Sunday, December 18, 2016

What Motivates Whom

Many people tend to assume that others are motivated in the same way that they are.

People who are motivated by power assume that people are motivated by power.

People who are motivated by competition assume that people are motivated by competition or "adequacy striving."

People who are motivated by sex or love assume that people are motivated by sex or love.

People who are motivated by economic interest assume that people are motivated by economic interest.

People who are motivated spiritually assume that people are motivated by salvation or enlightenment.

In fact different people are motivated in different ways and at different times in their lives, and while all of the above apply to some people in no way is it rightful to claim that they apply to everyone.

I have been told by many that people are the same everywhere. People may be the same, but cultures aren't. A normal person in Texas drives a truck and drinks beer. A normal person in Tibet spends five hours a day meditating. In either culture, the other would be seen as a freak or worse; and it will be miles to go before they can come to any area of commonality.

There are differences between cultures, and then there are differences among people within cultures. A culture is not in control of the character of the people who are born within it. My brother and I come from the same culture, but we have very different personalities. What cultures are in control of is what they do with different characters that are born within them. The same qualities can be attacked in one culture and supported in another; and much is decided on how these qualities are dealt with.

This brings me to another subject. The Golden Rule states that it's necessary to treat the other person the way that one wants to be treated. But if I treat another person the way that I want to be treated, I am projecting upon the next person my own needs. I have always been seen as a freak, and there is absolutely nothing guaranteed that the way I want to be treated is anything like the way the next person wants to be treated. Nor is there anything guaranteed that the way in which I am myself motivated has anything to do with how someone else wants to be motivated.

It is important to find out how any given person is motivated. All of the above - and more - apply to some people, but they do not apply to everyone. Do not assume that other people are similar to you or motivated in the same way as you are. Find out how they are themselves motivated. Then treat them on that basis.


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