God, Motivation, and the Game of Life, Pt. 1

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Oh, wait. I’m supposed to write an article everyday, even when I don’t feel like it.

So I’m reading this book, DRiVE by… Is it Larry? No, it’s Daniel, Daniel H. Pink. And the book says that people crave autonomy, mastery, and purpose (in their natural state). I’m also (as prescribed by my College & Career teacher) supposed to be reading a book called Decision Making and the Will of God (the 25th anniversary edition by Garry Friesen and J. Robin Maxson) which argues that God didn’t make for each of us a unique set of train tracks which we are to follow towards supposed happiness, lest we struggle through a permissible but non-optimal path. It argues that such a view isn’t biblical and that, instead, we will be happy enough following God’s moral laws but otherwise being autonomous.

Interesting how the two topics overlap. One book says we crave autonomy, and another argues that it’s also what we’re given.

Aside from autonomy, there are two more desires that lead us to “greater motivation,” as Daniel H. Pink proposes (and as science supposes) in DRiVE. As I read up on them, I’ll try to think of how God might’ve built the world (and how God governs the world) to satisfy those desires. After all, there’s no hunger without food, no thirst without drink.

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11 thoughts on “God, Motivation, and the Game of Life, Pt. 1

  1. Hello,
    I have a question or two for you. I read what you wrote and wonder how this is supposed to inform or inspire religious belief. Perhaps it wasn’t meant so.

    Actually, there is hunger without food and thirst without drink. What you describe about autonomy is as if there is no god at all. If there were none, the same would be true… we would crave it and it would be all that we have … how is this supposed to be special to religion and more specifically your religious belief?

    • =) Thanks for your thoughts. What I wrote, I didn’t specifically write to inspire belief. I noticed a possible coincidence and found it really interesting.

      I don’t believe that lack of individual-specific guidance makes God obsolete. But I do believe that coincidences, such as the link between our desires and what God might seemingly be providing us, give a strong case for belief in God, or a god.

      I guess “no hunger without food” was a wrong quote for the time xD. (But I’m curious as to why you don’t think it’s at least generally true… Or do you?) You’re right, we can have autonomy without God. The book I spoke about, DRiVE, is specifically about motivation in the workplace. I just found it interesting that the biblical view of how we should make our decisions, as opposed to the traditional view, so closely subscribes to the findings of people around the world, albeit, in a different context.

      • Well, there is a simple reason and goes back to confirmation bias. Prayer and personal religious belief function in the brain the same way that meditative actions do. There are those that naturally perform these functions so do not use either and some that seem lost without some sort of guidance for their thinking.

        It is for this reason that it is not coincidence that god belief and self help action achieve many of the same things. In many, not all, what these do is bolster self confidence or weaken self defeating actions or both.

        The brain is an amazing machine. The conscious part of it is a sort of cowboy manager of other parts, a captain of the ship but it is the other parts doing all the hard work and if you’re able to inform them with good data and let them do their work, it’s usually a good result. Have you ever heard that you’re not supposed to second guess yourself on tests? That’s why.

        Leaving things to a higher power as they say is the same as calmly letting your subconscious do its jobs. It is your subconscious that performs wonderous feats of athletics, it knows what to do. The conscious mind worries and jumps the gun or panics too much.

        It is true that our autonomy is all we have. The same effects of god belief can be accomplished without god belief… makes you wonder, doesn’t it. The meditation doesn’t have to be complex yogi meditation, just enough to calm you and clear the work channels in your brain. Power naps do this too if done right with a calm attitude and atmosphere etc.

        It’s all about what we trick our conscious minds into letting our subconscious minds do. It really is that simple. There is no coincidence.

          • I don’t think there is any that I would recommend but there are many books out there on simple meditation. The meditation that I use the most is just before sleep I will imagine my life is my bedroom. All around it are things that need to be put away or cleaned up. One by one I imagine myself doing that, putting everything away in the closet – important tasks on one side, not important tasks on the other side. Anything that has to be done on waking I leave on the desk in the corner. when the room is clean I can sleep good.

            When you imagine yourself getting things done or accomplishing a task your brain is using the same ‘stuff’ that it will use when you actually do it. In a meditative mode, imagine yourself escaping the house during a fire – you’ll do better if it happens. Imagine yourself changing a tire on the car – it will be more natural when you have to do it.

            These are meditations that you can do to remove stress. Having ‘done’ it several times already, your subconscious will be able to do more of the work when it’s real.

            The magic of meditation is a calm mind. You should be able to find a few books with this goal at any book store.

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