Apathy is feeling indifferent about what is going around you. It can often travel with depression, but apathy does not include feelings of hopelessness, sadness and chronic emptiness. Apathy is a lack of motivation. The very first place to go is inside, to accurately name the truer, deeper feeling one may be experiencing. Doing this important inner work before we take any action or draw conclusions is a life-giving habit. For example, loneliness, a lack of purpose, or feeling ineffective can lead us to disengage with the world. Many turn to using substances/screens to numb these unpleasant feelings. When we numb, we don’t get to pick what we numb, we numb the whole person. It is precisely the wrong remedy.
Deeper reflection may help you see you are pursing things that you actually do not want to do, or that are too large and not broken down into do-able chunks. For example, my recent revelation that I did not, in fact, want to learn Spanish or a dissertation that feels too big gets shelved for weeks at a time, or weariness sets in from a weight loss journey that is far too restrictive, punishing and not sustainable. These are pursuits that need revisiting, not apathy. Or maybe…. you are in grief, which needs your gentle self-compassion and a lot of space to allow time to do its work.
Dissolving apathy involves making and keeping promises to oneself. When we break promises to ourselves, we sink into despair about our ability to be effective in this world. We may find it easier to keep our vows to others than to keep promises to ourselves.
Our capacity to self-regulate, to turn our attention to what matters is what makes us human. We can build our capacity to keep promises to ourselves.
A change in perspective is worth 80 IQ points.
Computer scientist Alan Kay
The Benefits of not being a Jerk to Yourself
The Wisdom to Know the Difference
Recently seen on social media. A good reminder to STOP thinking/saying “You make me feel X .” Helpful to correct ourselves mid thought/sentence with “When you do this, it makes me feel this.” Progress is slow but it can help us be less reactive (who does not want that?) and become a habit to take 100% responsibility for how we feel. Helpful tool for this election season.
Healthy Relationship Guide
For anyone especially a young person starting out in a relationship- lists important traits needed to maintain a healthy relationship, with examples. It’s a good reminder for myself too, now married 28 years! Accepting responsibility for all of my attitudes and behaviors is still ongoing….
Detox the Workplace
How to fix a toxic work culture. From the Sull father-son research duo- offering ways to create healthy workplace norms.
Stay Well, (and please respond to this blog)