What Makes PEOPLE (…do the things they DO…)

“The Peacock” (Los Angeles County, CA)

What motivates us? What inspires us? What moves us?
These are all good questions…BUT…
The ultimate question is – what makes us do the things we do?

I have always been fascinated with the intricacies of human nature. The question of why we do the things we do, has always led me to ponder our basic human drives. Like – why do some chose to remain isolated? Or…why do you some need constant companionship? Or…why do some people always seem to choose the path less traveled?

I get it. We are all born under different circumstances – we are raised in different cultures in different regions of the world. Those aspects – plus a plethora of other factors – create the person we are.

However, I think there is something even more basic than all of that. I believe, at the core, we all want one thing. To be – and feel – fulfilled.

And whatever that word means to each of us as individuals…is the driving force behind what makes us do the things we do.

On the flip side – when people don‘t feel fulfilled – they will sometimes try to obstruct the fulfillment and happiness of others. And that’s where the problems begin.

People try to push their views and agendas on others. They do this in order to bring other people in-line with their view of “fulfillment.” I just don’t understand why we do that.

I have always loved the saying “live and let live.” If someone is living their life according to their terms, and they are not hurting anyone. Then let them live. Why do you care what they do? Honestly. I mean. Let people do their things in peace. (Now, of course, if their life choices lead them to hurt others…well…that’s a different story.) But, I am not talking about that.

Growing up, I always tended to be a little rebellious. I questioned everything. And everybody. Looking back, I think my questions all boiled to down to one word —“Why?”

I wanted to know the rationale and motivation behind everything that was asked of me. From school to church to civic duties. I wanted to understand. And I mean – truly understand – why I was doing what I was doing. (You can imagine how much I drove my parents and teachers crazy HaHa.)

Thinking back, I believe my intentions were in the right place (If I do say so myself Ha) but I think my approach was a bit misguided. I blame that on age, maturity and lack of experience. Despite this, the lessons I took from that period of my life still resonate with me today.

Basically…I still question everything. There is no way you will ever get me to blindly follow someone or some ideology, because I am simply told to do so. I have a great respect for the liberties of others. Because, I understand that we all have our reasons for doing what we do. And, who am I to judge? I am just a man who is still trying to figure out what “this” is all about.

So…please…go ahead and live your life. And enjoy it! I won’t impede your pursuit of fulfillment. And…hopefully you will not impede mine.

As the old American saying for independence goes… “Don’t tread on me.”

(P.S. The photo I took of the peacock above does not do that magnificent creature justice. In person, it is even cooler to see. When it opened its feathers, I was taken aback by the sheer size of them. It was crazy how big the peacock got. Anyway, like the peacock, let’s all radiate our beauty.)

44 replies »

  1. Live and Let live is a good motto. Hurting others can be vague though. I’m not so sure about allowing the hurt feelings of others to dictate our actions or even some perceived hurt they might determine they have suffered because of our actions of beliefs. Especially now with everyone on high offense mode. It’s practically impossible to do anything without hurting someones feelings or making them feel threatened based solely on my existence.

    I believe nothing makes us do anything. We have a choice, so even though we may be inclined to certain actions by genetics, environment or temperament we always choose our actual actions. Nothing “makes” us do anything, we choose. Ha ha… that’s of course, my opinion…

    I think that Live and Let Live is a very good policy but it requires that we not go round with a giant chip on each shoulder to pull off and that’s not so easy now a days.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Well said! Great comment. Seriously. You have a brain. I can tell that right away. Can’t say that for a lot of people I encounter on a daily basis. Fortunately, the people who engage on my blog are sharp, witty and cool. Great to meet you!

