TED Conversations

Arkady Grudzinsky


This conversation is closed.

How can we help a person who lacks motivation or does not know what (s)he wants?

Ernesto's paradigm might work for helping communities. Among several people, it's likely to find someone with passion and motivation. But how do we apply this philosophy to individuals who lack motivation or don't know what they want or want things that we consider harmful to them (e.g., a teenager with lack of experience, a person with depression, or an addict)?


Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • thumb
    Dec 3 2012: Let's generalize:

    Before kindergarten most of us explode by our creativity. We just can't sit sill, because there is so much to explore around us. So much to do and play. So much to discover. Our future profession changes almost daily and is related to what is in our very focus at a given timeframe.

    In kindergarten the first signs of stagnation kick in, as our energy gets controlled, scheduled and set on topics which we might have not choosen ourselfs. Future professions keep changing, yet mayve a little less in frequence.

    At elementary school our creativity and energy get tied up in the corset of conformity and stays this way up to the very point where we are finally allowed to retire from the professional world.

    How do we deal with people who are dropping out of this corset for what ever reason? How do we motivate if the result would be to tie them up again?

    The answer to your question may be found if we look at our process. Something get lost on our way from before kindergarten up to the point were we become professionals. At least for many of us.

    Comments like 'get real' or 'grow up' may be hints on such a search. Are we expecting a different reality when we are young then the 'one' we finally get to see once we enter, once we 'grow' into it? Is this form of resignation and demotivation which occur to some the result of disillusion? If so, what was our illusion when we started?

    Not to know what to 'want' may imply to know what is unattainable and to have no 'good enough' alternative instead.

    As a society our main focus of interest usually don't stick to our children and growing up people, so 'loosing' some of them doesn't really 'ring the bell', as we have no alternative to offer anyway...
    • thumb
      Dec 4 2012: well put!
    • thumb
      Dec 4 2012: You made me feel better about not knowing what I want to do yet. I am in my opinion a creative being, and I am a sophomore in college. I am minoring in Spanish, but I am unsure of what I should major in. I enjoy many subjects from Anthropology to Education. I have to decide what my profession will be before next semester. Perhaps I'll never "grow up" haha.
      • thumb
        Dec 4 2012: It's ok Haley....I'll never grow up either, and I'm 60+! I've had several different careers, businesses, interests and professions in my life adventure, and have totally enjoyed ALL of them.

        It is too bad that college age people feel pressured to decide what they want to do the rest of their lives! How about picking a major that you are very interested in right now? You can always take more courses when/if your preferences change.....yes? I also suggest (if you have time) volunteering in an area that you think you might like to pursue. That might give you an idea if you want to go further with that particular interest or not?
        • thumb
          Dec 4 2012: Thank you Colleen. I am going to take an introductory social work class next semester that requires volunteer work. I am excited for that. I think I will research more about majoring in sociology or Elementary Education. I work as a Teacher's Assistant at a preschool, and I really enjoy it. Everything always works out! :)
      • thumb
        Dec 4 2012: Haley,
        Sounds like you are very "grown up" and are taking some good steps toward your exploration of life:>) I have always pursued what I enjoy doing, and often, what evolved into a professional experience, was first a hobby that expanded and became a profession, for which I was paid quite well:>)

        I totally agree with you that "everything always works out" when we have curiosity, and an open heart and mind. I found that with an open heart and mind, the world opens up to us in magical ways:>)

        "We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give..."
        (Winston Churchill)

        I like to combine what I get (learning, growing evolving) with what I give:>)
        • thumb
          Dec 14 2012: Thank you for the compliment! I agree with you that with an open heart and mind that everything will work out.

          I've decided to give Elementary Education a go, by the way!

          Much love
      • thumb
        Dec 4 2012: Nice to hear that you feel better!

        Creative people like you have little choice but to never really 'grow up', as creativity is just another form of 'playing' and curiosity its source of energy. We do not teach our children how to play, as this comes naturally by our instincts, and so does curiosity. And just for the sake of conformity we discharge our little ones, ourselves, repeatingly ...

        Fortunately, not to 'grow up' in this context got nothing to do with being childish or to have a 'Peter Pan' syndrome. It somewhat describes to have managed to keep some of our childlike nature alive within us and against all the odds.

        So keep up your positive attitude and 'life, the universe and everything' will have no other ways but yours... :o)
      • thumb
        Dec 5 2012: Wanting to explore what you want to do is not quite the same as not wanting to do anything.
      • thumb
        Dec 14 2012: Much love to you friend Haley:>) Elementary Education is a GREAT place to share your insight and knowledge about the life adventure and with an open heart and mind, you will also learn from your students:>) It is also a GREAT foundation for anything else you may explore later in your life adventure because we are all students and teachers in this earth school...in my humble perception:>)

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.