My dad, Lee Bezotte, has his own blog where he covers a variety of different topics related to personal growth, whether it’s working on trying to get healthier, smarter, or more spiritually adept. Recently, he published a blog post called ‘4 Reasons Why Personal Growth Is So Hard’, which you can read here. To sum it up though, my dad explains how it takes humility, investment, focus, and time in order to experience personal growth in different areas of your life.
While reading his post, I couldn’t help but look at the publication date and think that maybe, just maybe, this was written in response to some issues I was facing around that time about pushing myself to do the things I need to do to become fully independent. I can’t speak for him obviously, and there’s nothing wrong with the post to begin with, it’s just that the timing of the post seemed both convenient and right, so you can look at this as me expanding on my dad’s ideas from a different perspective.
For some people, they may struggle to find the motivation needed to make something of their lives, but for me personally, it’s a little harder. I get tired easily, which speaks about my lack of sleep routine and sometimes even my lack of drinking water or eating healthy (although I’m happy to say that drinking water has gotten better for me, including having completely avoided almost all sodas). The obsessions for different media such as movies, games, and books that come with being in my place on the autism spectrum tends to put me in a position where I might feel stuck. Let’s be perfectly honest, whether you’re autistic or not, thinking about the different aspects of certain movies and TV shows is far more pleasant than overanalyzing relationships and thinking about where you’ll be in the next ten years. For me, thinking about the things that ultimately don’t matter gives me a sense of comfort. When I’ve been confronted in the past for messing up, my thoughts turn to more pleasant things because I get overly stressed from all the emotions piling on in my head. I may have a wider emotional range than others on the spectrum, but that doesn’t exactly mean I’m great at managing or juggling them. When I was a kid, the way I expressed or felt emotions were typically to the extreme, and in a way, that’s still the case today. They keep me from going to bed at times and they can stress me out when I’m at work. My mind gets easily distracted and I zone out. Things I could’ve easily gotten done in a timely manner sometimes don’t get done.
By no means am I trying to use these things as excuses for my lack of motivation at times. They’re things I struggle with. They’re obstacles that keep me from moving at a pace that I should be moving to shape the life I want for myself. Technically I have pretty clear ideas of what I want to do with my life. They’re all things that I want and wish to work towards, but no matter how much I may want them, I still struggle to make progress. As my dad said in his blog post, we’re a very easily distracted culture, and I as an individual who dwells within this culture am no exception, except I also have some of the autistic traits that make it harder for me to be the most productive I can be day in and day out. It’s going to take a lot more discipline for me, just as it does for others on the spectrum. Some of that discipline will require sacrificing things that you love doing most, which can be a painful process but a worthwhile one. On top of that, people on the spectrum typically can’t obtain the discipline on their own. When I decided that I wanted to take a break from Facebook for a while, to ensure that I would actually stick to that, I asked my mom to block Facebook on my devices using an app where she could do that with any device in the house connected to the Wi-Fi.
To wrap this up, I’m going to admit something to you that would probably make some people feel uncomfortable but it’s necessary to say: in order to have the time you need to have a better focus on achieving your goals, get rid of any and all potential distractions. Tear down your Facebook app for a while, or better yet, turn off your phone completely unless you’re expecting an important call. If you’re working offline and you don’t need the Internet, turn off your Wi-fi. I’ve actually done this before, and it’s rather effective. The more distractions you eliminate, the greater your chances will be in getting work done and getting it done right. Know what distracts you the most and do what you have to do to overcome that. By doing so, you will be exchanging momentary pleasure or entertainment for greater and more fulfilling things in the future. Admittedly, this is still a lesson I’m currently learning, but I take comfort in the fact that I’m actually thinking about this and wanting to reshape parts of my life. Sure ‘wanting’ is not the same thing as ‘doing’, but it’s a start, and if you’re already wanting to do more to benefit your life in a way that’s more lasting and you formulate your own plan to get there, you’re already taking an enormous step.