Tuesday, May 22, 2007



The Motivation Society is based on the conviction that a greater understanding of MOTIVATION is a critical pre-condition for our survival in the 21st Century.

It is a 'Motivation Think Tank', in partnership with the Institute of Motivation Studies, with 3 Aims :

1. To provide quality news, comment and analysis into what motivates people - and why.

2. To identify problems and provide solutions - based on Sir Karl Popper's 'Scientific Method' (aka 'The Popper Formula') .

3. To provide a tailor-made, 'gilt-edge' service to

(a) Individuals, Small Groups & Teams (eg Motivation Action Plans - MAP's),
(b) Schools, Colleges & Universtities (eg Motivation Theory Lecturettes - MTL's)
(b) Companies, Councils & Governments (eg Motivation Policy Statements - MPS's).

Motivation has been defined as Reason Why Action - a combined inner force of "Energy & Willpower" (Motorvation) and "Motive"(Motivation)..."The Driving Motive"..."Driven Motive Power" etc
What are the reason(s) why people act as they do...what are the reason(s) why teams perform as they do...what are the reason (s) why companies make decisions as they do...what are the reason(s) why governments govern as they do...

Motivation has also been defined as a combination of Motive and Action (The-Motive-Behind-The-Action)('MotivAction') - Driven Intention (eg "the intention behind the words' - hat-tip : Jose) or the Will (hat-tip : Jeff) - or ...(?)

Motivation Studies can also be called 'Etiology' - the Study of Causes. It is hoped ETIOLOGY AND MOTIVATION STUDIES will become as much an established academic discipline as PSYCHOLOGY AND PHILOSOPHY, within 3 years.

Any contributions are most welcome...it is open to all - especially children of all ages and other animals - including elephants.

For more information, please visit The Motivation Society website :


In the political and business arenas there are three motivations.

1. The Will to Comfort: These people are motivated purely by the goal of achieving a comfortable way of life for themselves. This usually involves acquiring lots of money as a top priority.

2. The Will to Power: These people are motivated by more than comfort. They want to achieve power but power as an end in itself. Power will make them well-known, even famous. It flatters their ego. It feeds their sense of superiority. But that's all.

3. The Will to Achievement: These people are motivated by the desire to achieve something truly great. To them, it is more important than simply acquiring riches (comfort)or exercising power for vanity's sake. What they want to achieve may be in the realm of science, art, politics, even business. They want to achieve something that benefits other people in some way.

The Will to Achievement is the highest form of all motivation.
That, Sir Jeff, is what I call a great start - thank you.

Another word for Motivation is Will.

An invitation is extended to Jeff - author of a fascinating book called 'Blackshirts-on-Sea' - to become the second member of The Motivation Society...
Member of a Society? Oo...er. I'm a bit of a loner myself. But I certainly think that you have turned the spotlight on a relatively neglected subject. The importance of asking ourselves what a person's real motivation is rather than taking someone at face value. A mistake we've all made, not least when 'we' elected Tony Blair PM ten years ago.

The other aspect of motivation is of course the skill to drive others forward by motivating them. Either with carrot or stick or both.

Richard, which aspect of motivation are you most interested in?
Everyone does what they do in order to increase their personal comfort and to feel better.

If they have been brought up to care about others, their actions will be benign and creative; otherwise, they will be toxic and anti-social.

But they always believe that whatever they are doing is "for the best".

This is a true for Hitler, Pol Pot, Bush, Blair, and a jihadi suicide bomber as it is for you and me.

Case closed.

Thank you for your post - may I ask what you consider to be the primary motivation behind the following - who believed their actions were "for the best" :

1. Hitler
2. Pol Pot
3. Bush
4. Suicide Bomber
4. Blair


Thank you also for your post - you ask which aspect of motivation am I most interested in...

I am particularly interested in the theories of Maslow - not just his familiar Hierachy of Needs Theory, but also his Metamotivation Theory...developed late in his life.

From Maslow's Metamotivation Theory, I developed the Mega Motivation Theory...
Anticant, in the light of what you say : "Everyone does what they do in order to increase their personal comfort, and feel better", that sounds like a 'hedonistic' philosophy - which I'm sure you already know - everyone is motivated by the pursuit of pleasure, and the avoidance of pain.

That might be true for you - perhaps - but I'm not so sure it was true for Hitler....and if it wasn't true for Hitler, then the assumption that "EVERYONE does what they do to increase their personal comfort..." could be questioned.
Hedonism is the only sensible explanation of motivation. No-one does anything with the deliberate intention of feeling worse as a result. [Even masochists ultimately derive pleasure from pain.]

If you think about it, doing things "for the best" accounts for all the people you cite. Their perceptions of what "the best" was may have been totally warped, but that is still why they did what they did.

Blair, surely, is the supreme example of this. He's always telling us that he did what he did because he was convinced he was right.

I'm sure that all the people you mention believed that their actions were increasing the sum of human happiness - at least, the happiness of those humans they thought counted.

I haven't a shred of doubt that Hitler felt personally elated, and virtuous, when he ordered the wholesale massacre of the Jews. After all, he repeatedly said, in Mein Kampf and elsewhere, that the Jews were the enemies of God, and he must have been really chuffed that he had the power to implement God's will. [He was NOT an atheist, by the way.]
Motivation = Hedonism sounds too 'reductionist' for me, AC - but what do other think ?

So, everything we do (and say and are) boils down to the pursuit of pleasure and the avoidance of pain...

'Pleasure' becomes the moral Good, and 'Pain' becomes the moral Evil...a kind of Moral Relativism ?
I don't think it's 'pleasure' in the wine-women-and-song sense, or necessarily a moral sense: it's the reduction of discomfort and the enhancement of satisfaction.

How aware are you of your body postures and appetites? What do you do to create a better situation when you are sitting uncomfortably, or are hungry? You take action [if you are able] to reduce the level of discomfort and satisfy the need.

I don't mean that your "for the best" is my "for the best", or anybody else's. When Brady and Hyndley murdered those children, they obviously did it because it gave them satisfaction. Add to such warped desires the 'supernatural' dimension you set so much store by, and you get the suicide bomber killing for Allah, his own martyrdom, and the 72 waiting virgins - all obviously "for the best" in his eyes.
It's probably true that the Will to Comfort person accounts for most human beings' motivation in the world today - though this may be mixed with some degree of altruism.

But in the Evolution to Higher Forms (according to Heraclates(?)) the Will to Achievement is the highest development of humankind.
(Note: no more Mankind, let's not leave out the ladies.)

You know how you can get really interested in some subject which isn't going to make you a penny and you're achieving a breakthrough in the subject. The motivation is the thrill of achieving something. If it's something everybody can benefit from so much the better. That's the highest form of motivation: the Will to Achievement.

The motivation those 5 people in Richard's list have in common is that they want(ed) to impose their ideas on the world by force and don't care how many people got hurt. This isn't good enough in the 21st century.
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