When Motives Compete

A healthy, normal person loves his family.  And he acts as if he loves his family, too.  But a person who is handicapped by a Mind-Based Habit of Low Self-Exertion (MBH-LSE) will also have to provide for the “needs” of his handicap.  The energy to address that need has to come from somewhere.  So, it may end up coming from his implementation of his love for his family.

Here’s an example:  You love your mother.  So you want to “be there” when your mother needs your help.  If Mom lives a distance away, then that will mean that you will want to have a reliable means of transportation so you can get there when she calls for help.

I need a reliable car

For most Americans, a reliable means of transportation means “having a good car and sufficient gas.”  But those things cost money.

In the world of work and business, an individual’s overall exertion generally determines their compensation.  Overall exertion has to do with the three pathways in which a person can self-exert in order to gather resources.  These three pathways are: 1) Working, 2) Looking for work and 3) Studying to improve job-skills.

So, in order to get reliable transportation, we need to exert ourselves (the three pathways) enough to gather the resources (money) to be able to trade for the reliable transportation (car and gas).

I don’t like work

There is a problem.  People who suffer from MBH-LSE do not like work.  They view it as a necessary evil.  So they want to work as little as needed to be able to “get by.”

Now, at this point, we have a collision of motives.  In other words, I want to be 100% certain that I have reliable transportation so I can be there when Mom needs me.  That is because I truly love her.  But, on the other hand, I want to be fairly (100%?) certain that I do not put any more of my life into work than I really have to.  That’s because I don’t like work.

People solve this dilemma by attempting to balance their desire for reliable transportation (to help Mom when she needs it) against their desire to avoid work.  This means estimating how much they need to self-exert (and in which of the three pathways) in order to be reasonably certain that they will have the reliable transportation when needed.

Competing motives

It is important to recognize that there is a balancing act going on.  It may seem crass to think that we are balancing our dis-like of work against our love for Mom – but that is sort of what it comes down to.  And it does not mean that you don’t love your mother.  It just means that there is more to your life than just full-on, 100% focus on “love for your mother.”When Motives Compete 2

And that is kind of natural, too, in a way.  Even a person who has only healthy motives will still have divided loyalties.  For example, you love your mother and your father, right?  So what do you do if they both need your help, but they are divorced, and they live 1,000 miles apart from one another?  This is an example in which you have competing responsibilities and motives.

In the case of Mom and Dad both needing your help, both of your motives are healthy and honorable.  In the case of Mom needing your help versus your dis-like of work, then one motive is healthy and honorable, but the other seems to be less honorable.  In any case, you are still looking at competing motives.

In life, we make estimates

Lets get back to the case of the competing motives of: 1) Loving Mom and wanting to be there for her and 2) Dis-liking work and therefore wanting to work as little as possible to get by.

You can never be certain how much money you are going to need to be able to keep your car on the road.  But you can get a rough idea – an estimate.  And, of course, it makes sense to add onto your estimate a little bit more in order to account for all of the unforeseen extra costs that may come up when you own a car.

Now, for a person who has a dis-like of work, they are, understandably, going to want to work only up to the point that their transportation is ready to go, and their “little bit extra” is set aside.  That is because of the competing motive.  And then they won’t work any more.  (Of course this over-simplifies things by only considering these two competing motives – but you get the idea.)

Over-estimates and under-estimates

We are all human, so we sometimes make mistakes.  For a person who is suffering from MBH-LSE, a “mistake” might mean that he has incorrectly set the balance point between his love for Mom, and his dis-like of work.

If he happens to set the balance point closer to his love for Mom, then all is well, and he will just look back on his life and say: “Well, I guess I didn’t have to work so much, because I always had more than enough money to be able to visit Mom.”

But for a person who sets that balance point closer to his dis-like of work, then one day, he will say: “My mother needs help and she is asking me to visit her.  I really love my mother and I want to travel to be with her.   But I can’t go because I don’t have enough money to afford the transportation.  I really wish that I had pushed myself harder and worked more when I had the chance.”  And that will be sad.

There is hope

Get Help Get Active is a completely free service to help people who believe that they themselves are suffering from MBH-LSE.  Is that where you are at?  No one wants to find themselves unable to help their mother or other loved ones.  But people who have a mind-based habit of low self-exertion sometimes find themselves in that spot.

