THE PHYSICS OF LIFE 4
APPARENT SOURCES OF HUMAN MOTIVATION 5
THINKING ABOUT MOTIVES 6
WHAT DO I WANT? / WHAT DO OTHERS WANT? 7
WHAT DO I WANT FROM OTHERS? / WHAT DO OTHERS WANT FROM ME? 7
WHAT DO I WANT FOR OTHERS? / WHAT DO OTHERS WANT FOR ME? 9
HOW DO I USUALLY GET WHAT I WANT? 10
HOW DID I LEARN HOW TO GET WHAT I WANT? 11
WHAT DO I DO WHEN I DON'T GET WHAT I WANT? 12
VALUES AND ATTITUDES 13
THE ROOT OF HUMAN CONFLICT 14
FREEDOM OF MOVEMENT 16
THE PHYSICS OF LIFE 3
APPARENT SOURCES OF HUMAN MOTIVATION 4
THINKING ABOUT MOTIVES 5
WHAT DO I WANT? / WHAT DO OTHERS WANT? 6
WHAT DO I WANT FROM OTHERS? / WHAT DO OTHERS WANT FROM ME? 7
WHAT DO I WANT FOR OTHERS? / WHAT DO OTHERS WANT FOR ME? 8
HOW DO I USUALLY GET WHAT I WANT? 9
HOW DID I LEARN HOW TO GET WHAT I WANT? 10
WHAT DO I DO WHEN I DON'T GET WHAT I WANT? 11
VALUES AND ATTITUDES 12
THE ROOT OF HUMAN CONFLICT 13
GENERIC WANTS 14
FREEDOM OF MOVEMENT 15
> THE PHYSICS OF LIFE
We live in the age of a technology which has been shaped as a result of the discovery of electricity. Electronic gadgets are a part of every life, from the moment of birth onwards. I am convinced the electronic theory is a richer metaphor than the more mechanistic Newtonian model of physics.
The electronic model of the universe reaffirms again and again that reality, as we know it, is a complex composite of electrons. This composite-filled universe ranges in complexity from the simple hydrogen atom to an incredible variety of expressions in mineral, animal and human form.
Furthermore, these composites are distinguishable in shape and function due to their electronic structure. From this comes their properties and peculiar characteristics. And from this comes the expression of a great variety of human personalities, each unique in its own peculiar way.
Assuming that the universe is a vastly complex electronic phenomenon, and granted that we are a part of it, no different in kind, then we are special living electromagetic centres of energy, with electromagnetic energy flowing from us, to us, in us, and through us. As such, it's not surprising that we experience within us pulls and pushes, urges, compulsions, revulsions, attractions, pleasant and unpleasant, all the polarities found in other parts of nature, properties resulting from our electronic nature.
These ideas, related to the idea of motivation, represent what might be called the animal part of our nature. It is that part of our consciousness which expresses itself through our senses and our emotions.
If what I am suggesting is correct, then our urges, compulsions, revulsions, attractions, pleasures and pains would have to be ingrained in our animal consciousness. Furthermore, our animal consciousness would be rooted in the consciousness of the very electrons themselves. Given that the universe is electronic in nature, we can now make several useful generalizations to help us understand human motivation.
For example, perpetual movement, or change, is characteristic of all nature. The world is an ocean of motion (1). Everything is in motion, changing for better or worse. We have many words to express the various ways in which change takes place. Things are being born, aging, growing, developing, expanding, contracting, evolving, dying.
The idea of natural movement is embodied in the idea of of the electron, and the idea of the electron is embodied in the idea of motivation. We move and have our being in this ocean of motion; we are moved; we move others. That's what motivation is all about.
Notice something important about the forces that move within us. We can control them at will in varying degrees. Some people can exercise more control over them than others. Some are better than others in controlling their expression of anger, for instance. Also, some forces seem easier to control, like mild inclinations over something like intense sexual passion. This suggests that the forces moving us from within are more than simply mechanical or instinctive. Our whole system of law and order seems predicated on the basis that we can have some control over them by concentrating the power of our thought and will. When we cannot help ourselves, judge and jury tend to display leniency in their judgement of of how much we are to be held responsible for our actions.
Why do we choose to act as we do? What's the reason for the wide wide variety of expression among human beings? What moves us to act and react so differently from each other? What shapes our loves and hates, our likes and dislikes, our failures and successes, our highs and lows? How free are we to shape our own destinies?
> APPARENT SOURCES OF HUMAN MOTIVATION
A first principle of psychology for me, is the fact that we are motivated by desire. Our language has many words to express this idea - desiresWANTSWantspline in your studies and in what you learn. Part of discipline is knowing what you want, and being clear about what you want. The other part of discipline is being willing to do what you must do to get what you want. People without discipline often find themselves feeling like helpless victims. They perceive
others dominating and more powerful, or they see themselves as victims of fate.
If you truly want to learn, you have to allow your teachers to help you become more disciplined than you are when you come to them to learn. You also have to exercise some discipline over yourself. Your learning is to a large extent going to be proportional to the degree of discipline you maintain. The degree of discipline you exercise is going to depend upon the kind intelligent thought you put into your decisions. Make sure your discipline is rational, not fanatical.
One way to get ourselves thinking about our motives is systematically to ask ourselves some questions. Imagine what kinds of questions you could ask about your motives. Then search for answers.
What questions can you imagine? List them. After you have attempted this, consider the questions I have to offer for you to consider.
> WHAT DO I WANT? / WHAT DO OTHERS WANT?
What do I want? What do I want here and now? What do I want for the rest of the day? What do I want tomorrow? What do I want for this month, for this year? What do I want for five years hence, for ten years hence?
I notice these questions are not always easy to answer. I also notice that I do not always remember to ask them. Furthermore, I am not always clear about what I want.
Not only do I often forget to question my motives, but I am not always sure about being honest with my answers. From interviewing others, and being interviewed by others, I find this true for most of us. Of course, when I am honest with myself, or when others are honest with me, I don't always like the answers I get.
When I question my motives, I sometimes arouse unexpected feelings, sometimes very uncomfortable feelings. My answers may occasionally appear selfish -- petty, or base in aspiration. I may feel embarrassed about this, or ashamed.
> WHAT DO I WANT FROM OTHERS? / WHAT DO OTHERS WANT FROM ME?
Often when we want something, we want it FROM someone. My students probably want want a good grade from me. I expect
they want a degree from the university. Very likely they would be pleased to get a job teaching from some school board. If they are like most people, they probably want their friends to give them some time and caring. Also, like most, they probably want love and support from their family.
To get most things in life, we need to get them from someone. As I have suggested, we may want someone to give us a good grade, a degree, a job, caring, love, support. Somebody has to cooperate with us if we are to get these things. In each case, we usually have to pay a price for what we get. We may have to "pay" literally to get them, or "pay", figuratively speaking, to get what we want from others. It's going to cost us something - money, time, energy, patience, tolerance. You name it.
In addressing my students, I often ask them to consder questions like the following. For example, what do you want FROM ME? What do you want FROM your CLASSMATES? What do you want FROM your FRIENDS? What do you want FROM your PARENTS?
What do you want FROM your BROTHERS and SISTERS? What do you want FROM your husband, FROM your WIFE? What do you want FROM your FIANCE? What do you want FROM your GIRLFRIEND, BOYFRIEND? What do you want FROM your LOVER?
What are you willing to do to get what you want? How far are you willing to go? How much are you willing to sacrifice^7^7^7^7^7^^^^^^7^