"Those who apply themselves too closely to little things often become incapable of great things." Francois de La Rochefoucauld

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Gratification from Performance

Gratification from Performance
Category: Goals, Plans, Hopes

"Precisely under conditions of reduction of tensions and gratifications of biological needs, novel forms of mental disorder appeared as existential neurosis, malignant boredom, and retirement neurosis, i.e., forms of mental dysfunction originating, not from repressed drives, from unfulfilled needs, or from stress, but from the meaninglessness of life." - Ludwig von Bertalanffy (General Systems Theory pioneer)

The quote above caught my attention the other day. The reason being is that I have frequently ran across people who have a mild case of what Ludwig is talking about. Especially "malignant boredom," and the meaninglessness of life.

Boredom can be, I believe, a symptom of life having a lack of meaning for someone. Additionally it can be a lack of self-esteem. Let me explain. When life has a meaning, or grandeur purposes beyond the current state; then a person's actions are usually in sync with what those grandeur purposes are. If there is no grandeur purpose; then there is no motivation to act towards something, hence boredom results.

Self-Esteem, creeps its head into the boredom picture when there is a lack of it. A lack of value for oneself, self-esteem, means that a person feels and sees themselves as unworthy of a more fruitful existence or future. Thus, if one feels unworthy, one will not have a belief in a grandeur picture; and if there is no belief there will be no action to grow and move towards a meaningful state of being.

Tensions in life are beneficial. For example, fitness is based on "tearing down" the body so as to allow the body to compensate and build itself stronger. Thus, no "tearing down" = no growth or fitness. To paraphrase Nietzsche - the feeling of power is what is felt when one overcomes some resistance. In a sense the function, action, or performance itself "is" the pleasure we seek as we grow.

Angel Armendariz

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