Nerian

Not feeling like doing anything? Uninterested in life?

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Can anyone help point me in the right direction to gain back my desire to do, well, anything. The thought of exerting effort often brings me down; it's weird. My motive power, so to speak, is gone. I seem to act only to alleviate discomfort and do so begrudgingly. WIth the sole exception of lifting weights twice a week which I do without feeling any resistance mentally because I want to do it.

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Can anyone help point me in the right direction to gain back my desire to do, well, anything. The thought of exerting effort often brings me down; it's weird. My motive power, so to speak, is gone. I seem to act only to alleviate discomfort and do so begrudgingly. WIth the sole exception of lifting weights twice a week which I do without feeling any resistance mentally because I want to do it.

How old are you?

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Off so little data I can only suggest reading and using Nathaniel Branden's The Six Pillars of Self Esteem and taking up karate. In karate pretend you are angry and you are punching what makes you angry. Why? You likely are terribly angry, but it's so repressed it's been transmogrified into depression so you are completely oblivious to it. Also--people who are depressed see themselves as victims and as victims they are helpless to do anything about it except to be pissed off and depressed from the oppression. (I'm throwing a lot of stuff at the wall. I don't know what will stick.)

--Brant

you sound young and too much Objectivism all at once

you may be most comfortable in your discomfort hence your "begrudingly"

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I have what will seem like an odd piece of advice: read Tom Wolfe's A Man in Full.

This marginally well writtin book--with it's annoying diversions--will introduce you to the Stoic philosopher Epictetus, and learning about this wonderful man will give your life more meaning. You may even find yourself motivated to get off the couch and start kicking some ass--both literally and figuratively.

And, I agree with Brant: take up karate. I have done karate for 6 years now and it does make a difference, for the reasons Brant aptly explains. If karate seems to have too much woo-woo and you don't like wearing a uniform, take up Krav Maga instead. It's the same thing without the bells and whistles.

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Can anyone help point me in the right direction to gain back my desire to do, well, anything. The thought of exerting effort often brings me down; it's weird. My motive power, so to speak, is gone. I seem to act only to alleviate discomfort and do so begrudgingly. WIth the sole exception of lifting weights twice a week which I do without feeling any resistance mentally because I want to do it.

Do something physical and challenging.

Complete a ten mile hike, or do some rock climbing.

Ba'al Chatzaf

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Bob, put a hold on that rock climbing. He might solve his problem by falling off and landing on his head. That doesn't mean it's wise to go there. I suggested karate, for instance, not that Peter go out and start fighting bullies.

--Brant

keeping the lid on the pot

(Peter: do you have a dog? A dog is programmed to enjoy life and will drag you along kicking and screaming)

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Bob, put a hold on that rock climbing. He might solve his problem by falling off and landing on his head. That doesn't mean it's wise to go there. I suggested karate, for instance, not that Peter go out and start fighting bullies.

--Brant

keeping the lid on the pot

OK. Something safer. A ten mile hike through the woods. A ten mile bike ride along a not heavily travelled road.

Physical is the key. It gets the attention applied to a task that will not put the intellect into a loop.

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Peter (Nerian),

It sounds to me like you've lost faith in your core storyline.

That happens when you believe in a fundamental story and can't let it go--you don't want to let it go because you believe body and soul that it is right--but you keep seeing evidence that life ain't that way. That is extremely painful on a spiritual level. So rather than face the issue square on, your subconscious shuts down emotions. And without emotions, you have no drive, no desire other than to just get by.

I know this feeling first-hand. I have experienced about as close to existential apathy as you can get without committing suicide. That was in my drug days.

Here's what brought my desire back, and it was a long hard slog after that. But it worked.

I didn't call this a core storyline back then, but I knew mine was not working. There was nowhere for me to go in life other than keep repeating the same old crap day after day, even if I got a lot of money, a lot of women, a lot of prestige, a lot of whatever. And that was boring. With nowhere to go, nothing seemed worth doing.

I had to come up with a way to make a new story for myself or just muddle through until my time came.