What does “reasonable self-exertion” mean to you?  What do the three exertion pathways (Working, Looking for work, and Studying) mean to you?  Are you meeting your own reasonable goals?  Change is possible.  Sometimes it just comes down to allowing oneself to be exposed to a new perspective. Free, confidential and personalized encouragement is available for anyone who asks.  Get help and get active!

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25 Responses to When Motives Compete

  1. let it go says:

    Gathering Resources Requires Resources

    If someone waits until they are broke to begin to look for work, then that might create a problem that could prevent them from finding and performing work. For example, a job interview could come up 30 miles from home. At that point, just to get to the interview, you need a car and gas. Another example, once the job is “landed”, more car/gas is needed to get there every day. And money is needed to pay for daily living expenses (food, rent, utilities) until the first check comes in. Someone in that situation might feel that, since they are “doing the right thing” now (by looking for work and being willing to go to work), that they should be in a good spot to receive a “yes” answer to their requests for a loan to cover these new work-related expenses. This is certainly a step in the right direction in that the individual is looking for work and willing to go to work. But what is the role of the care-giver/charity/friend at this point? Should the new loan be provided? The answer to this question might also be complicated if there are previous instances of bad-credit activity between the borrower and would-be lender.

    • let it go says:

      Another complication is that the new, job-related need for cash, is a 100% predictable need. So, in a sense, for a client who has started out by waiting until they are broke to look for work, then the new loan request might understandably be declined on the basis of “you did this to yourself.” Or “this is a natural result of the choices that you have made – so why are you asking me to solve the problem for you?” Another complication would be if the client self-identifies as having a mind-based habit of low self-exertion.

  2. YEZ says:

    What Causes Forced Labor? Slavery, wage slavery, debt. The diligent hand share bare rule but the slothful shall be put to forced labor. A terrible and sad condition.

  3. Walker says:

    Its like saying that the decisions we make are partly conscious – but partly un-conscious. So, in this example, yes, consciously you do really love your mother, but un-consciously, you hate work more than you love your mother …

    • PAL says:

      But its not that you are actually un-conscious of your dis-like for work – it’s more like you are just not taking the time to think about the impact that your dis-like of work is going to have on your love for your mother. (So, when Mom calls and asks you to visit her, if you have the money, then you will gladly spend it so you can visit her.) But, at the moment when you are deciding to give in to your dis-like of work (by quitting, for example) you are only thinking about your dis-like of work – you’re not thinking about the impact on your love for your mother …

    • PAL says:

      Why Do People Keep a Picture of their Kids on their Desk at Work?

      This also reminds me of how many people who work in office settings have a picture of their spouse or their kids on the desk. I have always figured that that was just a nice way for the office worker to find happiness by looking at the picture during the day. But – maybe – at least in some cases, the real reason for the picture is to help the worker to not quit his job! (Because the picture reminds him that, if he does quit his job, then his family will be impacted, and he wont be able to express his love for them … in one way or another – as money would allow him to do.) THAT IS AN INTRIGUING THOT!!

  4. fulltime_80 says:

    I feel such conviction for i know i haven’t worked hard enough to see my mom. But the article is encoraging and teaches us to count the cost of such a noble plan.

  5. YEZ says:

    Healthy Grief And Unhealthy Grief

    When a person starts with a mind-based habit of low self-exertion and the a situatuation comes up that legitimately prompts them to grief, then are they in a good frame of mind to handle the grief in a healthy way or an unhealthy way? Comorbid issues manipulate each other in unhealthy ways. What is RSE following the death of a loved one? Work gives you three days off. IT gives you a deduction. But after that shouldn’t u get back to work? If someone is already looking for an excuse to avoid work, then they may be tempted to over react when a legitimate grief incident comes along.

    • YEZ says:

      A good way to present this is: u have one open issue – an unhealed wound – and then another wound comes along – the way that u respond to the second problem might impact the solution to the first.

  6. YEZ says:

    Is America The Land Of Opportunity?

    If yr answer is no, then why does everybody want to come here? If your answer is yes, then how is it that you are so poor in the land of opportunity? I think that there is a cognitive dissonance here. Bcz most ppl will agree that America is the LOO – but they live like there is little or no opportunity – bcz of brainwashing and bcz by telling themselves it is not the LOO then they have an excuse to avoid doing the hard word to turn those opportunities into realities.

