In my life, there is nothing interesting; I have no hobbies… Work-home-work, no hobbies… How can I find interest within myself, or how can I make this interest strong enough to start doing something? Everything seems so sluggish…” Or here’s another, similar question that I often hear: “how to find myself? I just can’t figure out what I want, even though I think about it all the time.”
How to find myself?
I believe I know the answer – or rather, the direction in which to find it… And this direction is not inward. In my view, seeking answers to questions like “how to find myself,” “how to find hobbies,” or “how to find energy” within oneself is a hopeless endeavor. There’s nothing there. Our “self” is empty, and therefore the question addressed to oneself returns as a reflected echo.
In our body and psyche, there are no intrinsic inner sources of energy. A person weakened by hunger will never find within themselves a source of new calories or nutrients… Inside us, there are no answers. There’s no innate purpose, no “destiny” that was instilled in us by someone else before our birth.
One can only discover oneself through interaction with the outside world. For me, the properly phrased question is not “how to find myself,” but “in what activities can I discover my interest?” All the answers are there. In this sense, our “self” is empty; there are no answers in it. In our “self,” there is only need.
Need is our requirements, the feeling of lacking something to feel good. Discovering a need within oneself is precisely the discovery of an inner emptiness that one wants to fill. The three basic needs are for safety (“schizoid part” of personality), acceptance by others (“neurotic part”), and recognition (“narcissistic part”). These are all needs.
Now, where are the objects that can satisfy these three basic needs located? In us, or in the outside world? Who will be satisfied with recognition from oneself and no one else? Genuine safety is not in solitude, but in trustworthy contact with others…
A person who constantly delves into oneself, turning away from the outside world into “self-contemplation,” sinks into a state of need, endlessly feeling it. Clearly and sharply feeling one’s need is important, but what happens if the hungry constantly feel their hunger and refuse to open their eyes to look around for food? And many people are in this state.
So, the answer to the question “where to find interests and psychological energy for activities” is quite simple: in the outside world.
Energy for actions arises as a result of tension between the need and the objects that can satisfy that need. The more clearly you feel hunger, without dulling it with substitutes, the more actively you will search for food. You clearly and distinctly recognize both the emptiness and what can fill it. Interacting with other people, music, a favorite book, work – it can be anything, but none of these activities are found within us.
Happiness is precisely the state when we know that we have everything we need to satisfy all the important needs arising at the moment… I think many are familiar with this surge of energy at the moment of clear realization: “So that’s what I want!” or “So that’s what I need for this!”. There is one small nuance: to experience this moment, you must actively search for and interact with the outside world. Until you search, sort through – you will never find an object that our organism will respond to: “Mine!”
So, if we do not have a pathology and we are still seemingly alive, the issue is not that there is no interest or strength, but rather where we “drain” or hide this energy. Here, three possibilities exist:
- Something is wrong with the needs. You may not recognize them at all, but they exist – they always exist. Otherwise, “I don’t want anything” would equal “I have everything, and I’m completely happy,” but usually, people who report a lack of needs feel quite differently. A more accurate statement would be “I don’t understand what I want.” Another aspect: “I know my needs, but that means I have to do something there…”.It seems that in such cases there’s a careful damping of one’s need (most often through devaluation in the style of “Oh well, these desires are trivial… I need something more serious so that my mother finally appreciates it”), or it’s clearly not what we really want. However, a genuinely hungry person will not, grimacing, turn away from vegetables and demand woodcocks in pineapple sauce – they will eat and sharply enjoy the food. Few people eat as energetically as the hungry.
- Something is wrong with the objects in the external environment. What does this mean? It means that you see nothing in the outside world that would satisfy your inner hunger. All women are fools, men are alcoholics and loafers (and all the normal ones are already taken), bosses are idiots, and I won’t fit into this, and I won’t say anything, because I’ll end up feeling like an idiot.Or: I won’t try to establish contact with him, because it will be as always… That is, devaluation rules again – the person has learned to reject well. As a result, there’s nothing in the world (or rather, in consciousness) that could fill the inner emptiness, and this emptiness expands more and more.
- Something makes it impossible to accumulate energy for action if the need and object are clear and defined. That is, the existing energy is either blocked halfway or scattered. Who is not familiar with situations when you want to talk to someone about something very important, but you are desperately afraid, and as a result, you repeatedly chat about anything but what’s really important?Another way is to use substitutes. Meet not the girls you want, but those who are more accessible. Constantly chew on something – then you won’t feel hunger at all. There’s no energy or lightness then, but it’s safe…
In general, you cannot escape from the world; all the answers are there. The meaning of life cannot be discovered within oneself; it is revealed when we are open to the world. For some, very little openness is enough, and it takes a long time to “digest” and assimilate impressions – we call them “introverts.” “Extroverts” are those who have a lot of energy; they absorb a lot from the outside world, but often they are not very discerning, crowding their “self” with other voices and lives that timidly try to communicate their needs.
There are those who are afraid to go out into the world; it is full of dangers and monsters, and then it’s better to be hidden in the shell of their inner Universe, in which, however, there is emptiness, silence, and apathy. There are those who have forgotten about their “self,” completely merging with the external environment: they are not afraid because the “self” that could experience this fear is lost.
It becomes scary when life at some point throws you out of its flow… Therefore, at our service, there are many substitutes that do not allow you to feel real hunger: television and the internet as fast food, identical to the natural world.
A life full of energy and interest is the path of a tightrope walker, balancing between attention to the quiet voice of their “self,” speaking of needs, and an open look at the vast noisy world in which something can be found (if you are attentive to the world) that resonates in unison with the inner voice. Here’s where the energy arises – as a reaction of recognition: “This is mine!