The Trick of Alternation

Posted: January 31, 2012 in a lonely journey, motivation
Tags: ,

Nothing worthy can be achieved overnight. There’s a long road to walk. And to walk that road you need fuel. Something to keep you brain and soul committed. A good option is obsession — it’ll get you far. Unfortunately you can be obsessed over anything only for so long. At some point obsession wears off. That’s how our brains are wired — we seek novelty. On the other hand, pure cold logic won’t get you far either. It lacks fire. It lacks passion. It’s simply too cold too keep you going for too long.

The trick is in the alternation. Set your eyes on the goal. Be sure it’s the right one. Make sure you have passion — better yet feel that you’re obsessed. Then go. But once you feel that your passion is no longer as strong as it used to be, let your cold logic kick in. Forget emotions. Just go. Just keep going, step after step, mile after mile, even if you’re completely numb. And then, as you get closer and closer to your goal, your passion will come back. Your cold calculated monotonous movement toward the goal will get you to the results that will refuel your obsession — and it will come back ten time stronger.

Alternation. Has it ever worked for you?

  1. LT says:

    This is just a personal experience that nothing should be read into. It just fits the topic.

    Through high school and college, I had two girlfriends, one of them I married. I was a virgin when I got married, not because of any kind of religious stuff but because I was afraid of having a kid before I was ready. I made a choice not to fool around.

    I got married, we had kids. The passion died, the wondering started, the itch reared its ugly head. I wondered what other women would be like, what another life would be like, how free I’d be to pursue goals and dreams other than just providing for a family. I ached with the unknown. I had fallen out of love with my wife, I didn’t like my job, I was depressed and unsatisfied.

    I knew in my head, at least, that the grass was “always greener” and there wasn’t any way I was going to find a better woman than my wife or a better family than my kids. The cold, calculating part kicked in when my emotions were wrung dry and were pretty much lying to me and the crappy part of me was deceiving me.

    Now, years later, I’m back in love with my wife and we’re hitting 17 years in May. The passion is back, and I am so totally.. ecstatic? that I didn’t listen to myself and kept on going. It was a deliberate choice, it wasn’t like I was trapped. Our marriage almost ended a couple times. But here we are, still together and the only lovers either of us have ever had.

    I wised up and quit my job and found one for less money that I love. Debt kind of stinks, but with all the other stuff that’s totally awesome I can live with the trade-off.

    Yeah, I’d say alternation worked for me. Good post.


    • Unmaskd says:

      LT — thanks for sharing your story. Yes, it really fits the topic. Raising a happy family and having a job that pays the bills and that you love is way more challenging than many shiny goals people set of themselves. In fact, so many people end up sacrificing one for another and end up with a job they tolerate at best or with family that is always on the brink of falling apart. Getting to that golden balance is anything but easy. As for falling in love for the second time with someone you’ve been with for 17 years… things like the are rare and truly priceless.


    • CB says:

      LT, Thanks for sharing your post, it is encouraging. The world needs more husbands like you who have sense enough to think things through and make wise decisions even when struggling through tough times. I am glad you found personal happiness and in your marriage and family.

      I have to ask you a question: do you have good communication with your wife and do you consider her your best friend? I wonder if that is the goal in marriage and if you can’t say yes to both of those questions I think the answer is, why get married. Many times I think it is because you want a family.

      I’m just trying to figure out where I am in my marriage. My husband left me a while back and I was devastated. While no cheating ever occurred on either side or major issues that would cause a break up, we didn’t solve any underlying issues and then I left him. We went to marriage counseling and I feel more empowered but he didn’t think it helped any. I realize he is unhappy not based on anything I did or didn’t do, said or didn’t say. He’s the kind of guy that has always done the right thing, not very emotional and is very black and white. It often occurred to me that his doing the right thing got in the way of his happiness. I would encourage him to find things that would give him personal satisfaction and happiness, I encouraged change as it has always worked for me in my personal happiness. He is a respected man in his line of work and continues to succeed in that area and truly is a good person. He has done really great special things for me over the years to show his love for me. All I really want is to connect with him, but why should I expect that if that is not how our relationship started. I mean we had fun together and we were nice to each other but we just did not have a great emotional connection or communication. Lately I feel like an actress playing a role of happiness in my marriage when I’m just not feeling it but think I’m doing a good job pretending to be a wife who loves him. In my life outside of my marriage I am very happy and fulfilled since I decided not to let his unhappiness get in the way of my happiness. He has made changes and is “feeling” happier but I think he’s playing the role of husband who loves his wife…I think under the masks, we both know we’re staying together for the kid’s sake while being cordial and keeping things consistent, trying to show that we love each other for the kids. I can’t help but have hope in my heart that the love we once felt for each other will come alive again but when he chose to leave, it broke my heart and it’s never felt the love in the same way for him again yet. Divorce is a very selfish thing and I am not leaving that as an option. We had a talk about that we are just staying together for the kids and that after they are grown, he would like to end it. So many people are just giving up too easily while those staying in are settling for a marriage or partner that isn’t what they hoped for. I’m willing to do the work but I really need to have the right attitude going into falling in love all over again with him. I have to close the door of rejection he walked out of and open up a new door to let love in again.


