TED Conversations

Kieran Preissler

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What motivates you?

Motivation takes the form of many things: quest for wealth, fame, etc. So my question to you is what is/are your personal motivator(s)?

  • Oct 2 2012: The smile on peoples faces.
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    Sep 28 2012: The fact I'm old and probably won't live more than 5 or 10 years motivates me to study things I haven't gotten around to.

    Time is a big motivator under certian circumstances.
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      Sep 29 2012: i am so hurt to hear that . and at your last years you can spend on ted .we are all grateful.and hope you have a better life and keep healthy
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    Sep 20 2012: I have an urgent commitment to service to others. I am always on the lookout for opportunities to do this.
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    Oct 13 2012: Oh my goodness there are so many things that motivates me! I have dreams, goals, desires, love ones and people and place to see. Books to read, trips to go on. A life to live! all of it motivates me to do what I do. I do think however the thing that makes me be so motivated is the positive spirit I have. I see every thing as a go. I am 55, divorced and my children are now grown. Some of the things I did not do because of them I can do now. I just joined a network- marketing company. why ? for money yes and no. if there was no money and I could explore the world, like I want to do and have time to play in my garden when and where I want. Read all the books, meet all the people, share thoughts and likes and wants. Help someone else see the possibilities in the world and in self. I still think I would be happier. It is a way of life that I seek. That at this point in time is my motivator. My day time job is boring restrictive, and time consuming. and it is just not the place I want to be at this point in my life. I am a creative person and that job just does not do it for me. but really it is my positive thoughts that motivate me. Smile.
  • Oct 6 2012: faith motivates me. Mine and others. I have a friend who is fighting cancer and her faith in God, her absolute conviction that whatever happens today is in God's hands give me so much courage. I look at single parents who are surviving wholly on faith that it will be okay. Maybe not today, but someday. When I see that kind of faith, courage, and strength, it strengthens me and motivates me to stretch my faith and believe for things that seem impossible.
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    Sep 20 2012: I'm motivated by love.
    Love for the arts; love for my career; love for nature and the environment; the love of(and for) lovers; love for life and living; and love the beautiful things of life.
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    Sep 20 2012: They have changed for me over time, and they will for everybody. When I was in my 20's, I was motivated by "money", in the sense that I needed it to provide for myself and family, so "working" was the motivator to achieve that. Now that I am fully retired and financially secure, I'm looking to enjoy the fruits of all that earlier motivation.

    I've come full circle. When I was a child, my motivation was to have fun. When I became an adult, my motivation was to "achieve" for my survival. Now I'm 58-years old, have achieved my survival goals, and I'm a big ol' child again looking to have fun.

    In fact...I think it's time to go for a motorcycle ride. Just for the fun of it. ;-)
    • Oct 18 2012: Rick I believe you are an amazing person!!!
      How on Earth you are so positive and always make good judgemet over questions in TED?
      Great job man!
  • Oct 11 2012: Death; I don't want to regret even before the moment I die.
    It's a great motivator, makes me live today like the last moment, the most special day, in my life.
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    Oct 5 2012: Overall, although it may seem to be an easy and simple question, the answer is rather intricate as it entails many nuances and it varies person to person. I was tempted to just say - the vision of success and the immediate satisfaction after completing our goal is the ultimate motivator. But, isn't it the curiosity and hunger for learning new things, competitivness, that serves as a much needed pre-requisite to keep us going?
    The goal itself doesn't motivate you in long-run. Aristotle claimed that every activity aims at some end, but only when you enjoy the activity itself will you find true happiness on your path to achieving your goal. I think that a lot of people get miserable aiming at something and not enjoying the path there - like doing something for the sake of the aim only. For example - choosing a career of a banker or lawyer just because they are said to be intelligent and well-paid while going through a lot of pain because you basically ignore the fact that you should be a TED translator, do fulfilling things that make sense to you and be happy instead :)
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      Oct 13 2012: I like what you said about the path. you learn so much on the path of doing something, and it can inspire you to make another goal to get to the end, but is there really an end. if your mind is set to seek and explore and the path is the path? your inter spirit I do think is what makes you do the things you set out to do. the desire to learn and to be more and to have more and to share that with others. in my life I have goals that I did not get to but I was never sad that I did not get to them I just made other goals for the path that I turned on to by the situations and the decisions of my life. but I had fun on that path most times. sure we all have the good times and the bad times, but it's the times that make it what it is.
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    Oct 2 2012: What motivates me most is stillness. The visual manifestation expressed in a clear pool just before a pebble drop. In my mind "nothing" is under-rated. The state of nothingness is the genesis of creation. The blank page, I guess. Once there, my motivation comes from a run in the woods, a rest on the hammock and books about how people's brains function. My 'go-to" book is "Maps of The Mind", by Charles Hampden Turner. A digest of 50 + different views of how our minds operate.
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      Oct 2 2012: sound like you are a strange person .but i like
  • Sep 29 2012: I have made a commitment to myself to "refuse to peak." This means that there is no mountain to summit or finish line to cross in the amazing journey of life and personal growth. Each day is a gift to be either harnessed or squandered, and I try to choose wisely. I've come to embrace the idea of living for the process, not for the destination. Because goals must be set, and achieving them will only result in a higher target if growth is to continue. So to link happiness with some destination is to punt fulfillment over the fence.

