We look at why people do things. Why do some people excel and others don’t? Why does it take longer for people to achieve their goals than others? In my reading on various subjects that help me understand what makes people act and react I’ve made some discoveries. Behind many people’s front motivations are a lot of hidden ones. Some people that seem to achieve by bravery, going against the odds, are a lot of times propelled in the beginning by a fear of something greater than whatever it is they are known to overcome.
For instance let’s take Jay Z. I’ve read his biography along with a books and articles describing his climb to stardom (as well as having most of his collection on my Evo). He’s from the ghetto and most know there is a lot to brave and overcome in that environment. But there are millions from an environment like his so what made him take it upon himself to become what he is? There were a few hidden motivations in him that made him push himself. He was constantly turned down by the women in his neighborhood (as stated in some of his earlier songs and a few books written about him).
He had a complex about his features. Couple that with him seeing all the big money cats in his ‘hood getting all the women. So early on he figured out that money = better choice of women. Then there was death and violence around him. He was scared and rather than to face this everyday he’d take his chances on getting out and becoming wealthy so that he wouldn’t have to. Fear of death and violence overcome by the fear of having to face this threat day in and day out. Then there was his intellect . . . that nobody would’ve ever known about had he stayed in the ghetto. So enter the fear of being unknown and not being recognized for how he thinks.
These fears and subtleties were the factors behind the scenes that pushed him. Now in interviews it’s a different story but when you dissect the common themes in his art you see what the real factors were. Same goes for everybody. Hate to say it but we’re motivated by fear. Advertisers and marketers alike know this and study it. We buy out of fear. We buy of out of love also . . . but moreso of the love of knowing we’ve done away with a certain fear. Sex motivates as well. Jay Z would have NEVER pulled a Beyonce if he was still on the bench in Brooklyn and he knows this.
Now there are aspirations to be great that pushes a person but if you break those aspirations down you see what we most fear. Fear of loss, fear of failure, etc. And it’s ok to feel those because if we don’t then we can’t take the steps to face and dissolve them. Hiding your motivations isn’t wrong either. Even though it’s a power game we all do it and the more you don’t acknowledge your own hidden motivations the more you’ll lie to yourself and become a product of other’s hidden motivations. I think one of the best ways to stay motivated when you feel yourself falling into a slump of complacency or worse yet ungratefulness is to take a step back and find what you most fear.
Do you fear not being recognized for your expertise on a certain subject? Then that should kick you in the ass hard enough to create material based on your expertise and distribute it. Get it into as many hands as you can! Are you afraid you’ll spend the next five years of your life with a partner that doesn’t mentally stimulate you? That should motivate you to get the fuck out of that relationship and find someone you can connect with. The ultimate fear people have is of death and you can’t do shit about that one so any other fear should motivate you because everything other than death you CAN do shit about.
It’s kind of like this. You’re on the edge of a cliff considering climbing down. You don’t attempt to climb down because you’re looking down at the distance between you and the ground and the distance is a bitch. So you’re ok with staying on the edge looking down on wondering “what if?”. Then you hear a growl and heavy breathing, you look behind you and it’s a fucking grizzly bear. Now which is the greatest threat, the climb or the bear? In life we decide which is the greatest threat . . . the climb or the bear.