Lack of focus and purpose causes depression.

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Yes, that's me, and I"m blonde

Yes, that's me, and I"m blonde

This is not a scientific study.  Just my observations on happiness.

I’ve been feeling sad, tired, and lazy lately.  Not that there’s a shortage of things to do!  I’ve been doing tasks, and there’s plenty more to do.  But.. I’ve been low on energy, and haven’t been social, exercising, or having a regular schedule. I thought it was because I haven’t been going out and seeing any friends, etc… Maybe because I’m at home (yeah.. I’m at my place right now, packing it up, and getting it rented out, so I can be on the road full time.  I thought I wanted my stuff to be in its place, and not have to be in storage…. but in truth, I haven’t missed my stuff, and even when I got back here after 10 months, I still didn’t touch any of it), and not on the road.  But I think I was mistaken.

I noticed a massive spike in energy and joy as soon as I found a purpose.  I’m not necessarily talking about “My purpose on this planet is to _________” (though… according to my strengthsfinder tests, my purpose on this planet is to consult, and to find creative solutions to peoples’ problems), but rather “This guy owns a seafood restaurant, and I need to give him concrete action steps he can use to obliterate his comeptition, get good PR, and build up a list of people who want to be marketed to by him.” — as soon as that challenge was there, I didn’t care about packing, or reading the book I was reading… I was on a mission!  I was up through the night.  I was teaching him which tools to use, and giving him lists of people to contact, and telling him how to contact them.  I taught him quickly how to brand his transmissions, and how to fill up his restaurant during the slow times.  It’s amazing what you can do in a few hours!  I’ll know in 3 days how well my master plan worked!

The point isn’t the plan.  It’s the fact that as soon as I had something to do for someone – something that required my specific talents – I was happy.  It was as if I hadn’t been tired at all.  I lost track of time, was smiling, was even dancing to the music that was playing on TheSixtyOne (no… I didn’t get up… just bouncing my head like yeah… :p ).

This is a regular theme in my life… feeling like I’m bipolar or something… being so happy most of the time, but then being sad.  The world often doesn’t know, though some friends have noticed a minor change in vocabulary (instead of “Woo Hoo! It’s Morning! What adventures are you having today?”  I might say “Hey. What’s up?”  – For “how are you?” I might answer” “I’m ok” instead of “Supergood! But I”m getting better!” (got that one from Zig Ziglar)).  Like everyone else, I have bills, drama, relationship successes and failures, and good ol’ fashioned good/bad moods… but it’s the lack of a current focus or purpose that brings me down.  Have you ever had that happen to you?

Do you feel you have a purpose?  Are you working on what excites you?  Ever notice this pattern in you, or is it just me?

13 Responses to “Lack of focus and purpose causes depression.”
  1. Num Says:

    Hey Ori.I was shaking my head reading your post, thinking "Hey, me too". I've worked like a maniac for many years and find it equally easy to while away a day-or several-when I need to unwind, albeit neither for a very long uninterrupted stretch of time.I've noticed that I find it easier and much more enjoyable to be working on several projects at a time; focusing on a particular task in a set time interval set aside by me. Don't like to linger on something, it stops being as interesting then. I'm most excited when I have an approaching deadline; if I don't have one I create it to manage my time better.Shorter stronger bursts of energy and a limited attention span might explain this.Also, I enjoy putting all my creativity and energy into a task with a set goal and time line, so I know that when I wrap this up I can move on to the next task, with a fresh approach.

  2. Num Says:

    Hey Ori.I was shaking my head reading your post, thinking "Hey, me too". I've worked like a maniac for many years and find it equally easy to while away a day-or several-when I need to unwind, albeit neither for a very long uninterrupted stretch of time.I've noticed that I find it easier and much more enjoyable to be working on several projects at a time; focusing on a particular task in a set time interval set aside by me. Don't like to linger on something, it stops being as interesting then. I'm most excited when I have an approaching deadline; if I don't have one I create it to manage my time better.Shorter stronger bursts of energy and a limited attention span might explain this.Also, I enjoy putting all my creativity and energy into a task with a set goal and time line, so I know that when I wrap this up I can move on to the next task, with a fresh approach.

  3. Christopher Sherrod Says:

    I used to be that way. Then I found my niche and having been loving it since. It just gets better and better. Having something, having a vision in your life is all the difference in the world.

