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?

How Has High School Influenced Your Identity?

Our high school experiences can’t help but influence our life and identity, and that’s true of practically everyone.

The reason is that at the time that we are approaching or in high school, we are in the process of maturing, emotionally, physically, and mentally. We are discovering who we are, what we like and don’t like, what we can or can’t do, and so on.

That it happens to coincide with spending 7+ hours a day in a building together with the same group of peers and teachers means those people and experiences will take on a profound meaning.


Related: Listen to an episode of the Intellectual Roundtable Podcast, where Lee and Michael discuss this question: ‘What makes you you?’ We discuss another question as well, ‘What gives a person value?’


For some people, high school is full of growth and liberation, a time of discovery. For others, it might be a time of persecution. You can discover there are others like you, or that you are alone.

Are there traits or behaviors that you have today that you can trace to an experience you had in high school? How has high school influenced your identity?

Related questions: High school or college? Why do we like what we like? How have you changed? What was the best time in your life? How do you learn?

Thanks to Ingrid Moon for the question.

What Technology Most Impacts Your Life?

There is little doubt that technology impacts our lives every single day. It is one of the defining characteristics of the human race. For better or worse, the devices we have constructed have allowed transformative change for how we live, as well as for the planet we live on.

Some technology is obviously good. We have extended life spans, reduced or eliminated diseases, and increased the available food supply.

However, there is a dark side to it, as well. Climate change, species extinction, and overpopulation are the consequences of some of these technological innovations.


Related: Listen to an episode of the Intellectual Roundtable Podcast, where Lee and Michael discuss this question: ‘Is technology neutral?’ We discuss another question as well, ‘Freedom or security?’


On a personal level, which inventions or innovations have made the biggest impact on your life? Perhaps a medical advance that saved your life? Eyeglasses that allow you to see clearly? Printing presses that allow for knowledge aggregation? Indoor plumbing to reduce disease and increase comfort? Airplanes that allow you to travel just about anywhere on the surface of the earth? The Internet for pulling together so many different areas of information? Or the smartphone that allows you to bring it with you wherever you go?

What technology most impacts your life? Which one has most negatively impacted your life?

Related questions: What skills have you lost due to technology? What role does technology play in your life? Will technology save us? What new technology do you want? Is technology neutral?