I decided to give it a shot, so I got rid of everything I held sacred (including Objectivism) and started all over from the ground up. I couldn't get what was in my mind out, of course, but I could admit that maybe my belief in it was off. So I needed to look at everything again with fresh eyes. And this meant I needed a new standard.

In my previous storyline, I was one of the good guys in the Objectivist march to save the world. Rand had an extremely powerful influence on me. I had other fundamental values too, including music.

I decided to set all that aside and just be me all by my lonesome for a bit as see what that looked like.

So I relaxed and let my mind drift on the basic basics. My life. Why I was born. My future death. My existence. The existence of everything. All that.

And I came to some conclusions. I would die one day. So I was not eternal--or maybe I was, but I had no way of knowing that with the certainty observation brings. In fact, on mulling it over, there was a lot of stuff I didn't know. Then I looked around at the universe extending outward to billions of galaxies and inward to weird subparticles. I decided the universe was a big honking place and I would never know everything about it. I was limited in my ability to learn this by my very nature and the nature of the universe itself. That's nothing I can choose. That's just the way it is.

As weird as it sounds, by concluding that, I suddenly felt good on a deep level for the first time in a long time. I could know that with 100% certainty about myself.

I recently heard a magnificent Christian preacher (Ravi Zacharias) say that man hungers for knowing four things: origin, meaning, morality and destiny. I think he's right. In his world view, the Christian core storyline, he found his answers. They are not mine, but his core questions, the core hungers, are universal to all people. (btw - He really is a magnificent speaker and thinker. I say that even as I disagree with him on metaphysical fundamentals.)

By accepting my limitations as a human being and knowing I did not have the existential capacity to know certain things like the origin of the universe, I was able to become the author of my own story and know for sure I was not being arbitrary. I could not write the big picture story, as a human being I could not even know it because I had no way to observe it, but I could write my own story within what I could see around me.

I can't control everything, but I can control this little bit over here. And it's me controlling it if I want to. Me 100%.

I don't know if that makes sense to you, but when I realized that, suddenly a trickle of desire started in my soul.

Also, I didn't know what I wanted anymore, but I did know what I didn't want. So I decided to start there--by getting away from all the things that had been hurting me. That was harder than I thought, but I ended up doing it.

As I started, I set a plotline for my new core story without even realizing it was a plotline. I wanted to go through 4 phases:

1. Get away from what was hurting me.

2. Then get my financial life in order.

3. Then get my health in order.

4. Then spend the rest of my life creating my works (this was music at that time, but now includes literature).

This plotline changed over time because Kat came into my life, also, the phases overlapped like crazy, some new things came in, some others became less important than before, but my desire to do things returned just by me coming up with my own plotline.

I didn't get this plotline from anywhere. I did it on my own and I based it on what I was feeling and thinking about my life up to that point. I decided I would no longer follow a dream--no matter how attractive it was--if I did not build it from the bottom up by my own thinking. Right or wrong, it was my thinking. My life. My thinking.

Ayn Rand said something was good? OK. She was probably right, but let me look and think this through. Maybe she wasn't. I'll figure it out and live with my conclusions. Religion was evil? Maybe. Maybe not. Let me look and think this through. Did I like to get high from drugs? Yes and no. Let me look and see what was happening--all of it.

This is a real long story, lots of ups and downs, but that was my start. I highly recommend it if you are at where I was. And I don't mean using drugs. That part was incidental. In your case, it could be something as ordinary as following the dream your parents want for you instead of what you want to do. Or being popular in a group of peers you no longer like that much.

So I mean the apathy. The result, not the cause.

I say throw out the story you are living and write a new one. Start at the beginning and take it slow. Think through everything. And do what you gotta do once you have decided on a path. Or even a babystep. Think about it and take it or discard it and move on to another, don't just think about it.

Will you get a lot wrong if you do that? Sure, but at least you will be feeling something. You will get a lot right, too. After I started cleaning up my life with my new storyline, I remember thinking at one point how much I hurt, but feeling good about it. If I hurt, I was alive goddammit. I looked forward to getting rid of the hurt.

