Sunday, June 26, 2005

Losing Interest


Losing interest in something is a strange experience. Recently, for example, I have been struggling to maintain my posting rate on the blog. There have been other things too, and I suspect they are related. It happens slowly, but it's interesting how you can have a progression from something which really motivated and excited you, to finding that same thing an indifferent pleasure at best.

What is it that happens inside someone's head when they find their interest on the decline. Ignoring things like depression or stress as underlying psychological problems, it still seems well within a person's natural thought processes.

I think that this phenomena is a powerful piece of evidence from introspection into human nature. It is an example of (and I so hate to admit it), Heidegger's idea of thrown-ness. That is to say we find ourselves thrown into the world in a particular state of mind, without having particularly much control or understanding of it. There is no simple effort of will which can bring back the enjoyment of an activity, nor make us happy, nor sad. Of course there are some things we can do to improve ourselves, but what those things are need to be identified and studied. They are not apparent to us.

Disclosing what will make us happy, or motivated, or whatever is one of the tasks of philosophy or psychology, and would make rich ground for further study. It is interesting that few philosophers take very seriously the connection between happiness and philosophical correctness, even those who rank philosophy as being a very important thing. In so far as my position goes, I am barracking for Plato's position that an unexamined life is not worth living.

Nonetheless, my examinations have not as yet revealed to me the fundamental nature of my own changing motivations. Perhaps it does all boil down to evolution, but even so, that is not a functional analysis of great use.

Oh well. Perhaps I will work it out tomorrow.



Anonymous Josh said...

Losing interest is scary, I agree. I'm still stumped and vaguely angry that I seem to so often lose interest in something that was initially so exciting. For me, losing interest always seems to be related to the gap between my idea of something and the practical reality of it. For instance, some time ago I was daydreaming about the simulation of why civilizations form and collapse. The next day, I got down to programming such a simulation. Of course, the task is very large, and my daydream did not account for this. Now, after many long sessions, I have this lumbering, semi-complete, messy VB program with a host of technical issues. I'm less enthusiastic than when I began. I've come to associate the moving dots on the screen more with "Error: Subscript Out of Range" than with the bonded individuals that they are supposed to represent.
I also find that loss of interest has a lot to do with losing the thoughts that provided the initial motivation. Often, keeping my eye on the big picture and remembering the ultimate goal that made me excited about the project in the first place helps me keep my motivation.
Any more thoughts?

6/28/2005 02:23:00 PM  
Blogger Ben said...

Losing interest ... yes indeed.

My convictions carried me for 33.5 years, since the over-throw of Allende.

How old are you now?

I suspect your post on "moral relativism" is the product of something like cynical skepticism i.e. the lack of enlightened self-interest that under-girds compassion and solidarity. Without that *shrug* one might as well spend one's life playing with the latest programming language. *shrug*

3/04/2007 02:52:00 PM  
Anonymous Dave said...

After watching many people over the years as well as myself, I've come to the conclusion that losing interest in something is normal.
When you first start doing something new there is the excitement of everything being new and there is much to learn and achieve. After a while however, there is nothing new to learn or acheive and the interest wanes.
It is learning and achievement we seek. Once everything has been done then it's time to move on and find another interest.

4/24/2008 10:42:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

At least I still have some interest to post a comment on the subject, which gives me an indication of hope.
I think I have had this problem long ago, since I was small. I dont remember that I had that persistent feelings toward anything. Every thing run in my life by its nature, i.e no input from my side. I am just a watcher of what is going on and I live it. I don't know if I enjoy/ 've enjoyed it or not. No taste for what is going on. When I recall my all previous life I found that I discovered this fact lately. It is true my days were just passing by me life and I am just there experience what is happening. I don't remember alot of good enoying things or events in my life. There are...but... . There is no definite goals...nothing. Every time I want to start something and when strat reading about it..just few moments and I start feeling bored and loosing interest; (do you believe that I did not finihs reading the articel though it is interesting and short!). Nothing new. I now know that this was there long ago but I did not notice it, or did notice it but was able to ignore it and go over it. I am now 44 yrs..That may have some effect. If you read my words thank you. OMAR-SA.

8/26/2009 08:41:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Perhaps we lose interest in order to pave way or open space for more growth and new excitement. Can't conclude with anything , but I'm looking at it as healthy.

Much love

6/21/2011 07:43:00 PM  
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