Email from a reader having a tough time. Ambitious, but in a rut. Here's an edited excerpt, my thoughts afterwards -
I had some thoughts as a part of trying to get myself out of a rut. The rut is from a bad combination [...] and a lack of drive and motivation. I'm not sure I can ever fully get out of it. I've been in it in some form or another for as long as I can remember. The following isn't an epiphany. Maybe the rut is something we can never escape, though some do better than others at trying. But I'll keep trying, I think. I've failed to many times in the past to be sure, but I will try. Maybe one day I'll escape it.
It goes on that way for a while - tough times, stuck in a rut, and thinking about it repeatedly. My take -
Okay, you're "ruminating" a lot. Google the term, read something about it.
There's pros and cons of ruminating. It helps you clear up whatever issues you have eventually, but makes you miserable in the process. The answer isn't to just stop ruminating, it's to get solved whatever you want solved and also cut back on ruminating at the same time.
Interesting NY Times article from a couple years ago -- "Net Worth, Self-Worth and How We Look at Money."
It gives a brief summary of an academic paper that found four basic patterns around money:
1. Money avoidance2. Money worship3. Money status4. Money vigilance
The first was avoiding money by being worried about its negative effects, or thinking it's dirty to have. People with money avoidance tend to have low incomes, low net worths, and are young.
Money worship means people think that money will solve all their problems, which has its own negative effects. While these people get wealthier (obviously), it places a lot of personal self-worth on having money and leads to risky and neurotic behavior.