In the end, good or bad, if these comments are relevant to you and you do this, if you write a new core story for yourself, you will know you did it. Nobody else. No approval or disapproval from anybody. You and you alone. Nothing I have ever experienced equals the feeling of certainty and correctness I got from doing it all first-hand. Even the changes in the new story as I went along brought me certainty and great vibes.

btw - The approval that came from others later (and does it come) was sweet like the hot fudge on a sundae. I could take it or leave it and still have a sundae, but boy was it sweet.

I hope these thoughts give you something to think about. If not, that's all I've got for advice.

Good luck and keep us posted about what happens.

I, for one, care.

Michael

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"Two old women"

Read something about struggle, and survival.

I'm a foster kid too, stories, poetry and hard exercise. Go hiking in some hills for a couple hours a day. Push the pace. Stay away from people until you find yourself. You don't really need anyone. You can go a year on a smile, a touch. Don't eat crap food. Your role models can be Eagles, Cougars. Read "Hook" by Walter Van Tilburg Clark. Kingbird by EE Cummings:

for any ruffian of the sky
your kingbird doesn’t give a damn-
his royal warcry is I AM
and he’s the soul of chivalry

in terror of whose furious beak
(as sweetly singing creatures know)
cringes the hugest heartless hawk
and veers the vast most crafty crow

your kingbird doesn’t give a damn
for murderers of high estate
whose mongrel creed is Might Makes Right
-his royal warcry is I AM

true to his mate his chicks his friends
he loves because he cannot fear
(you see it in the way he stand
and looks and leaps upon the air)

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"Self Pity" a poem by D. H. Lawrence, speaks powerfully to a person who can hear.

I never saw a wild thing
sorry for itself.
A small bird will drop frozen dead from a bough
without ever having felt sorry for itself.

A...

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It's good to see you here again, Peter. Having experienced chronic depression, I can relate. You've received a lot of good advice already, so I'll just add that you might consider therapy. In addition to physical activity, changing your environment/circumstances, and working towards goals, therapy can be a valuable part of your well-being when depressed.

In the meantime, can you identify things that once brought you joy but no longer do? How might you enjoy them again? Or replace them with other activities that are more suited to where you are in life now?

I recall you were having some difficulties with your girlfriend. If that situation is still ongoing, then you already know one painful element of your life over which you have control.

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Can anyone help point me in the right direction to gain back my desire to do, well, anything. The thought of exerting effort often brings me down; it's weird. My motive power, so to speak, is gone. I seem to act only to alleviate discomfort and do so begrudgingly. WIth the sole exception of lifting weights twice a week which I do without feeling any resistance mentally because I want to do it.

I don't think anyone here can help to the degree an in-person conversation can. I would point you to a person with whom you could have a face-to-face. I'd suggest you identify someone in your life to talk frankly about your mood and loss of motive power. If you have no desire to do anything, and this is a state you do not want to continue, and you are asking for help on OL, I would say you are half-way to recovering what you have lost. It is not easy to ask for help, even if anonymously. But it is an essential step on the road of feeling better.

We none of us know enough about you to be able to pick out a person or persons for you to share your discomfort and distress. And you haven't given details of the current mood enough for any of us laymen to offer you a proper psychological 'diagnosis.' Besides that, nobody here has the professional chops for that.

But, this layman thinks that you are having a bout of depression, and that you need to talk to someone who knows about depression. I also think you need to talk to someone who is bound to keep your confidences -- like a psychologist or physician or nurse practitioner or counselor ...

Of course, you can do this while also applying yourself to the books, poems, story-rebuilding, and physical and mental exertions suggested by the other worthy laymen.

If you are having a serious depression, you may or may not recover in a given span of time. The state might revert, or might persist, become chronic and even more acute. In which case, having a discussion with a professional will help you 'diagnose' yourself in particulars, given your history, your cognitive habits, your environment, your stressors, family history, etc. You will then be better informed to 'prescribe' for yourself a plan -- whatever you rationally decide can get you out of the emotional and motivational slump. The more understanding you gain of the 'black dog' of depression, the better actions you can take, I think.

