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The Thinking Lab - How Motivation Forms- for Members
August 25, 2020 –
Topic: How Motivation Forms
I have developed a very simple model of motivation.
The root cause of all motivation is values. A value (in the psychological sense) is that which you desire to gain and/or keep because you believe it promotes your life here on earth. A value can trigger both motivation by love and motivation by fear, depending on whether you spot an opportunity to gain/keep the value, or a threat that could harm it or cause you to lose it.
In certain circumstances, an "anti-value" can form, based on your choices, actions, and experiences. An anti-value is something you feel you must avoid at all costs, because you feel it threatens you, to such a degree, that it would be intolerable to move toward it. Anti-values are based on mistakes. Nothing is truly "intolerable" but death--and then you aren't there to experience it. Many anti-values are negative thoughts about yourself, the world, or other people that you are afraid to face, because they are so painful.
Anti-values create distortions in your motivation. They can block awareness of your values in certain circumstances. They can funnel your energy toward a defense value or a despair value.
In this class, we will discuss how values and anti-values form. I have summarized the information in a table on the handout for the class. We will go through it in detail. We'll discuss:
-How you form values actively and/or passively
-Why choices based on values always create a virtuous cycle
-How you form anti-values actively and/or passively
-Passive action that undercuts motivation
-The mistaken approaches that lead to vicious cycles