    So I try not to treat life as a game that needs to be won, but rather a dance to be perfected. And as I approach that upper asymptote, I find new depth and empty spaces that can be filled in by a new journey.

    And whats exciting is that on this journey my very definition of motivation will no doubt be strengthened!
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    . . 100+

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    Sep 28 2012: joy .. and my hope of bringing it to as many hearts as I can...
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    Sep 28 2012: the satisfying sense of work
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    Sep 27 2012: Motivation comes from the way we interact and feel everything around us. Motivation is natural and borned in any living creature that can feel the freedom around and this way want to improve. So motivation is related to freedom and needs but also to environment. Open minded people will be always motivated to make things better and better and improve so motivation is born inside us but we need to free it by opening ourself to everything around us and this way we are motivated to become also us better and better each day without losing our beliefs
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      Sep 27 2012: Yes. Open-mindedness is the trait I cherish the most within myself and others.
  • Sep 25 2012: Happiness. Of myself and others. My belief is if you make one person smile every day than you have had a good day :)
  • Sep 22 2012: I'm motivated when I feel I can accomplish something and get self satisfaction. This feeling of achievement is the one that makes me keep going on even in the hardest times.
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    Sep 22 2012: To become a better ME every day :)
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    Sep 21 2012: Since I am fortunate to have reached a mental state of financial security, which is essential having a good career and feeling no social pressure anymore to resort to normal high society indulgances (cars,, gadgets, exotic travel, expensive hobbies, wining, dining, conspicous consumption to please others, etc). Money doesn't motivates me anymore. I am motivated by search for true inner peace, strength and confidence. I am motivated to build friendship with truly genuine, open, caring and intelligent people. And above all I am motivated by being able to make a real difference beyond myself and my immediate family for the rest of my life.
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    Oct 20 2012: Love is what motivates me. I believe that underneath it all the world is good, and people are good. I'm just looking for someone to share my life with, but the world is a large and fascinating place and there are literally billions of people I haven't met and don't know. So just spreading my love and being a good person is what motivates me.
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    Oct 19 2012: My born mission to make our world a difference, towards a better one.
  • Oct 19 2012: Searching for happiness and making other people happy. An occasional good result in school and friends is always nice
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    Oct 11 2012: knowing that I have not fulfilled my potential...
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    Oct 10 2012: The avoidance of pain or the gain of pleasure :).
  • Oct 9 2012: Dreaming about achieving goal motivates me and drives me to actually work towards it.
  • Oct 6 2012: Thought of making People Happy. It brings lots of satisfaction to see the smile on someone's face and knowing that I am the reason behind that.
  • Oct 5 2012: Knowledge. Makes me want to continue learning. Makes me want to create. Makes me want to share things that I find.
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    Oct 5 2012: Uncertainty motivates me.

    Uncertainty of life. Not knowing when it might be your last day here.
    Uncertainty of science. There are so many unknowns that we have yet to explore.
    Uncertainty of relationships. When someone dear to you might leave you.

    All this uncertainty helps me appreciate the present and motivates me to make tomorrow the best I possibly can, for me, for my loved ones and for people around me.
  • Oct 4 2012: The idea of knowing we are insignificant in comparison to the universe. That said, the sky is not the limit.
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    Oct 3 2012: The future. Thats what motivates me!