This week I went to see dan le sac vs Scroobius Pip. It was a cheeky fifth gig that I sneaked into January, having only heard about them a few weeks before. And thanks to my investigative listening I came across this particular song of theirs. Which is brilliant.
On the surface the lyrics might seem to be talking to just the one demographic, but really it applies to anyone and everyone that decides to really listen. Escapism and taking the easy way out are constant temptations for anyone, any age, any level of education or wealth. And the most perfect answer to when you find yourself slumped on the sofa, or twiddling on your iPhone is just to decide to 'get better'.
It's a case of self motivation and nothing more
Whether it's something as simple as not being so self deprecating, or thinking more about others. Or something more tangible like learning a new skill or looking up the news. All it ever takes is self motivation.
Now I may have started my Italian this week (Sono una donna. Bevo un caffe. Io scrivo). But that's not all. Every time I found myself sinking or slowing down at work, or looking in the mirror and drawing breath to heave a heavy sigh, I thought to myself, 'get better'.
It's only ever a question of improving your automatic thought pattern. In fact, getting better means switching that autopilot off and choosing to see, hear and enjoy. Much like David Foster Wallace says:
Don't fail yourself
Now, it quite obviously didn't work all the time. Saying you 'just' need self-motivation is a misnomer. It glazes over the difficulty of what maintaining self-motivation really means, and how much harder it is most of the time than just floating along with the flotsam.
But, those intricate and brilliant lyrics acknowledge that, and they give you (and gave me) a back up line. 'The system might fail you, but don't fail yourself.' When you do stumble, and you do watch Netflix rather than reading that library book. When you stare at Facebook instead of getting up and exercising. When you over-instrospect and close your senses to what is around you and instead just experience what you imagine is surrounding you. All you are doing is failing yourself.
And no one wants to do that. We do. But when we do we suffer our own punishment. And when we remember that we are each our own responsibility, and that we hold the key to not failing ourselves and in turn others, it provides that extra leg up to stay self motivated.
Learning more, making yourself more so that you can be more for others - well for me at least - helps jolt us back into looking out, getting better and keeping things in perspective.