Of the other useful and ennobling advice given so far, exercise is paramount. You are already in the gym, giving yourself the feedback endorphins that exercise enables. The suggestions for different forms of exercise you can filter through your druthers. You are lucky that you enjoy the exercise of weight-lifting ...

I'll also add a couple of links. One is to a nice middle-of-the-road interactive symptom checklist -- this allows you to answer your own questions, even if only to discard the notion that you are actually in a serious depression. It will help you take stock, and measure the knock-on effects of what you are feeling. By self-assessing the reality/severity/impact on your life, you can ready yourself for the 'reading cure' + 'physical cure' + cognitive reframing + what science-based medicine has to offer.

The last link is to a terrific episode of a Brain Science podcast . It concerns the beneficial effects of exercise on the brain, as explained by John Ratey. Ratey is very much on the side of exercise as a cognitive 'rehabilitator.'

I'll wish you good luck on the road back to optimal motivation and more pleasure in life!

Edited by william.scherk

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With the sole exception of lifting weights twice a week which I do without feeling any resistance mentally because I want to do it.

You just gave yourself the answer: Do something you don't want to do.

Go outside in the Sun even if you don't want to.

After a little while you'll be glad you did.

People are like plants.

They need the Sun, too.

Sunlight destroys depression.

Greg

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With the sole exception of lifting weights twice a week which I do without feeling any resistance mentally because I want to do it.

You just gave yourself the answer: Do something you don't want to do.

Go outside in the Sun even if you don't want to.

After a little while you'll be glad you did.

People are like plants.

They need the Sun, too.

Sunlight destroys depression.

Greg

It will probably be too hard then to stay in the sun. I don't think your idea will work unless lack of sun caused the depression. Some people in Alaska use artificial light in the winter. They are addressing a problem not found in Australia. They are uncomfortable with depression. If you're in Australia and depressed you could take some comfort in your condition. It may have a value to you. It could seem normal on some level and you may subconsciously want to stay where you are. Cognitively one needs to get rid of the inbred idea of being a victim. Depression is all about being a victim, except, maybe, in Alaska.

--Brant

It can be so nice not to have to do anything and if you're depressed you don't have to

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Peter (Nerian),

It sounds to me like you've lost faith in your core storyline.

That happens when you believe in a fundamental story and can't let it go--you don't want to let it go because you believe body and soul that it is right--but you keep seeing evidence that life ain't that way. That is extremely painful on a spiritual level. So rather than face the issue square on, your subconscious shuts down emotions. And without emotions, you have no drive, no desire other than to just get by.

I know this feeling first-hand. I have experienced about as close to existential apathy as you can get without committing suicide. That was in my drug days.

Here's what brought my desire back, and it was a long hard slog after that. But it worked.

I didn't call this a core storyline back then, but I knew mine was not working. There was nowhere for me to go in life other than keep repeating the same old crap day after day, even if I got a lot of money, a lot of women, a lot of prestige, a lot of whatever. And that was boring. With nowhere to go, nothing seemed worth doing.

I had to come up with a way to make a new story for myself or just muddle through until my time came.

I decided to give it a shot, so I got rid of everything I held sacred (including Objectivism) and started all over from the ground up. I couldn't get what was in my mind out, of course, but I could admit that maybe my belief in it was off. So I needed to look at everything again with fresh eyes. And this meant I needed a new standard.

In my previous storyline, I was one of the good guys in the Objectivist march to save the world. Rand had an extremely powerful influence on me. I had other fundamental values too, including music.

I decided to set all that aside and just be me all by my lonesome for a bit as see what that looked like.

So I relaxed and let my mind drift on the basic basics. My life. Why I was born. My future death. My existence. The existence of everything. All that.

