Thursday, 31 May 2012

The Motive

So my friends sometimes tease me because I tend to tip too much. The other day we were at this patio bar and I was kind of going over the bill and thinking about adding a few more bucks and my buddy's all like "You know she's (the waitress) not going to sleep with you or anything." and I had to laugh.  "You really don't understand my motivation in this, do you?" I replied, bemused...

Then I started to think...exactly what is my motivation for tipping too much, anyway?  Even beyond that...what motivates me to do anything?  What underlying reasons cause me to act and think the way I do?  Why do I like to do certain things and dislike others?

Turns out I don't really understand my motivations, either!

I mean, there are obvious survival motivations...gotta eat, need shelter, ergo I go work.  Other stuff must simply be learned behaviour...putting the ketchup in the fridge or preferring to wear jeans over slacks, for example. 

What about the stuff that I CHOOSE to do?  Why do I play guitar?  Why do I read so much?  Why do I WRITE so much?

In the end, I came up with 4 basic motivations that cover most everything I do.  Obviously there are exceptions but here are the main reasons I choose to do something:

1.  Curiosity.  Probably my biggest motivator.  I like to do things just to learn if I can accomplish them, to see if I'll learn something along the way, to see if I can improve myself in some way or just to see how it all pans out.  It all boils down to hunger for knowledge.

2.  For Fun!  This is actually tied into curiosity as learning things IS fun for me, but yeah!  Just because I enjoy something is good enough!  I read to both learn and relax.  I walk to the beach first because it's MORE FUN!

3.  Compulsion?  Sometimes I feel like I just NEED to do something.  This is usually what gets me in trouble in life, and generally is also how I end up in relationships.  Sometimes either circumstance or a pretty face will make me an offer that I can't refuse.  Whenever I'm doing something uncharacteristically DUMB, this is why.  I know what I'm doing is stupid, but somehow I just can't say no.  Honour and duty (or is that pride and ego?  So oft confused) frequently also play a part.  Both my marriage and my divorce came about due to this.  Sometimes it works out well for me...other times...hmmmmm

4. Simple Kindness.  This can also get me in trouble, but I never regret it.  If I can afford to do something and have the time, then I'll frequently go out of my way just to try and make someone's day a little brighter.  I finally realized that in life I can't make anyone aside from myself happy.  However, I can usually make people enjoy themselves right now!  If people around me are smiling, laughing, having a good time...mission accomplished!  They may be miserable in an hour and they may have a terrible life, but at least they had fun for a few minutes.

Incidentally, THIS is why I tip so much.  Not to get anything...just because I make a good living and I CAN!  It makes ME happy, and it'll hopefully help out the waitress/delivery guy/whatever too! I feel as if I make decent money for what I do, but a lot of people aren't so lucky.  If I can give someone an extra $20.00 maybe they can go to a movie or buy a toy for their kid or something that they wouldn't have been able to do otherwise.  All I was gonna do was spend it on toys or beer or something anyway....

I am sure I have further motivations...ones I haven't thought of and ones that I'm not even aware of.  Probably in denial about a few too.  So maybe my buddy WAS right....or would have been, sometimes, but not in this case (the waitress was cute enough, but not my type).  Still, it's an interesting thing to think about.  What motivates me?  What motivates YOU??  Give it some thought!

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