  4. catherine grison Says:

    Bonjour Ori… You are a Sag' and you need always to run after an arrow, if you do not want to suddenly feel all the "unbearable lightness of being" as Kundera would say… Probably need also to feel useful. I thought my business will achieve that for me, but that was not enough and actually meditation + blog give me a certain piece of mind now. I can share and help individuals, on a bigger scale. I feel good actually, very centered, and if I have moments, they are now more circumstantial than existential! Good luck, develop your spiritual practice, it is time now. And remember also that the bio-rhythms are always lower before somebody's birthday. take it easy, and no crazy move! Namaste, Be good & dont behave!Catherinehttp://www.frenchshuicafe.com/

  5. CouchSurfingOri Says:

    I agree…. WHEN I'm consulting, I feel like a kid at a waterpark (a kid that likes waterslides, etc)…. I can go for days at a time. And I'm working extremely hard right now to make that more of my full time thing than some of the other services I offer. Looking forward to that joy.

  6. CouchSurfingOri Says:

    Wow. I read what you wrote, while shaking my head going "hey!, me too!" – that really adds to what I feel.

  7. katebuckjr Says:

    ORI! I sensed this right away from you… & been there myself. There's no time like the present to MAKE yourself useful instead of waiting around for someone to need you! And keep in mind the end goal you are working toward… getting things in order so you can get back out on the ROAD to the ATX, where you belong :)

  8. ElizabethPW Says:

    I totally get this. Now it manifests differently in me, but that's just b/c my purpose/personality is a bit different. I have a few states that have totally put me in melancholy (I say that instead of depression, b/c I have lived w/ people who are depressed & I don't think I have ever been depressed, what I feel is something that has a reason & is not chemical/meaningless).Up until last spring I had major angst because I did not know what the point was of my business. Because making money is just not that interesting (besides making enough to pay the bills & have cool experiences) … I just don't care about buying fancy stuff or having a bunch of $ in the bank. So I really need a big, huge picture of what I was building … the 15-25 year secret plan for myself. And I did figure that out (no, not going in this comment, and I am not blogging about it yet. Less than a dozen people know, it's the kind of thing I only talk about in person, it's too venerable still.) Another time I get melancholy is when I am marinating (word comes from Sandy Grason). When I have some idea/vision/project that is unfinished and not ready to be finished, because it is floating around inside of my head/soul and still needs more cooking. It is so upsetting because I become completely incapable of being able to get anything done, or really participate in life, because I'm totally stuck waiting for the cooking to finish on it's own time.And then there's the spotlight. This I did not know until I got my hands read by Baeth Davis, but I have a double gift marker for "The Spotlight" in my hands. Which means that if I am not in the spotlight constantly (with a double gift markers, every day) then everything goes to crap for me. This is where videos, blogging, speaking, and twitter have saved me, so I can just turn on my iPhone/computer and immediately be sharing myself & my teachings on a "stage." So Ori, you are not alone! I think this is a trait for those of us amazing people who are called to do amazing things. It's a particular kind of burden we have. – ElizabethPW(wow, that's the longest blog comment I've ever written!)btw, I am marinating right now. and I'm really pissy about it. that is all.

  9. Rachel Says:

    Yes! I experience this pattern a lot. Thank you for writing this at just this time. I've been feeling down the last few days and this post is an excellent reminder of what I need to do to get out of my slump.

  10. Gretchen Says:

    Hey Ori, I'm sorry to hear you have the blues. Everyone gets them every once in a while. It seems like the projects are just a distraction from something else that's bothering you. You should be able to find an inner quiet and not be sad. I always think that if you have a moment of gratitude that will bring a happiness when there are no distractions. In the spirit of Thanksgiving I posted some of them on my website: http://uxdiva.com/I hope you have a great day. Love you ol' friend, <—Gretchen<<<

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  12. miah Says:

    I'm right there dude. I've definitely learned that it is critical to keep the next thing on my radar. I can be bummed riding the chair lift on a sick powder day if I don't have some quest i'm working towards. Sometimes the quest is business (how i'm dealing with life after my last trip), and sometimes it's planning the next adventure, but either way, I have the keep the carrot in front of me….

  13. miah Says:

    I'm right there dude. I've definitely learned that it is critical to keep the next thing on my radar. I can be bummed riding the chair lift on a sick powder day if I don't have some quest i'm working towards. Sometimes the quest is business (how i'm dealing with life after my last trip), and sometimes it's planning the next adventure, but either way, I have the keep the carrot in front of me….

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