Gotta get paid, gotta get laid: how to self-motivate

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Joined: 5 Jun 2011
Gender: Male
Posts: 18

19 Jan 2013, 1:11 pm

I am often aware of the socially appropriate action, what to say, what to do, or when to bite my tongue, or when to check on my inner catalogue of common behaviors. For every meeting I attend at work, I write down “Stay in room; smile occasionally.” I often hate the meetings; much could be accomplished in email or by subcommittees of over-eager colleagues. I work as a therapist, and when co-workers sing the praises of their individual supervisors in front of the office of twenty-five, I suspect that they are not fully heard or understood in their supervision because they bring their celebrations and mournings to such a large audience. I presume, if they are like me, that very few of the twenty-five care. I do receive knowing smiles when I interrupt people talking more than anybody enjoys. But, maybe my Asperger’s has an impact on this, and maybe some are more motivated than others to hear these updates. What is the source of this motivation? They may enjoy a sense of belonging and shared experience; although I work for the same Agency, my experience has been different from as early as I can remember.

A former boss at a day treatment school I worked at encouraged his staff to endure the documentation requirements of Medi-Cal billing by reminding us that the Agency, and by extension we, “Gotta get paid.” I don’t do anything for free, especially as an Aspie with a hyper-rational mind. Even as I have developed sufficient social skills to engage in social activities, my current limitation is the confusion that nobody is paying me to use my skills at informal social gatherings.

Money is not all I care about; my libidinal drive is also highly motivating. For the first twenty years of my life, my father gave me social skills training by choosing appropriate times to tell me “Don’t be an as*hole.” Now, at thirty-one, my girlfriend encourages me to “Behave as if I want to get laid tonight.” Not all good behavior results in a sex trophy, but it does help to be reminded that certain behaviors have foreseeable consequences. Whether right or wrong, an infinite fount of love will not flow if it is emotionally distracted by a brat partner. If I notice facial expressions and hear sentences that make me predict I will not have sex that night, I face the choice of discarding the entire project of warm connection or trying for the next morning or night. I have learned not to piss in an infinite fount of love.

I have both paid work and romantic love available to me at this point; are the draws of both sufficient to motivate when they are not immediately accessible? They must be, even if as medium or long term goals. What if a person is motivated by solitude, a chance to hike the Pacific Crest Trail with a well-stocked backpack and re-rations along the way? What if a person is motivated to pay the buy-in for a poker tournament? Am I fully available to all forms of motivation, including intrinsic fulfillment? It would serve me to look at the needs that money and sex are attempting to meet; many other writers have addressed this. For me, the draw of money includes recognition and sustainability, and the draw of sex includes connection and fun. Both are related to my intention to show up in the world with courage and self-responsibility. I want to do work that gives me glory moments, I want to be paid for those glory moments, and I want to be loved after a glorious day of work. As I now connect to gratitude for my career and my partnership, I see how “Gotta get paid; Gotta get laid” helped guide me when I risked being confused and lazy during moments that called for courage and action.