And I came to some conclusions. I would die one day. So I was not eternal--or maybe I was, but I had no way of knowing that with the certainty observation brings. In fact, on mulling it over, there was a lot of stuff I didn't know. Then I looked around at the universe extending outward to billions of galaxies and inward to weird subparticles. I decided the universe was a big honking place and I would never know everything about it. I was limited in my ability to learn this by my very nature and the nature of the universe itself. That's nothing I can choose. That's just the way it is.

As weird as it sounds, by concluding that, I suddenly felt good on a deep level for the first time in a long time. I could know that with 100% certainty about myself.

I recently heard a magnificent Christian preacher (Ravi Zacharias) say that man hungers for knowing four things: origin, meaning, morality and destiny. I think he's right. In his world view, the Christian core storyline, he found his answers. They are not mine, but his core questions, the core hungers, are universal to all people. (btw - He really is a magnificent speaker and thinker. I say that even as I disagree with him on metaphysical fundamentals.)

By accepting my limitations as a human being and knowing I did not have the existential capacity to know certain things like the origin of the universe, I was able to become the author of my own story and know for sure I was not being arbitrary. I could not write the big picture story, as a human being I could not even know it because I had no way to observe it, but I could write my own story within what I could see around me.

I can't control everything, but I can control this little bit over here. And it's me controlling it if I want to. Me 100%.

I don't know if that makes sense to you, but when I realized that, suddenly a trickle of desire started in my soul.

Also, I didn't know what I wanted anymore, but I did know what I didn't want. So I decided to start there--by getting away from all the things that had been hurting me. That was harder than I thought, but I ended up doing it.

As I started, I set a plotline for my new core story without even realizing it was a plotline. I wanted to go through 4 phases:

1. Get away from what was hurting me.

2. Then get my financial life in order.

3. Then get my health in order.

4. Then spend the rest of my life creating my works (this was music at that time, but now includes literature).

This plotline changed over time because Kat came into my life, also, the phases overlapped like crazy, some new things came in, some others became less important than before, but my desire to do things returned just by me coming up with my own plotline.

I didn't get this plotline from anywhere. I did it on my own and I based it on what I was feeling and thinking about my life up to that point. I decided I would no longer follow a dream--no matter how attractive it was--if I did not build it from the bottom up by my own thinking. Right or wrong, it was my thinking. My life. My thinking.

Ayn Rand said something was good? OK. She was probably right, but let me look and think this through. Maybe she wasn't. I'll figure it out and live with my conclusions. Religion was evil? Maybe. Maybe not. Let me look and think this through. Did I like to get high from drugs? Yes and no. Let me look and see what was happening--all of it.

This is a real long story, lots of ups and downs, but that was my start. I highly recommend it if you are at where I was. And I don't mean using drugs. That part was incidental. In your case, it could be something as ordinary as following the dream your parents want for you instead of what you want to do. Or being popular in a group of peers you no longer like that much.

So I mean the apathy. The result, not the cause.

I say throw out the story you are living and write a new one. Start at the beginning and take it slow. Think through everything. And do what you gotta do once you have decided on a path. Or even a babystep. Think about it and take it or discard it and move on to another, don't just think about it.

Will you get a lot wrong if you do that? Sure, but at least you will be feeling something. You will get a lot right, too. After I started cleaning up my life with my new storyline, I remember thinking at one point how much I hurt, but feeling good about it. If I hurt, I was alive goddammit. I looked forward to getting rid of the hurt.

In the end, good or bad, if these comments are relevant to you and you do this, if you write a new core story for yourself, you will know you did it. Nobody else. No approval or disapproval from anybody. You and you alone. Nothing I have ever experienced equals the feeling of certainty and correctness I got from doing it all first-hand. Even the changes in the new story as I went along brought me certainty and great vibes.

btw - The approval that came from others later (and does it come) was sweet like the hot fudge on a sundae. I could take it or leave it and still have a sundae, but boy was it sweet.

I hope these thoughts give you something to think about. If not, that's all I've got for advice.

Good luck and keep us posted about what happens.

