What Motivates You?

To help you make the most of your life, it is helpful to know several things about yourself. One of the most important is: What motivates you?

Understanding your motivations can help you become more clear and directed when it comes to acting on what is important to you. It can also help you avoid efforts by others to manipulate you into taking action when you otherwise wouldn’t.

For example, let’s think about click-bait. As you surf the web, you may see an ad for something that tries to appeal to your motivation. “Learn this one trick to lose weight” could be a sample advertisement, that targets two different motivations: curiosity (what is the one trick?) and fear (I’m too fat).

There are many different types of motivations possible. In the example above, we saw curiosity and fear, which are prime motivators for many people.


Related: Listen to an episode of the Intellectual Roundtable Podcast, where Lee and Michael discuss this question: ‘How much of our thoughts are our own?’ We discuss another question as well, ‘How much is enough?’


We are a naturally curious species, which for the most part has allowed us to ascend, for better or worse, to the place we now inhabit in the ecosystem. Being curious about how the world works has spurred a remarkable series of advances in science and technology.

But fear is also motivates us. We are often afraid of what we don’t know, plus we can fear rejection from society. There are many organizations that rely on these fears to manipulate and control you.

On opposite ends of the motivation spectrum, we are also motivated by anger or by love. What other motivations can you think of?

Related questions: What is important? What deserves your attention? How much of our thoughts are our own? How does media manipulate you? What five ideals are most important to you? How can we turn ideas into actions?

Questions Or Answers?

Are you the type that prefers asking the question, or getting the answer? Questions can frame the issue; answers can be very enlightening.

Share why if you wish.

Questions Or Answers?

What Questions Should We Be Asking?

Due to a global pandemic, flaws in our society have been magnified. Economic inequality, racial injustice, and divisive politics are all huge problems. In order to address these issues, what questions should we be asking, as a society?

The Intellectual Roundtable blog is all about questions. Since starting in the spring of 2017, we have presented 373 questions (and counting!), some thought-provoking, some divisive, some silly.

But sometimes, even we don’t know what questions need to be asked. To make a better community for everyone, what questions should we be asking?

If we want to ease tensions between people with different opinions, what questions should we be asking?

For our blog to appeal to more people, or generate more comments and more interaction between readers, what questions should we be asking?

As we hope to build a more just society, particularly for those being treated unjustly, what questions should we be asking?

To leave behind a healthy, stable world for our children and their children’s children, what questions should we be asking?

Do you have an opinion? In short, what should we be asking?

Related questions: What is your favorite Intellectual Roundtable question? How are we doing? Curiosity or certainty? What makes you curious?

Curiosity Or Certainty?

If you know something for certain, there is no reason to be curious. If you show some curiosity, that means there must be something more to learn.

Do you think you are more certain, or more curious? What about the rest of society?

Share why if you wish.