There are only two things that motivate working and participation in society!


I've been thinking for the past 4 years on what to do and why.

There are only two things that motivate working and participation in society!

And by that I mean, what to do long term.

In our modern culture the expectation from the people who live around you is that you will dedicate your life to specializing in some craft that will consume the majority of your living hours. Some call it 'a career.' Others call it 'a job.' Or 'a profession.'

At 22 I was struck by how odd it seems to just do that. I struggled to see how giving up doing the things I wanted to do would benefit me. Especially for a 40-80 hour time commitment, that doesn't include eating or sleeping.

If a work week was '40 hours including eating and sleeping' Ie, a couple days of productivity kinda kust do whatever and get done what you can and then break until next week that'd be one thing, but a 5-7 day continuous barrage of work is another.

So I wanted to know, why is it that people do this?

And now after thinking and considering as well as experimenting with working full-time, half-time as well as with long term unemployment and independent contract work I think I now have the answers. And it's really just 2 things that do it.

Two things that motivate working

1) Materialism

One of the things capable of motivating a person to do something odd like this is to fulfill a materialistic goal. Working towards achieving something you want that costs money, such as a big house, brand name clothing or a new iPhone. For many people, I suspect, this is all that keeps them going. In fact I think this makes up the majority of young single people's motivations. This basically defines the YUPPIE (young working professional). Without this drive, the work they do is obviously insane.

2) Family

Providing for a family. This is an even stronger drive in my opinion. If you have children, then you have to feed them. Doing something you find fun obviously becomes a lower priority than this, period. Ultimately, when you have dependents that's when fucking around stops and real dedication begins. This could easily motivate a person to sacrifice their entire adult lives.

But that's it. I see no other motivations worth causing a person to work. If you're single with no kids and not materialistic, you have zero incentive to do anything. And rightly so. Why would you work? That would be insane. Better to just exist and live. Maybe go on prolonged backpacking trips, live in a van and do independent contract work once in a while whenever to buy some groceries and put a little gas in the tank for a road trip wherever.

So yeah. I mean, if you're a single person without kids who is materialistic, I wonder what happens after you finally achieve your materialistic goals without ever having kids. Does the motivation disappear?

So anyway, I think this is very relevant for the lives of people under 30, and maybe more to the group under 25.

That's it. 🤘🏼

There are only two things that motivate working and participation in society!
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Most Helpful Girls

  • supercutebutt
    People need money to live where I come from. Where do you live that you don't need money to pay for food and shelter? Or were you born into a wealthy family that gives you money for nothing?

    Where I live, you need to work. Sure, I am all for leisure time and investing so that money starts working for YOU, instead of the other way around. But you have to have money to make money. So unless you have rich parents, you must work, at least until you have enough to get that ball rolling to start investing. But lots of people like staying busy. So even people with $$$ start to get bored without a structured work life. They can begin to feel unimportant or lazy, which then inspires them to work. This has nothing to do with materialism or providing for a family. It's about having a sense of purpose.
    Is this still revelant?
    • Robertcw

      That's what I mean. Thing is you don't *need* money. You could fish and catch wild birds.

      I've started thinking about what society is and how sex sets the rules for that. But also, how other animals live in the wild vs. us.

      I spent a lot of time in a wildlife preserve recently and it's actually very peaceful and nice. The animals are very quiet and keep to themselves. Everything they need is provided by the habitat.

      People are loud and destructive as well as unaware. Something about people specifically has evolved differently than other animals. It's tripping me out.

    • Robertcw

      Where I was at there are frogs, wild turkey, deer and mountain lions.

      The mountain lions only eat when hungry. As do the deer and turkeys. As do the frogs.

      I am aware dolphins act more similarly to people, as do chimps. They do things that are destructive, such as murder and rape.

      But as far as I can tell the deer and turkey I observed did none of that. They just wander around, occasionally communicate and lounge.

      Being the only person in that area was nice. Essentially I could just lounge around and enjoy the space. It was so quiet and peaceful. When I return to society all I hear are loud engines, obnoxious snickers from people screwing around, power tools and construction and I'm like "man wtf. this is inferior to the wildlife preserve."

    • Most people need money to live. If you plan on living in a city or the suburbs, it's 100% necessary. Not everybody wants to live like the unabomber, out in the woods and in a 10' x 10' shack. But if that's what you like, go for it!

    • Show All
  • Marilynjuana
    I decided that I don’t want to sit in an office all day and do what I’m told. I’m very stubborn, many thought I was an idiot when I quit and started a business while barely being an adult. It was hard, it sucked, now I am luckily thriving and I love my job. I had nothing when I started, but it’s all possible, just gotta know what you have to do in this world. Hopefully things will stay good.
    Is this still revelant?
    • Optymistyk

      What kind of buisness are you running?

    • Robertcw

      Thanks. I needed to hear something like this. I wish I would have started at 20. Would be so much more convenient than 26. But 26 is better than 27 I guess. I don't know.

    • Marilynjuana

      @Robertcw To be fair, it is absolutely idiotic to start a business that early :’). A part of me wishes I would’ve waited so I could’ve had a smoother start and also enjoyed my early 20s in a more “normal” manner. I hope you’ve found your direction, mate! Wishing the best of luck to you.

    • Show All

Most Helpful Guys

  • coachTanthony
    I became a minimalist about 10 years ago. No debt, no crazy bills, no big house or fancy car.

