Art of Motivation | November 2022
Loneliness and a cult
Hello, my Super Fine Friend! Welcome to another edition of “Art of Motivation.” This week, as you can see, I’ve pulled up one of my “Two Dogs in a Pub” comics to illustrate the point. In this edition, we tackle loneliness… or at least try to trip it up a bit.
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Loneliness and you
Are you lonely, surrounded by people yet lacking in the connection? If you are, are you hesitant to admit it? Why?
Loneliness is multi-faceted - it’s categorical and gradient. That may sound pedantic but bear with me. I believe that each and every one of us (who live in our modern society, that is) suffers from loneliness to a varying degree.
Categories of loneliness
Hollywood influences our perception of loneliness. Usually, loneliness is portrayed as one person wanting romantic love but not finding it or failing to do anything to achieve reciprocal feelings from their crush. It’s common and sadly appealing. After all, that’s the theme of my comic at the head of this post. Yet there’s more to loneliness.
Loneliness is a feeling of a lack of connection. This could be in any of the categories below:
romance (of course)
hobbies or interests
Perhaps there are others, but you get the idea. You can be fulfilled in one category and lonely in another. In what aspect of your life might you be lonely?
Gradients of loneliness
Once you realize the category (or categories) of your own loneliness, it’s good to get a handle on the degree to which you suffer. I could use a scale - say, one to 10 - but I like the idea of a gradient. Picture a swimming pool. The bottom has a grade that goes from shallow to deep. If you’re not a good swimmer, the deep end is dangerous.
Few people are good at swimming in loneliness and, in most cases, they’re fooling themselves; mired in selfish pride while using the moniker “independence.” The honest person should realize when they’re drowning in loneliness and do something about it.
Kick loneliness to the curb
I’m not a psychiatrist, I’m a motivator so my job is to point you in the right direction and give you a kick in the pants. If you’re feeling intense loneliness characterized by depression, seek professional help.
If, however, you’re feeling a more common caliber of loneliness (i.e., not quite thrashing around in the deep end of the loneliness pool), here are a few things to consider:
Be open to opposing viewpoints.
Go outside your comfort zone.
Change your environment.
Of course, there are other remedies so be open-minded and brainstorm. Of course, we’re just scratching the surface here. This is an expansive subject and deeply emotional once we dig in. My goal is to help you get the ball rolling.
Our culture deems “independence” as a virtue, yet, as I mentioned above, it’s prideful and foolhardy. Once we embrace the fact that we’re interdependent, we can truly reap the benefits: long-term relationships, joy, and sustainability.
p.s., If you’re curious about the poor dog’s loneliness in the comic at the head of this message, here is the rest of the story:
Two Dogs in a Pub: “Cult” (eps. 2-6)
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