I, for one, care.

Michael

MSK: this is an amazing synopsis of your path. I had never really appreciated the arc of your path until I read this just now. Very cool.

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With the sole exception of lifting weights twice a week which I do without feeling any resistance mentally because I want to do it.

You just gave yourself the answer: Do something you don't want to do.

Go outside in the Sun even if you don't want to.

After a little while you'll be glad you did.

People are like plants.

They need the Sun, too.

Sunlight destroys depression.

Greg

I don't think your idea will work unless lack of sun caused the depression.

Of course. Lack of Sunlight isn't the only cause of depression. It's just one.

Greg

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Michael writes:

I say throw out the story you are living and write a new one.

That's a precious piece of advice, Michael.

Depression is a sign that says.

18x12_WrongWay_DoNotEnter_1_345.jpg

It says go back and try another direction.

Greg

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With the sole exception of lifting weights twice a week which I do without feeling any resistance mentally because I want to do it.

You just gave yourself the answer: Do something you don't want to do.

Go outside in the Sun even if you don't want to.

After a little while you'll be glad you did.

People are like plants.

They need the Sun, too.

Sunlight destroys depression.

Greg

I don't think your idea will work unless lack of sun caused the depression.

Of course. Lack of Sunlight isn't the only cause of depression. It's just one.

Greg

The main problem from lack of sunlight is called Seasonal Affect Disorder. It is a genuine neurophysiological effect of lack of sunlight on serotonin uptake and production. The treatment is sunlamp light shone on the face for 30 minute periods, each day. That usually straightens out the problem.

Ba'al Chatzaf

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With the sole exception of lifting weights twice a week which I do without feeling any resistance mentally because I want to do it.

You just gave yourself the answer: Do something you don't want to do.

Go outside in the Sun even if you don't want to.

After a little while you'll be glad you did.

People are like plants.

They need the Sun, too.

Sunlight destroys depression.

Greg

I don't think your idea will work unless lack of sun caused the depression.

Of course. Lack of Sunlight isn't the only cause of depression. It's just one.

Greg

The main problem from lack of sunlight is called Seasonal Affect Disorder. It is a genuine neurophysiological effect of lack of sunlight on serotonin uptake and production. The treatment is sunlamp light shone on the face for 30 minute periods, each day. That usually straightens out the problem.

Ba'al Chatzaf

I don't know all the big clinical words for it, Bob. All I know is just from my own personal experience in the world. I spend lots of time outside working and playing in the sun all year round and don't get depressed.

We're like plants. :smile:

There is only one atom difference between a molecule of hemoglobin and a molecule of chlorophyll. (Iron ~ Magnesium)

Red and Green. :wink:

Greg

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Can anyone help point me in the right direction to gain back my desire to do, well, anything. The thought of exerting effort often brings me down; it's weird. My motive power, so to speak, is gone. I seem to act only to alleviate discomfort and do so begrudgingly. WIth the sole exception of lifting weights twice a week which I do without feeling any resistance mentally because I want to do it.

If it makes you happy why not do more weights...say 4 or more times a week, or perhaps consider becoming a trainer or a designer of training equipment. You could also seek employment with one of the manufacturers in that field.

Good luck.

-Joe

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We're like plants. :smile:

There is only one atom difference between a molecule of hemoglobin and a molecule of chlorophyll. (Iron ~ Magnesium)

Red and Green. :wink:

Greg

No. We are not like plants. We do not do photosynthesis of our basic nutrients. Most plants do. Humans can live without direct sunlight (perhaps not happily), but it is doable. Most plants rely on photosynthesis. Without light they die.

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We're like plants. :smile:

There is only one atom difference between a molecule of hemoglobin and a molecule of chlorophyll. (Iron ~ Magnesium)

Red and Green. :wink:

Greg

No. We are not like plants.

Well, we each have two views on that, Bob.

In my view, people need the light of the Sun to shine on them for their good health and happiness.

