Why Do You Do What You Do?


As I'm growing older I can't help but take a step back and ask myself why I do what I do. We are in an age where our jobs aren't just decided for us. With that freedom comes the real question of motivation and purpose. Today I'd like to propose the Top 5 Motivators I've found most common and pose the question, "Why do YOU do what you do?"

Before I go into listing these motivators, I must preface by saying that these are highly vague and both subject to interpretation and MUCH conversation. In discussing this with friends it's become an understood point that we each possess almost all of these to some degree even if it's in a very small way. Another truth is many of these motivations will overlap slightly again depending on your interpretation.

Skill / Ability

- What are you made of?

Do you create personal challenges to better yourself? Do you find yourself without enough time in a day to watch all the tutorials you wish you could? Do you get inspired, but slightly annoyed every time you watch the reel of somebody better then you? Usually those who want nothing more than to be amazing at what they do have a difficult time being satisfied with their work. This can be good and bad... It's good to always be growing, but you might also be setting yourself up for disappointment as you come to the reality that you can't be the best out there. Even if you are, you won't be in about 5 minutes.

Position / Power

- I'm making a difference!

I once worked for a guy with this primary driving force. All he really wanted was to be in charge. He obviously felt like his position was directly connected to his worth as a person, which is totally valid and quite common for men. If I ever wanted anything from him, it was never a problem as long as I just asked him first... he wanted to have ultimate say and control. With position comes responsibility and some people can not only handle that pressure, but thrive in that role.

Wealth / Money

- Show me the money!

This isn't necessarily the yearning for vast treasures untold... simply just money and stuff. If you could get the same paycheck without ever having to even go to your job, would you? If you think even asking a question like that is absurd, this might be you. In your defense, this is the one that practically everybody is required to make a priority throughout life, whether they like it or not. We all gotta get paid... and new toys can be fun too :)

Process / Adventure

- Let's do this thing!

This would be a desire just to experience. Some people want nothing more than just to have worked on awesome projects with awesome people. Just like how a wealth driven person wouldn't do his job if he didn't have to, someone who pushes forward fueled by his own love for opportunities would most likely do it money or not. Do you get energized by staying busy and always being in the middle of 4 different projects at the same time? This might be you.

Higher Calling

- It's not about me!

Everyone has their own faith and beliefs... for many, these carry over into their work. This isn't always religious either. Nowadays everybody is "going green" and for many it's more than just a marketing tag. There are so many organizations with passion and drive made up of individuals who have bought in to the mission of what they do. The best part about this motivation is that you probably sleep really well at night with a comfort in knowing that your actions are bigger then you. On the flip side, especially when involved in organizations with this sense of higher calling, there can be a high risk of getting burned or taken advantage of.

The Silent Sixth

- If you get picky...

After I wrote this post I asked a friend to look over the 5 I came up with and he just smiled and said, "Adam, you're missing the two incentives that are at the core of all we do... Survival and Sex".... I admit, I was perhaps a bit presumptuous in my assumption that if you're using After Effects, it's likely that you're in a place in life that is slightly beyond killing wild boar for food. All I can say about the other driving force would be that... well.... You may perfect the Easy Ease technique in a timeline, but it doesn't carry over into other facets of life. :)

So what about you? I would honestly LOVE to hear your thoughts... this is a breakdown that I've been working on mentally for a while now so your comments below would be helpful.

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