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Motivation, Ideology, Action 1

Tantz_Aerine at 12:00AM, Nov. 9, 2019

As any psychologist will tell you, no matter how it is explained, motivation is key.

There is no behavior that lacks motivation- a reason or reasons for acting or behaving in a particular way.

Even our most subconscious actions have motivations, from tics to small morning rituals.

The thing that people might think is the cynical part of it all, is that ALL motivation stems from some kind of benefit that we perceive we are receiving.

All of our motivations and thus our actions can, in the bottom line, be considered to be self-serving. From the biggest act of altruism to the biggest act of selfishness, the motivation does not break that one single rule.

How can that be?

The secret lies in the reasoning. In that little phrase “the benefit that we perceive”.

The people that strive to offer to the world perceive personal benefit in this action. The people who do not, haven't managed to make the same cognitive connections. Were they to make these connections and truly believe them as viable and valid, then the selfish would become altruists as well.

The same of course, goes for anything and everything. That includes murder, jealousy, friendship. Even love.

So when creating a character, the biggest element to consider isn't whether they are a good person or a bad one but rather what their core motivation is. What lies deep inside their heart.

Then, the next step is to determine what kind of pathway the character finds is a viable one for the attainment of this goal.

But why do some choose the ‘hard way’ and others the ‘easy way’? What makes one choose the path of what is considered right, and what makes one choose the path of what is considered wrong?

That depends on their ideology- because, just like motivations, everyone has one.

That's what I'm going to tackle next time!

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bravo1102 at 6:16AM, Nov. 9, 2019

MOrgan, you were moving your foot for something? Walking across the room? Getting a bag of chips? And the chair leg was in the way. You were motivated to an action, but something just happened to be in the way, so you stubbed your toe. Our actions are motivated, but we do not control the universe. The universe operates outside of us. That in itself could be a motivation. Control. But you could still stub your toe because your wife left her tote bag in the middle of the floor again! She had her reasons for doing that. Not to trip you, but because it was convenient and she was to tired to put it away. Welcome to the universe of conflicting motivations and reasoning all acting for or against each other.

El Cid at 5:04AM, Nov. 9, 2019

When a soldier throws himself on a grenade to save his comrades, the argument can be made that he did so selfishly, be it because he gets more pleasure from the thought of their survival than his own, or because protecting his country means protecting people with DNA similar to his own. But I'm not sure that's the best point to start from as a writer; it seems rather shallow and circular (People want to satisfy their desires. Their desires for what? For satisfaction, of course!). I'm sure the everyone-is-selfishly-motivated approach is adequate for some kinds of writing, but I'm skeptical that you'll produce a lot of inspiring results. This is only Part 1 though, so I should probably just shut up and wait for the rest of it!

Abt_Nihil at 4:39AM, Nov. 9, 2019

In the kind of philosophical action/decision theory where I‘m at home,we say that actions are motivated, not necessarily all behavior. That would take care of MOrgan‘s case. (Also, I think motivations can „petrify“ in the way that you do things that you do often or for a long time merely because you’re used to doing them, not because there’s any deeper reason.)

MOrgan at 3:06AM, Nov. 9, 2019

You mean I stubbed my toe because of a subconscious motivation??? 8-| Man, that's some deep-seated self-loathing.

bravo1102 at 2:16AM, Nov. 9, 2019

As Charles Grodin said in the Great Muppet Caper, when asked "why are you doing this?" " Because I'm the villain "

ozoneocean at 12:35AM, Nov. 9, 2019

I like thinking of the motivations for my characters :D

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