  7. Htswasl says:

    Imagine a list of beliefs – a hierarchy. It means that we hold some things to be more strongly true than others.

    Your not responsible for the beliefs that have been foisted on u but u r responsible to avoid exposing yr mind to sources of false beliefs. Like tv. Is it telling the truth? Is it teaching subtle lies?

    • Flowchart says:

      I like this HOB idea. It’s like rules of thumb (ROT). You wld also need to incorporate the specific applicability of a given ROT to a particular situation. And then, even away from that specific context, you need to account for how well that ROT applies to life in general.

  8. Htswasl says:

    Poverty And Inactivity – do there exist able-bodied ppl who remain poor bcz they do not take action which is within their capability to do? Working, looking for work and studying to improve their job skills?

  9. Lancaster says:

    This person may be suffering from a flawed concept of “love” when he claims to love his mother. When different people say “love” does it mean the same thing? According to the Bible, God expressed his love for humanity by sending Jesus to die on the cross. Jesus expressed his love by following through with his Father’s plan. It was very difficult for Jesus to go along with the plan, but he still did it. I wonder if Jesus would have had any trouble in just exerting himself to find a job – if that was what it took for him to be able to express his love for his mother?

  10. Flowchart says:

    Until a person reaches rse, do nothing for them (in terms of helping them with their $ problems) except to pay them to consider their rational for non rse. Once a person reaches rse you still might want to do nothing for them ala $ until they have demonstrated that they are consistently hanging in there with rse.

    • Flowchart says:

      It makes sense to pay them to spend time to think and talk about sub rse causes bcz, whenever a person pulls himself together enough to work on his problems, their focus is (understandably) to get the immediate syptom-problem solved. So they will consider time spent on recognizing the existence of the long-term holdups as a waste of time and energy. That is why it makes sense to pay them to think about it!

  11. Flowchart says:

    It Tastes Good – Rule of thumb – we prioritize ROT by the degree to which we believe that they accurately characterize the situation at hand. Then, when a situation presents itself, we refer to our ROT chart and the rot at the top guide our more or less automatic decision making. But how did those rot make it to the top of the list? Part of the answer has to do with experience but part of the answer has to do with training! Where does “training” come from? School, yes. Mom and Dad, yes. But also tv, Internet, friends, etc! “Cease my son to hear the words that causeth to err from the words of knowledge.”. All influences reorder our personal rot lists! And not all influences are wholesome! Would you eat poisonous food? No. So why would u take poisonous training into your mind? Perhaps bcz it tastes good. That would be a good article title: It Tastes Good. Now you know part of the reason that you are sick. You eat physical and mental junk food.

    • Flowchart says:

      The “good taste” of mental junk food is that it gives you a believable excuse to avoid taking action – i.e., a believable excuse to avoid RSE.


  12. Flowchart says:

    We are tantalizingly close to being where we want to be. It would only take a very small amount of directed pain to keep on track – but it just needs to be consistent. This reminds me of meditation as a solution. An Unusual Job Offer – it’s about benign slavery.

  13. wisdom seaker says:

    My thoughts on this topic are that the person who has a low self-exertion level also has a lack of interest in his or her self. It doesn’t matter how much love he or she has for their mother or other loved ones. If that individual doesnt truley love themself. It creates them to not be able to get that “extra push” sort of speak that will motivate them to want to work and be productive.

  14. Flowchart says:

    What Might Have Been – maybe it is valuable to grieve the losses of the past. So make a list of all of the things that I might reasonably have done in the last 30 years. Three languages, music etc. Books. Travel. Businesses, then plan out the next 30. What is keeping you from doing those things?

  15. PAL says:

    Graph – a balance-type scale – one one side is “I love my mother” and on the other side is “I hate my job” – and that is slightly heavier. Second – “I love my mother” is exactly equal to “I love my father” – so you cant decide what to do.

  16. PAL says:

    Creating Circumstances Vs Responding To Circumstances

    If you live in response mode, then RSE is only sensible when circumstances look promising. But if you live in creating mode, then RSE will be sensible at all times.

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