and is not intent upon arriving. Chapter 27

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Anonymous (512) (@) 6 years, 10 months ago ago

This is one of the best damn posts on the entire site. Thank you all so much for your wonderfully insightful responses.

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tkirk (15) (@tkirk513) 6 years, 10 months ago ago

@yourefunny, I did not intend to imply that nothing should be forced. Discipline is a wonderful thing. Day Dreaming & Discipline can get you very far in creating new habits. If you think about yourself doing the habit, you are more likely to go through with living in alignment with that habit. Pretty much the same thing as visualization, which is also a great thing but I believe it’s on a much larger scale than daydreaming.

I completely agree with what you said about not wanting to start something, but when you do you immediately feel better. I’ve noticed that in myself too.

However, I think that mindset is more applicable to physical activities. But say you’re doing something like eating healthier and more. For example, I have been trying to put on muscle-mass lately, as I’m slightly underweight, and I’ve had trouble with getting all of my calories in with healthy foods. I can try and try and try, but I really REALLY don’t want to eat all that much food, although it’s crucial to my success. So I have to have more discipline which can be less fun. However, instead of thinking about it in a negative way like “Gosh darnit! I have to eat this healthy food that I don’t like! Ugh why am I doing this to myself”, when even a slight urge arises and I act on it then my mind is thinking much more like “Hmm, a banana? Yeah, they’re okay. Why not?”. Once you’ve capitalized on that first urge, more will pop up soon, and if you combine that urge with a little discipline here and there, you can become a master of anything.

I applied this whole “urge/discipline” thing (name pending) to my percussion practice this last year. I have improved more in one year than I have in my previous 9 years combine. I rose from 3rd chair of our 2nd Band to 2nd chair of our 1st band. And now since I’ve fallen in love with the idea of music (through gentle nudging and playing to my heart’s content whenever I get the urge too), I’ve been adding more discipline to my schedule. I’ve already developed a habit of playing at least 45-60 minutes a day, and now with a little more discipline I’ve been transitioning those “playing” times into more structured and goal oriented “rehearsals”. Needless to say in the last month, I’ve made more progress than I have in the last few.

Love what you do.

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DaFunks (366)M (@Dafunks) 6 years, 10 months ago ago

Normally the “wanting something” is what drives us. I am the same… I get something and then move on and find something else. This is my problem with women….

I think it must be something we have from our evolution. I read about why Women LOVE shopping. It comes from the gathering instinct. They also say it is why they love shoes and bags…

The trick is to just try to be content with what you already have. That is how to be happy.

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Obfuscate (126) (@HowardHolmes) 6 years, 10 months ago ago

@dafunks, “The trick is to just try to be content with what you already have. That is how to be happy.” So if I get what you are saying, the trick of being happy to to try to be happy. Do you write your own material? Before we try to be happy why don’t we try to explain what it is so we can determine if we want it or already have it? What would it take to let you know that you were happy? By what criteria do we judge that we have it?

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DaFunks (366)M (@Dafunks) 6 years, 10 months ago ago

I never said that. I said be content. To be content you are just happy with what you have. You do not need more. Maybe the fact you do not understand that is the issue.

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Obfuscate (126) (@HowardHolmes) 6 years, 10 months ago ago

@dafunks, Just a definitional issue from my end. I still did not hear from you on what happiness is unless your claim is that it is contentment (in which case my original claim was correct). To be content is to be content. What is the relationship between that and happiness? What is happiness? And why should we want it?

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DaFunks (366)M (@Dafunks) 6 years, 10 months ago ago

If you are content with life you do not want for things. Most people are unhappy because life does not fullfill their needs. People want a better car, house, partner, or body. If you are content with what you have you are in a good place This is why the most contented people I know have hardly anything.

I sometimes think I would not like to be happy. If I am happy I have something to lose.

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Dreamer (25) (@heartbeat) 6 years, 10 months ago ago

@howardholmes, hm, you mean i was too focused on staying interested that i lost my interest lol?

so how do you loose interest in something? and can it come back, like when you don’t do it for a while then you are suddenly interested in it again..

or does interest only happen when:
-something is novel, curiosity
-something gives adrenalin
-something has meaning
-something leads to feeling happy and content

and how come if you want to develop a skill then you have to stick with it even though you are not interested in it, or is there something that is fun all the time and you still develop a skill after a time?

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Dreamer (25) (@heartbeat) 6 years, 10 months ago ago

@yourefunny, yeah i try a lot of new things and old things i started, like i play music instruments, but then suddenly i don’t feel like doing it anymore, i dont know if it is because i feel depressed or bored or uninterested. and then again after a while i get interested again.

Another example is art, i love art, but when i make something it sometimes takes so much energy and then i don’t like it anymore, and then i question myself why am i doing this. but on another moment i start to want to make something again.

When i sport, i finally get a result of feeling more healthy, then i am done with it, i don’t feel like doing it anymore, even though i know it worked, but it depends on the kind of sport and my mood. It is just i loved the idea, then i do it, it works, and what now kinda thing:S..as if i’m not satisfied, should i do it longer, force myself or put more effort in it, even though i don’t really like it anymore?

So it is i try to find meaning behind things, what is it that i want and why? does that make sense?

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Obfuscate (126) (@HowardHolmes) 6 years, 10 months ago ago

@heartbeat, I mean that the purpose of doing something needs to be other than trying to find something that is interesting. You eat food, not to interest yourself, but because you are hungry (for food). I mop the floor because the floor is dirty. Floors are dirty and food is food, but neither is interesting. If I read a book, it is to experience what is in the book, it is not to find interest. If I sit on the front porch, it is to sit on the front porch. BTW, sitting on the front porch is as interesting a thing that can be done as is anything.

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Anonymous (512) (@) 6 years, 10 months ago ago

@dafunks, Anything at stake is a gift.

Remember that.

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Obfuscate (126) (@HowardHolmes) 6 years, 10 months ago ago

@dafunks, “Most people are unhappy because life does not fullfill their needs.”

This cannot be true because life fulfills all needs. There must be another reason for unhappiness (if there is such a thing as unhappiness…which I doubt).

“I sometimes think I would not like to be happy. If I am happy I have something to lose”

Very good point which speaks to my point that happiness/unhappiness is merely an illusion we identify with….we never identify with anything real, because identities are real either.

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Voltaire (0) (@omarthegreat) 6 years, 10 months ago ago

@dream7er, my main problem is that the country which am living in is full of negative energy! ,got no creativity centers for teenagers or something n that for sure brings you and all your ideas down to nothing !

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Don’t rely on instant gratification (aka willpower).

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TheSkaFish (962)M (@theskafish) 6 years, 10 months ago ago

@heartbeat, everything is hard at first. For a while it will look as if you just suck at whatever it is you’re trying to do. That’s not necessarily true per se – you just don’t have the experience yet to do whatever it is you’re trying to do well.

However, if you quit, you can give yourself the instant gratification of being right – you can tell yourself “told ya so.” This is why so few people stick things out and keep going.

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DaFunks (366)M (@Dafunks) 6 years, 10 months ago ago

@howardholmes, well this conversation is useless. If you believe that then I have nothing to add.

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