      • LT says:


        My wife and I have good communication, but I would have to honestly say she is not my best friend. But I don’t really HAVE a best friend, which I would consider someone sharing the same likes/dislikes, finishing thoughts, laughing a lot together, implicitly understanding one another, clicking, that kind of thing. We don’t share much in the way of entertainment likes; I’m a gamer, she’s not. I love intellectual movies & puzzles, she doesn’t. I love animals, she finds them a pain. She loves having people over for dinner, I’m more solitary. She’s more in touch with her emotional side and empathizes more with people. She’s good at financial stuff, I suck. We have our own strengths and weaknesses, and many of them are complimentary, but where we don’t gel is exactly where I would see a best friend gelling, if you know what I mean.

        We make good partners and we balance each other out; it helps in raising the three kids and certainly helps in maintaining a household. But the reasons you state for “why get married?” are certainly something that occurred to me and very definitely were the reasons I was so full of angst for years. I didn’t feel like she KNEW me, and isn’t that what we all crave? You’d think being loved and loving in return would be the purpose of marriage.

        There’s an expression that goes something like “iron sharpens iron”. I am a stronger, better person because of my wife. I would like to think she was a stronger, better person because of me. We’re both more tolerant and understanding of people who are quite unlike us, in large part because we’ve had to deal with each other for so long. 😀

        I don’t know which one is “right”. A bone-deep bond of having the same interests and thinking the same in the same direction, having someone you can always trust to do what you’d do? I think that’s what a lot of romantic comedies/movies would have us believe is the ideal. I can see the attraction to it. Or is it a relationship that helps you grow and improve and become something more than you were? Something better than you are alone, I guess. …like Voltron!

        For the record, though I both love my wife and feel like I’m also “in love” with her, the feelings wax and wane. I am past the angst and wondering and doubt, but it is never a completed work. The bad stuff will come ’round again, but now I know there are different sides to it.

        The emotional connection stuff is HARD. I waver on whether we achieve that or not and how important it is. I do take heart from the fact that sometimes I feel like we’re achieving it or that we have it. I know without a doubt that feelings are totally fleeting and not something you can base any kind of real relationship on. That’s a pre-made decision, a commitment, and endurance. Sounds like you’ve got that in spades.


    • CB says:

      Thanks for getting back to me and answering my question so openly and honestly. I don’t base the relationship on feelings, because like you said, they waver. I’m just questioning if I made the right decision when I said “yes” when I look back and examine our marriage as a whole. It’s not to say that change cannot take place to make it more fulfilling. I look at the situation to see where I can make adjustments to make things better. I just didn’t think it through before I said yes because I thought I was in love (no one ever really knows what marriage is until they’re in it). After we were married a few months, he started becoming very critical of me and rejecting me as if I wasn’t supposed to be me anymore. When I wanted to do something new, he’d almost always say “no” instead of believing in me and letting me pursue the things I’m interested in. Once the babies came, it was a diversion and it didn’t matter as much about me and him but it also caused us to lead very separate lives which is where we are today. Slowly we are spending a little time together again but the communication has always been lacking and I think that is a very critical part of a good marriage. Though it would be nice to talk about everything under the sun stimulating each other intellectually and creatively and truly connecting, I can settle for less than that ideal (but I still hope for that). I’d be happy to just spend time with him and enjoy each other’s company finding a common ground. We are so different and I used to think we complemented each other, but I just don’t see it anymore. I don’t like fighting and don’t like having to fight for what I want, need or believe in, especially to just be able to be myself without being judged. I think it should come naturally if you’re compatible with someone. It is a very difficult situation to be in day after day and I don’t know if I want to spend the rest of my life on a battlefield. I like peacefulness. We both have very strong personalities and that is where we clash and before we were even married, I knew I would be the one who would have to bend. I saw the red flags but they were so subtle. It’s as if I have to convince myself to love him because he’s such a great guy but I just think we both belong with someone else. Maybe I just don’t see it. I’m going to try to look at it from a different angle and see if I can implement change to give this thing one last shot. You get one life and I want all parts of my life to be fulfilling.
      Thanks for your opinion from your experience and for letting me vent,


  2. Anonymous says:

    Thanks for posting this oh masked one. I really needed this reminder. I lose interest in projects way too easily and leave much unfinished which in turn just frustrates me. Not following through and meeting my goals the has left me feeling like I failed one too many times. Time to finish what I started and what I truly love.


  3. Anonymous says:

    Love this … muchly 🙂 a very accurate depoiction of our labours !


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