Americans have gone soft. We've been entitled, spoiled, enabled, and had unlimited access to the world and now we are uninterested, uninvested, and unmotivated.
Anhedonia is the clinical term for when someone expresses little or no joy in their life. They are just going through the motions of living but have never learned to capture the beauty of life. They look okay on the outside, but they don't smile and there's no twinkle in their eyes or spring in their step.
People suffering from Anhedonia want something to make them feel...anything or nothing at all. They don't engage in relationships because they don't see the point. They don't want to go to work because they don't have ambition or goals. They don't plan for their future because they don't believe they have a future worth pursuing. They grow up watching their parents, or parent, or grandparents struggle at work, and they don't want to struggle like that. They look around at their lifestyle and nothing appeals. They lay on the couch watching their phones all day and compare their life to the algorithms that make them dissatisfied with what they have. They seldom leave the house other than to go to school and they return to the same place at the end of the day. When their parents finally reach a point of frustration because they can't get them to "do" anything, they bring their child to therapy hoping the therapist will be able to change their child. Mom and dad, the problem is not your child. They don't need to be fixed. They are not broken, they don't need a pill, and they don't need therapy.
I believe the problem is that life's routine has become mundane and routine even boring and predictable. If you want your child to grow up motivated give them experiences that challenge them. Take away their cell phone and turn off the TV. Take them to the mountains and let them walk through open fields surrounded by nature. Make them gather firewood and start a fire. Show them how to cook dinner in a single pot on top of the fire they made. Let their senses smell. see, hear, taste, and feel new experiences. Let them see wildlife, dear, bear, hawks, and eagles not on a flat screen, but right before them. Let curiosity bubble up as they wonder about life as they experience the world alive around them.
If parents won't challenge themselves to get out of the house, to give up their phone, to turn off the TV, their children will grow up believing there is nothing worth living for. The most motivated children have the most motivated examples in their own parents. Instead of going to the gym to lift weights, work in the yard and build something with your hands.Then stand back and marvel at your creation. Instead of spending the weekend binge watching movies, go someplace and experience something new. Make a list of different places you've never been to and start crossing them off as you do them. They don't have to be expensive or major, it's the minor things in life that count as well. Try cooking with new ingredients, play a board game that doesn't require technology, go for a picnic at a local park and swing, slide, and skip with your children. Roll in the grass, wrestle in the sand, and learn to play with your children. Let laughter bubble up and explode bringing you to tears. These are memory making moments you and your children will cherish forever. Turn off technology and actually experience something. You just might find a life worth living for.
3 "...we know that suffering produces perseverance;
4 perseverance, character; and character, hope."