25. Number Games

On a train journey to visit my parents I tried to relax, but was still thinking about the company – my company and its fragile future.

In particular, I was thinking about what would motivate me to do what I needed to do to earn more money.

Strange as it sounds, I didn’t feel I had the ‘right’ motivation. Something was off.

Or let me say it in another way: I felt I had a motivation that was too negative – like ‘survive’, ‘pay for baby stuff’, ‘contribute to household’.

Necessary as that motivation was, it certainly didn’t infuse me with positive energy to work. On the contrary, despite the obvious necessity, I had found myself in recent weeks looking more and more for distractions.

Perhaps because I still have money on my credit and still get paid insurance. So there are no sanctions – yet – for slacking. That would be a plausible explanation.

On the other hand, it would also – admittedly – be better if I could find a positive motivation. Otherwise, if I survived or contributed with money made while working hard and feeling stressed, most of the time, then what was the point?

Didn’t I just go through six years of ‘survival-income’ like that when I was a helper for disabled persons, being paid a near-minimum wage, working dreadful hours and generally having a job that while important sure wasn’t highly motivating on a personal level? Didn’t I just do it that way – with regard to earning money?

Where was the difference?

Sure, my company with webdesign would be a step up in terms of the actual work I would – will – do for money. It will be more creative and demand more of my experience. It will be more rewarding.

But still … something was off.

And then it hit me:

I was not thinking about making enough money.

Or put in another way:

Until now, I had been setting the bar for making money too low for me to be motivated.

I had been thinking mainly of trying to earn at least the same I did as a helper for disabled with my new company, which would be about 3000 dollars or less a month.

I tried NOT to set the bar higher for fear of being too disappointed if I failed.

And because I thought it would help me think ‘it is easier earning a small amount than a bigger amount’.

And in truth, I have probably not set the bar higher because I have not believed I can earn much more than about 3000 dollars per month with my company – at least for the first year.

But paradoxically, when I imagine setting the goal for 6000 dollars I feel much more motivated, although I know with my rationality that it will be twice as hard.

When I am thinking about making 3000 dollars per month, I know it will be easier in principle, but it fills me with feelings of ‘struggle’, ‘hardship’ and even … ‘despair’.

So what is going on here?

I can only say that I think it’s because the ‘6000 dollar-imagination’ reflect a vision about a situation in which money comes easily. And therefore is fun.

The situation is also one in which I earn theĀ kind of money that has a true positive impact on my financial situation, in particularly as regards debt. So it feels not only easy and fun, but also Downright Good.

Whereas the ‘how-does-it-feel-to-make-3000-dollar’-feeling has for some years now been associated in my mind with hardship.

I know, I had to work hard to get just that money in another line of work that paid less by the hour, so we are comparing oranges and apples, but still … The amount of 3000 reminds me, emotionally, of this type of work, even when I say to myself: ‘You are now doing webdesign’.

Most importantly 3000/month does not have a significant effect on my finances and it is also a level I associate with outside support, say, from my insurance – which is about that amount.

I can’t really explain it better than this, but apparently a part of me can be fully aware that earning 6000 dollarsĀ is more difficult to do and yet feel so much better about setting that goal, than the ‘less rissky goal’ of 3000.

And so I have just changed the numbers in my budget to end with one of these numbers per month in 2017.

I don’t think I need to say which …