empathy

How to kick your lack of commitment

Painting by Aviv Sara Benn

Painting by Aviv Sara Benn

If you ever enrolled in a course or a class because you were so excited about it but then you kind of lost interest halfway through, or if you ever took up a hobby but thought “what’s the point” midway through and stopped, then I’d like to welcome you to our group, the couch potatoes who lose interest way too early.

I tried to remember all the times I started something that I didn’t finish, but I lost interest and stopped counting.

I’m normally not a quitter so I was determined to figure out what went wrong. There were all the diets I started but never finished, the activities I found and left again, and the language I was so fond of but kept putting off learning till next year.

There is a big difference between “to do something and find that you are not happy, so you move on because you are not a tree” and “to do something and find that you are too bored so you decide to just stop.”

The point is not that you shouldn’t be allowed to get bored. No, that’s more than legitimate, but the thing is we should ask ourselves why we get bored of things that once mattered, that once were nothing but interesting.

I like to blame myself for pretty much everything – which isn’t necessarily a good thing – but when it comes to giving things up, I ask myself what’s going on. I studied why I lost interest way too quickly and came up with some tips that actually helped me with my problem and can probably also help you.

1. Are you sure you like that? Ask this question before you start things. Sometimes we get so caught up in a conversation or so fascinated by how passionately someone talks about something that you think, “Oh! I want to be like that.”

You may think you’d be passionate once you started playing that sport or musical instrument, but the truth is that people aren’t necessarily passionate about the same things. That person is probably passionate about what he was talking about because he chose it through trying different things and seeing what was right for him. You can’t shortcut the process with a conversation.

2. Are you in a hurry? One of my biggest mistakes was in the way I started things, like someone was running after me. I began things fiercely, thinking I’m unstoppable. I practiced more than I should, considering I had just started, and I got way too worn out before I was even half way through.

3. Are you ready? I don’t care if you are entering a relationship or starting a new sport. What matters is that you ask yourself if you are ready, if your mind needs to be clear enough to accept an addition to your life and your heart has to be ready to face new feelings and all they can bring.

4. Are you giving up? We often give up but disguise it as a lack of interest. Find out whether you are really losing interest or you think you just can’t do this anymore. You have to know there will be good days and bad days. Sometimes they’re equal and sometimes even the bad days may outnumber the good.

What matters is that you don’t give up because of a few bad days. Believe that you can be better and that maybe today your energy has betrayed you. Maybe even this whole year your energy has betrayed you, but you can work on that.

Just give yourself time to realize that your failure, no matter how big or small, is temporary. Believe it’s okay to fail and get tired but it’s not okay to give in to that feeling. If you do that, you’ll probably reach the finish line in any race .

5. Are you doubtful? Has it ever occurred to you while you were in the middle of something that you doubted your potential?

You ask yourself “what can I give to the world” and falsely answer “probably nothing.” If you have it’s hard not to see how that can dampen your spirits. My advice is to face your weaknesses. Once you admit your weak points to yourself, they’re not weak anymore. You can then know what exactly you should work on to be better and what qualities you should try to acquire to continue what you started.

6 .Are you afraid? If your dreams make you feel afraid then you’re on the right track. That’s how all great things make us feel. You fear great things just as much as they excite you. We fear them because we know how great they are and we fear we can’t bear such responsibility, but you can, dear. Have some faith and go for things. Have some faith, dear, and pursue your dreams.

7. Is this where you should be? At some point, quitting is the best solution. If you know that what you are doing isn’t helping you in any way, but you are still afraid to quit, then maybe you should think again. Remember, no one owes you anything. Whatever you do you must be sure it’s of good use to you or else you might be tripping yourself from a better choice or a better track.

8. Do you need to get those dopamine and serotonin levels a little bit higher?
No, not just from eating dark chocolate (thought that’s good too), you may need something more. Challenge yourself in what you are doing. Add some excitement to an activity to keep the boredom away. Talk about previous successes and achievements to remind yourself that you can do that again .

9. Have you sought support? That’s more than important, really. Seek it from the ones who really care about you. Those are the ones who would carry you to light when it’s too dark.

You must remember that life itself is a challenge, including a series of challenges within. It’s you who can choose which challenge to go for and which task is worth your mind and time, but again remember that life is too short and we should make it count. So go do that.

Mariem Sherif is an Egyptian medical student who believes that words can heal a wound, that in each and every one of us there is something special and that in details lies another great different life for those who notice.