Dark and Light Motivation

For most of my life, I thrived on dark motivation - motivation generated from insecurity, rejection, envy, hate, doubt, and other negative emotions. Accomplishments became my form of therapy. Where I would channel this negative energy in whatever goal I was pursuing. There’s a saying that chips on shoulders put chips in pockets and that was certainly true for me through high school and early university.

In other words, I transformed my pain and suffering into motivation. This served me well early on but has toxic side effects. I thought that I couldn’t be motivated unless I had bad shit happening to me. So then I would actively seek it out. If used too much, dark motivation can be all encompassing and lead to misery and depression.

But as I progressed along my personal journey, I started becoming more confident and comfortable in my own skin. My primary source of motivation came from a sense of purpose and self actualization rather than insecurity and rejection.

Despite learning to harness light motivation, I use both whenever necessary. At the gym for example, I’m intrinsically motivated to go to improve myself. But if I’m benchpressing a heavy weight and I need that extra motivation to get me through the set, I’ll dig deep and use dark motivation.

September 20, 2022

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