I have a friend who weighs 315 lbs. He has a high Eating motivation. It’s not all his fault that he lives to eat.
I have another friend who is unbelievably competitive. He HAS to beat me at everything we do. He has a high Vengeance motivation. It’s not all his fault that second place to me is the first loser for him.
I know a divorced couple where the husband has a low Romance motivation. He can go the rest of his life without sex. She can’t. It’s not all their fault they split.
The truth is that each of us are born with a combination of motivators that we can’t change. Can’t choose our parents. Can’t choose our personality. And no, can’t choose what moves us. Sorry. Not my doing.
Yes, we can alter our motivations somewhat, temporarily. NFL players kill each other on Sunday afternoon, but then, they’re back to pussycat city Sunday night.
The people who come to you for help are all hardwired with some combination of motivators. High this. Low that. Moderate here.
There are arguably 16 different motivators. Some say 18.
Acceptance, the need to be appreciated
Curiosity, the need to gain knowledge
Eating, the need for food
Family, the need to take care of one’s offspring
Honor, the need to be faithful to the customary values
Idealism, the need for social justice
Independence, the need to be distinct and self-reliant
Order, the need for prepared, established, and conventional environments
Physical activity, the need for work out of the body
Power, the need for control of will
Romance, the need for mating or sex
Saving, the need to accumulate something
Social contact, the need for relationship with others
Social status, the need for social significance
Tranquility, the need to be secure and protected
Vengeance, the need to strike back against another person
The people you are helping carry a story about themselves in their head. One of the keys of securing their happiness is helping them create the story they are telling themselves.
Doesn’t it make sense that if you know the forces that made them who they are you would know what words to use, or not use, to create a story where they work and play well with others?
But, who says we have some sense these days?
And me? I’m not intervening into my friends’ lives anymore since I’ve figured out their basic motivators. I only give them advice when asked.
I don’t demand my one friend stick to that fad diet. He can’t. I try and not let my other friend beat me in golf, but, when he does, we’re both smiling for different reasons.
As for the divorced couple…I don’t know where they are now, but I can only imagine…which is kinda fun if you think about it.