Levels of motivation

A few years ago I came across a video by a guy who talked about 4 types of motivation, toward reasons and away reasons, as well as positive reasons and negative reasons.  Using lifestyle change as an example, it went like this (though his technique relied on tapping on parts of your body while reciting affirmations):

No try

What this brought to my attention is that the greatest motivator, Love, is working against change as much as it is working for it.  In our basic state, we don’t diet or exercise because we love comfort.  Many people are aware that if they don’t diet or exercise, it will kill them, but because this is highly unpleasant and generally distant, they don’t make that change.  Oddly, more people will change in response to a fear of fatness.  An ideal motivation would be love of health.

This morning it occurred to me that these align with levels of function (adapted from both Peter Attia’s orthopedist and the ASD chart in the DSM5)  Attia’s process travels from unconsciously incorrect (I prefer stressed) to consciously incorrect, where you know what you should do but aren’t really doing it.  Then you may be consciously correct (robust) and eventually you can do the right thing without exertion.

Functions (click to enlarge)

So we can put these together to illustrate the spectrum of degree, and add a couple of other domains that are often of concern.

Functional Motivation (click to enlarge)

Though I’m not as sure about the lower end of organization, which may be why it’s a problem for me.  The concept of hoarding is pretty vague.  By “fear disaster” I mean if you have stuff on the stairs, someone could fall, or clutter could hamper fire rescue.  It gets at my advantage listing for safety.  Having a messy kitchen could result in foodborne illness.  I think the number of cardboard boxes we have may constitute a fire risk.  But hoarding?  What do we get from hoarding?  How is it indulgent?  I suppose that in that moment you decide to keep something, it is giving into an impulse that you might need it, you just never know.  Well, you do know, that’s what caused you to consider tossing it.


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