Before I start, allow me to apologize. I was not able to post this in the morning like I wanted to. Nonetheless, welcome to this new series! Now, I never try to push for comments. Yes, I say to comment on what you think, etc, etc. I just recently had a post about the lack of comments. But I have never said that comments are necessary…until now. This series cannot survive unless there are comments. Think-a-Bit Thursdays requires feedback. It’s supposed to get you thinking. If there’s no feedback, I would assume that nobody was effected by the post. Also, I put a lot of thought and effort into it. So, if you read these posts, please put in your two cents each week. Thanks guys:)
SO! Every Thursday, I will choose a movie. These posts will be longer than you are used to from me, but they need to be a bit lengthy in order for me to get my point across like I would prefer. I will analyze a point that is brought up by a movie. This week, I’m focusing on Gladiator. Haven’t seen it? Don’t leave now. I will catch you up so you could participate. Either way, it’s not the movie we’re focusing on. (Though you really should have seen it by now…its legendary.)
For those who haven’t seen the movie, it is about Maximus (Russell Crowe), a Roman general who is betrayed by the emperor’s son. The son sends soldiers to brutally murder Russell Crowe’s wife and son. Why? Because the emperor would choose Maximus as the heir instead of his son. For those who have seen the movie, you could tell how strong the connection was between Russell Crowe and his family. Russell is then captured and turned into a gladiator. There’s no escaping, so he fights…and fight hard. He is the most experienced gladiator, due to his military experience, and he joins the gladiators together to fight in the arena. He becomes a fan favorite and a bit of a celebrity to the Roman people.
But I’m not here to talk about Gladiator. I’m here to talk about its strongest point: Motivation. The question I’ll be covering today is: What drives a person to do what they do? Red Bull is not an acceptable answer. I intend to dig deeper than that.
In this movie, his motivation is clearly vengeance. But is that the strongest drive a person can experience? No. I don’t believe so. Vengeance is something that is carried out for someone else. Humans are a selfish people. We cannot become puppets set to fulfill a goal that is not going to satisfy an inner purpose. We would not put in 100 and 10 percent of effort to avenge a family member’s murder as Crowe does. Not because vengeance is a thing out of movies, but because it doesn’t satisfy people in the end. We have seen countless movies where the main character kills the bad guy in the end out of vengeance, but they always return back to their daily lives. They don’t feel any better. This is why vengeance is not a drive that can possibly sustain a person. It has no reward in the end.
People typically say that their family is what motivates them to do well and strive to be successful. Is that actually true? I do everything that I do because of how I was raised. I do what is considered moral because of my family’s influence. Every time I am doing something, I put my effort into it. That is because of how my parents raised me to be. Therefore, I have them in mind when I do things. But is it for my dad, for example, that I strive to do well in everything I do? Of course, I think of how he will perceive the work. But I know that he will accept what I do no matter what, because he is my dad. How can I truly be motivated by something that will accept everything I do? Because of these ethics and principles I have picked up while being raised, I act according to them. Inspiration and motivation are two different things. My family inspires me, but it is something up in our heads that gets us going. Family is fuel, but what’s the engine?
What force is powerful enough to motivate us? When people are trying to lose weight on TV, for example, the typical things you see are the characters chasing donuts on the treadmill, using it as motivation. I don’t buy it. Donuts are temporary. “Eye on the prize” is temporary. Once you get the prize due to some temporary goal, then what? The fact is, another person or object cannot be your strongest motivation. We fight harder for ourselves than for other people. At heart, we may feel differently, but it is in our genes: Survive. Are there exceptions? Of course. Strong surges of emotion that are existent can influence the above statement, but men are all built wanting to survive. This is why our heart beats.
I would say that religion is the most powerful permanent motivation. Why? Because we don’t have to understand it to have faith in it. It is the only thing on this earth that has no scientific explanation, the only thing not tainted by humans: faith. Love and passion and glory and greed are all fulfilling for a certain amount of time, and triggered under certain circumstances. Religion is the code by which we live our daily lives. It sticks with us during times of war and times of peace. Human means of happiness are material. Not all means, but most. Religion is untouchable and solely within the person who has faith in it. There are no tools needed to have faith in God and no places required to be at to have faith.
And, of course, religion has the strongest prize. All religions say that if you live life according to its code, you will have a peaceful life after death. Heaven. But let’s face it. Those who are motivated by religion don’t think, ‘I’m going to heaven!’ every time they do a good deed. No. Having faith in a religion and following its morals is fulfilling in itself. To us, this life doesn’t seem like a test to determine if we are fit for another. We don’t think about religion 24/7. It’s not an activity. It’s a belief. But though it is passive at times, it is always there subconsciously. Humans are ambitious to live in happiness and stability, and religion allows us to do that. Though peace cannot be a reality all the time, we can still feel happiness and maintain stability in out own heads, which is where we are most comfortable. Though other people and other passions may be fuel, religion, in my opinion, is the engine.
This is why I think that it isn’t emotion that is the strongest motivator, but religion. I would like to hear your thoughts. This post, after all, IS a discussion. Comment, and allow me to hear your thoughts. I am looking forward to your responses.