Greg

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My "view" which is also a fact is that we do not synthesize our food by means of photosynthesis, the way most plants do. We have to live on plants and other animals. Most plants (with the aid of light) make their food from none living material. Like I said, we are like plants. We do not breathe in carbon dioxide and exhale oxygen as a waste product. Pay attention to the facts and details. They matter. Plants can live without us. We cannot live without them.

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My "view" which is also a fact is that we do not synthesize our food by means of photosynthesis, the way most plants do. We have to live on plants and other animals. Most plants (with the aid of light) make their food from none living material. Like I said, we are like plants. We do not breathe in carbon dioxide and exhale oxygen as a waste product. Pay attention to the facts and details. They matter. Plants can live without us. We cannot live without them.

I have a 30-year supply of canned vegetables.

--Brant

save yourself

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Can anyone help point me in the right direction to gain back my desire to do, well, anything. The thought of exerting effort often brings me down; it's weird. My motive power, so to speak, is gone. I seem to act only to alleviate discomfort and do so begrudgingly. WIth the sole exception of lifting weights twice a week which I do without feeling any resistance mentally because I want to do it.

How old are you?

I'm 24 years old.

Off so little data I can only suggest reading and using Nathaniel Branden's The Six Pillars of Self Esteem and taking up karate. In karate pretend you are angry and you are punching what makes you angry. Why? You likely are terribly angry, but it's so repressed it's been transmogrified into depression so you are completely oblivious to it. Also--people who are depressed see themselves as victims and as victims they are helpless to do anything about it except to be pissed off and depressed from the oppression. (I'm throwing a lot of stuff at the wall. I don't know what will stick.)

--Brant

you sound young and too much Objectivism all at once

you may be most comfortable in your discomfort hence your "begrudingly"

What a coincedence. I have been listening to a three-hour audio version and so far I find it very insightful! I plan to borrow the book. I don't think I'm depressed, but unmotivated with little interest in exerting effort. I can't find much worth doing or achieving. I'd say I'm numb.

I have what will seem like an odd piece of advice: read Tom Wolfe's A Man in Full.

This marginally well writtin book--with it's annoying diversions--will introduce you to the Stoic philosopher Epictetus, and learning about this wonderful man will give your life more meaning. You may even find yourself motivated to get off the couch and start kicking some ass--both literally and figuratively.

And, I agree with Brant: take up karate. I have done karate for 6 years now and it does make a difference, for the reasons Brant aptly explains. If karate seems to have too much woo-woo and you don't like wearing a uniform, take up Krav Maga instead. It's the same thing without the bells and whistles.

I'll have a look! :D I used to do a martial art called Zendokai. I don't like Karate, but I would consider doing a martial art again. I'd probably go with Wing Chun because I know of a place in the city. I've also looked into Krav Maga which is not a martial art but Israeli military combat training.

Can anyone help point me in the right direction to gain back my desire to do, well, anything. The thought of exerting effort often brings me down; it's weird. My motive power, so to speak, is gone. I seem to act only to alleviate discomfort and do so begrudgingly. WIth the sole exception of lifting weights twice a week which I do without feeling any resistance mentally because I want to do it.

Do something physical and challenging.

Complete a ten mile hike, or do some rock climbing.

Ba'al Chatzaf

If I can get the motivation... but yes I do think I need more exercise. I think it needs to be somtehing funner than runnign though. Every time I start running I get terribly bored with it. I have been brainstorming sports to try. I'm also thinking of things I always wanted to do as a child but was never able to do.

Bob, put a hold on that rock climbing. He might solve his problem by falling off and landing on his head. That doesn't mean it's wise to go there. I suggested karate, for instance, not that Peter go out and start fighting bullies.

--Brant

keeping the lid on the pot

(Peter: do you have a dog? A dog is programmed to enjoy life and will drag you along kicking and screaming)

No, I don't have a dog. Dogs do excude fun! :) That's a cool idea, but I don't think it'd fix my lack of motivation. And I made up my mind that I'll never own a pet. I don't want the work. I'll keep that as a last resort.

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