Thanks for a good read! Very happy I ran into your blog. I wonder if there's a deeper, more fundamental set of emotions that causes these drivers to emerge. What drives the drivers?

For example, someone driven by approval might have a deeper, untapped reservoir of shame—a disconnection from their sense of inherent worth that causes them to seek for their own value and meaning in form of external validation. In this case, as you put it, if the "why" doesn't come from the heart, you have to dig deeper: only by tapping into the underlying shame and finding their own sense of worth can they dissolve the need for external validation and move onto living in a way that is meaningful to them before it's worthwhile for anyone else.

Similarly, I think guilt often arises in response to something else: for example, you might feel guilty because you didn't do well enough (which I'd again trace back to shame), or that you're not showing up for yourself (which I'd maybe trace back to suppressing anger? idk). Materialism can be a way to deal with shame (as a source of validation), with fear (as a source of security) or with anger (as an outlet or a distraction).

I'm rambling at this point :) but I have the feeling that, at a personality level, the drivers you described eventually stem from deeper, basic emotions e.g. fear, anger and shame.

Thanks again and keep it up :)

Expand full comment

Good thoughts, and so many of these motivational drives are emotional; there’s truth to that, to be human is emotional. I confess, finding motivation for me has been elusive for most of my life, as I am not motivated intrinsically nor extrinsically to accomplish or to earn money. But I have bills to pay and have to make a living; so my “drive” to work is as mundane as being responsible.

Expand full comment

Loved this. But what about the more 'positive' drivers? I'm thinking 'love' as the one that seems to be most glaringly missing from this list.

Expand full comment