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Just the fact that attorney is asking this question to increase my optimism. The problem of course is not finding answers to questions but rather understanding why would you refuse them when they are so obvious. If you doubt this spend 24 complete hours alone high in the mountains. You will quickly learn how you feel about life. Last but not least nice site, never give up a good question until an answer satisfies you.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you for liking “The Downward Spiral of Gift Giving” and “Happy April Fool’s Day.” Great post! 🙂 I agree with you that the idea of fulfillment varies from person to person. Most of the people I know have positive concepts of fulfillment (raise a family, obtain a particular job, etc.), but I have encountered a few people who find it fulfilling to do virtually nothing. They take temporary jobs and then live on unemployment or welfare or take advantage of relatives. They want to live a life of ease. Even though they are able-bodied adults, they want to be taken care of and do not care to do anything to help their fellow human beings.

    I also like your excellent observation that there are people out there who try to impose their views and agendas on others. I once heard a news story on the radio about a woman who wanted to stop one of her neighbors from building a new house next door because she did not think the style of the neighbor’s house fit in with the styles of the other houses in the neighborhood. She kept complaining to the zoning commission who approved her neighbor’s building permit, and then for some reason I can’t remember the zoning commission finally caved in and revoked her neighbor’s building permit. Even though her neighbor had already spent about $30,000 on the construction of his house, he could not finish building it. I am not sure about the outcome of this case, but it is a good example of how intolerant some people are these days.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much for your great comment. I think a lot of people project their own fears on others. But who knows. The older I get, the more I realize how much I don’t know. That keeps me wanting to continue learning about and understanding life!

      Liked by 1 person

      • You are welcome. It is sometimes difficult to understand the inner forces that influence the behavior of other people, especially people we do not know very well. Most of us are not mind readers. 🙂

        I also feel the same way as you do about realizing how little you know as you get older. I thought once I was grown up I would have the answers to so many of life’s questions, but now I find I have more questions than answers. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Enjoyed the post about what motivates people. I’ve been thinking about joy and how much or, conversely, how little joy there is in people around me. Just check out the faces when you are stopped at traffic lights.

    Liked by 1 person

    • So true. So sad too. I do that often. Look at people’s “resting” faces, and they generally have a look of utter dissatisfaction and disgust. Hopefully, the faces they make are not a reflection of what they are feeling (but they probably are.) Thanks for the comment, Moira!!


  5. Fulfillment! You got it right Kevin. I spent just 4 days visiting Hanoi, Vietnam and I came home fulfilled. I fed my soul with exploring nature’s beauty, I fed my stomach savoring all that delicious street food that Hanoi has to offer and I fed my body that enjoyed Hanoi’s spa massages! 🙂 As you mentioned, fulfillment has a different meaning for every individual…

    Liked by 1 person

  6. What a great life lesson Kevin. So many people super analyze others. Why? because they want others to be more like them. Nothing wrong with being an individual and from now on, I am going to follow your advice. I am what I am and at my age I’m going to stay that way. Thank you. The peacock is beautiful.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Nancy! That’s awesome to hear. I try my best to make my blog both beautiful and interesting. So, thanks again, for appreciating that. Your blog is terrific. Those eagle photos are amazing!


  7. Wow, Kevin, that was amazing! We all have the same longing and goal in living a fulfilled and happy life. And according to our individualt histories, likes, dislikes, skills, dreams… we have different paths to reach this goal. In the end we only need to follow our heart and not looking at the neighbour what he is doing for having a fulfilled life. It can be an imput but may be something completely different. Why are some jealous that others are happy? Because the jealous one are frustrated not to have figured it out yet.
    I so hear you. I am totally the same. I also want to understand and see the context. Wow… amazing post!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I wish more people felt as you do. I prefer to be left alone, but that is not allowed in my family. Of course if they did leave me alone I would be a hermit and I know that isn’t right either. With my illnesses I am not the most lovable at times LOL!

    Liked by 2 people

  9. I seem to understand better as time goes by how profound the simple questions are, and how simple are the most profound ones. I enjoyed your viewpoint on this. If we combine Socrates and Paul Simon, “The unexamined life is not worth living, and so, why deny the obvious, child!”

    Liked by 1 person

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