Knowing Your Motivations

What Makes You Tick?

Last week for the FridayFiction Breakdown I wrote about how Mowgli of The Jungle Book had two obstacles to overcome: Shere Khan the tiger and being a “man cub.” This was a fun analysis for me since any good fictional character must be stricken with both an internal and external conflict. It’s part of the greater recipe to write dynamic, memorable characters. But why try to overcome these conflicts in the first place? What was his motivation?

The first one is easy, don’t get eaten by the monstrous tiger. Survival is a great motivator.

The second is less primal, but still important. Societal and cultural acceptance are two more great motivators for Mowgli to find his place in the animal kingdom.

What Are My Motivations?

Ask yourself, what are my motivations? Why do you do the things you do? Are you motivated by money? Power? Fame? Solving problems? Happiness on your customers’ faces? The satisfaction of completing a project? Why do you do what you do?


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Motivation Is What Will Guide You

Knowing your motivations is important because it will help guide you as you grow your business, team, brand, and yourself. If your motivation is to accumulate as much money as possible, your business decisions and actions will be different than if your motivation is to help young professionals get out of college debt. Everything about you, your business, your brand, your company, and your products or services hedge on your motivations.

Motivation for Outside of Business

Our motivations govern our behavior outside of work as well. If you find someone in class attractive and want to get his or her attention, you may start working out. You may want to get closer to your family, so you plan more activities like game night and camping trips to draw everyone together. Motivations are our ultimate reasons to do things. In a way they are selfish, but they can also be selfless.

Motivations in Real Life

For me, one of my main ambitions is to write a Star Wars novel. With that motivation in mind I know that I need to put in the work. I need to write more than a first draft manuscript. I need to establish myself as an authority in the writing community. I need to make friends and fans. Everything I do, including this blog, is a chess move in the greater game of writing a Star Wars novel. Obviously, I have other motivations and goals, but they all play together.

Motivations cannot exist in a vacuum. They need other motivations around them and they are usually connected. One of my other motivations is to bring entertainment and inspiration to other writers, whether they have not written a book or are prolific. This motivation of, build community, ties in perfectly with, write a Star Wars novel. I want to bring value to people around me as I will bring Disney Publishing Worldwide and Random House Publishing.

Motivations drive us. They are the beacons we use to guide our professional and personal lives. Do an audit of your motivations. Ask yourself what drives you. Only you can determine if your motivations fall along a moral or ethical line. I leave that to you. Regardless, is everything you do bringing you another step closer to that goal? Are there things in your life you can do without in order to achieve it?

Thank you for reading this installment of Daily Download. Please like, share on Twitter, Facebook, or Google+ if you liked it. You can follow me, Ryan A. Ross, on Twitter @ryanthebossross. Don’t forget to check out the Archives, there’s a lot of great stuff including Writer’s Workshop and Friday Fiction Breakdown.

Don’t forget, another edition of Friday Fiction Breakdown will be posted in a few hours. Make sure to check back for the ultimate, “Show, don’t tell” movie that will make you scared of the dark all over again.

If you have a topic you would like to see appear on the Daily Download, please email me.

The question of the day: What kind of shoes are you wearing right now? Please comment below.

Until tomorrow.

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