Some people are driven by positive reinforcement, motivated by the goal they work for. I am mostly motivated by pain - by anger at the current reality, by rage against being left out and looked down on, by vowing “never again” on shameful mistakes and missed opportunities.
When most people feel they are not good enough, they need to hear “you’re great the way you are”.
I need to hear “then be F-ing better”.
Imagine you’re running on a track, and there’s someone just behind you with a sharp stick, poking you occasionally to run faster. Clearly, this is effective - probably more than a squad of cheerleaders on the sideline - but painful.
This is how I live most days - channeling the bottomless pit of despair into getting shit done.
But sometimes the pain is too great. Sometimes the prodder is stabbing me too hard, and I am too weak to run so fast. I get impaled.
Yesterday I lay on the track, bleeding, with a sharp stick through my heart.
Today I’m running again.
And tomorrow? Who knows. Maybe I’ll get somewhere I can catch my breath.
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