Xavier Jared


Two brothers on personal development, philosophy, and being awesome

Bear Motivation


I’m going to kick things off with a little thought experiment. Imagine you had a few drinks and a late night, you haven’t been eating as well as you’d like and you’re feeling pretty run down and worn out. Perhaps you’re at work, in a lecture theater, or maybe it’s your day off and you’re failing to get through the todo list. 3pm rolls around and whatever momentum you managed to get going in the morning has well and truly burnt out. From personal experience, and my unfounded assumptions about others, this is a pretty common scenario. Hold this thought. I’m going to look at this in more detail than a brief introduction probably warrants.

There are two ways I have dealt with this in the past. The first was to brew some tea, find some sun and score some vitamin D (the sun is a drug dealer, it’s pretty handy). You might be above living a philosophy advocated by Disney cartoons but I’m not, and I think this is a very valid solution.

No worries
Ningunas preocupaciones, perras!

The second method I used to use for dealing with a 3pm cracking-the-sads attack was to get really frustrated and shitty about life. This tended to be the more common method. I could have pulled a method one and relaxed with no worries for the rest of my days, but I wanted to get stuff done. And it was usually stuff that I really wanted to do. I don’t mind shrugging off assignments or work—that’s something someone else wants me to do. If I have to chose between getting those done or tea, sunshine, and smiles, it’s going to be sunshine town every day of the week. It was when I was too tired and unmotivated to do the things that I set out to achieve that I got really angry about it. Every now and then I’d push through and manage to salvage the day, but usually I’d end up doing exactly what you’d expect someone with this five-year-old mentality to do: eat, have a cry, and fall asleep.

I’ve discovered a third option. Let’s go back to our original experiment. It’s the afternoon, you’re sitting there struggling to keep your eyes open, possibly bored, possibly a little angry, and definitely stuck in a rut with no hope of getting stuff done. Now imagine a bear appears in front of you. A really big fuck off bear. You’re sitting there watching the clock slowly tick away and BAM! There’s a grizzly up in your grill. I’m going to guess that you’ve probably perked up somewhat. All of those reasons why you were tired and unproductive in the first place are completely irrelevant now a bear has been thrown into the mix. The late night, the not eating right, the couple of extra drinks you had—none of them really change how well you are going to tackle the bear situation.

A really big fuck off bear
Estoy en su parrilla!

All the psychologists in the room can put their hands down. A bear is going to bring on a pretty strong fight or flight reaction. Physiologically we all have this awesome ability to become better at fighting or running away from things if it will help us not get eaten by large animals. But in real life there isn’t actually a bear. The bear is a metaphor. I’m using ‘bear’ to mean ‘something that is really motivating’. Whilst we might react to imaginary bears physiologically, in real life (where bears are not real…) we react mentalilogically. The trick is finding the right real world metaphorical bear. Finding that thing that makes you realise you’re not really that tired, and if you really want to you can out-think your brain

The other day I was on the way home after a few beers, but I was cool to drive. It was late and raining, and I hadn’t taken my daily dose of exercise. I started to make excuses: I had just danced for two hours, it was getting near midnight; I could probably pike on the session. Out in front of me jumped a massive hulk of a bear, and he had a few things to say. He didn’t care about the dancing, the rain, the late night, the beers. Humphrey was pretty keen to make steakums out of my face. I didn’t feel like going home anymore. I felt like smashing a session out in the park. So I smashed a session out in the park.

The one and only Humphrey B Bear

Next time you find yourself making excuses, make a date with Mr B.

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