    I have the bare essentials which allows me to now follow my passion and purpose in life instead of being a corporate monkey catching flights at 4 am every week.

    Although I do work harder now then I ever did I am more fulfilled and happy... My schedule is managed very tightly during the week.

    5am to 10am is my time... meditation, gym, breakfast, hiking in summer, etc

    10am to 7pm is work time

    7pm to 10pm is people time.

    I now participate at my leisure... not the expectation of materialistic THINGs.

    Life is good! Good take!
    Is this still revelant?
  • You're wrong. The number 1 factor in the happiness of men is if they feel like they're contributing at work. This outweighed all other factors by a large margin. So there are more reasons to work. Doing something with your life feeling like you're contributing to something bigger than yourself working in a team etc. In short purpose. Working only for money is a very bad approach in my opinion it means you're in the wrong job.
    Is this still revelant?
    • Robertcw

      I don't have options man. I take what I can get.

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What Girls & Guys Said

  • lumos
    I'm looking for a full-time job not just because of the financial security, but also for the routine. Currently I work 2-4 nights a week in a kitchen and do freelance graphic design. It turns my sleeping schedule upside down. It feels like there's very little difference between work mode and relax mode, because I can get an email at any moment asking me if I can help out with this or that. Or I can get an "emergency" call and be asked to cover for someone else randomly, at the kitchen. I'd love to just work for 8,5 hours a day. Get up in the morning, come home in the evening and simply feel accomplished. Have a clear schedule for the month. Have a normal bed time. Just something that will help me feel a bit more grounded again. I miss weekends feeling like real weekends. Now I can spend Tuesdays and Wednesdays doing absolutely nothing, but then have a fully packed weekend with shifts and assignments. It's driving me a bit crazy. My schedule doesn't seem match anyone else's. Everyone else gets off work when I go to work. Ugh.
  • Prof_Don
    Yes, materialism is a means to work. However, I dislike the smug attitude some people have towards materialism.

    First of all, there is nothing bad or negative about wanting nice things.

    Secondly, in modern first world society, a level of materialism is needed for survival. That’s a fact.
    • Robertcw

      You're right. Materialism has been forced buy capitalism because food costs money.

    • Robertcw

      Also I agree. I find motivation to have nice clothes. But my motivation in this has become jaded by the real world a little.

      I've seen people get on a hamster wheel and it never ends. Property taxes, wages vs. company profits, maintenance costs and so on.

      I used to spend heavy on a nice car but it eventually became a money pit. And so I have lost motivation for cars.

  • SirRexington
    The thing forcing and often promoting unreasonable work loads is capitalism. Which feeds materialism as well.

    We work our asses off to never see the effort pay off while greedy, lazy money hoarders accumulate more and more wealth.
    • Robertcw

      That's why I try to stay independent contractor. I need to not have bosses. I don't get along with authority. I fight back every time. 🤷🏻‍♂️

      Am pursuing a career in the fitness industry now doing a 180 after realizing corporate life wasn't going to work for me.

    • SirRexington

      Sadly the contract market is just as oppressive. You don't have economic stability, healthcare provided, full time benefits... The gig economy didn't liberate workers. It further created economic uncertainty. Look at Uber.

    • Robertcw

      Yeah. That's the cost of personal freedom. There are other options such as remote part-time work as well.

    • Show All
  • Levin
    I think you're forgetting something. Egotism. A sense of self is derived from a person's career, and also, how they're perceived. Particularly in the US, a very individualistic country. There is a lot of societal pressure to 'be somebody'. To be powerful. To be successful. To be knowledgeable. To command respect. To be able to show off and demonstrate their wealth and power, through car, house, clothes. Lest you be invisible, nay, even wretched.

    Work is something I have always struggled with personally. I don't want to work towards society's goals or notions of what is right. Since obviously, most work is highly dubious, if not degenerate and morally scummy. Whether we like it or not, there is a sort of prosaic, pragmatic, day to day, physically orientated facet of life. We have to work, it's healthy to work, it makes us feel good, you can't just fill your day with pleasure. So how are we going to work with it?

    It's not really the concept of work that is an issue. It's more an issue of certain factors that make work shit. For example, inequity or unfairness. I know that in my role, I work harder than a lot of people in senior positions. I know I also get a lot of the shit, stress and the blame if something goes wrong. The salary one commands is based on specialism and having a rare knowledge base. Not on hard work. While it may be prudent and probably right to have different salary bands based on expertise, knowledge and experience, when gaps between what people earn is so grotesque, or when one can work full time and still not be able to afford to get onto the housing ladder, then people are quite right to be disagreeable and bitter. Of course, you could make the reasonably legitimate argument that people should work harder, train, etc. There are also questions about what kind of society you want. That's for another thread.

    The other issue is treating people like robots, without an ounce of flexibility. It might be a trite notion, but life, like all things, is about balance. You can work hard, and it feels nice to work hard, as long as you can rest and have time with yourself. There's so many hideous and unnecessary aspects of work, that make it so shitty. For example, whereever possible, there could be experimentations with working one day from home. Cuts traffic, pollution, and the commute time from your day. Or more flexibility with regard to the working week, 6 hour working days I think in some regards have been shown to be more efficient than working 8 (generally, no one is fully productive for an 8 hour slab of time); working 5 days in four, etc. The other is dickhead management. Organisations should be flattened out with regard to how people are treated. People should be treated fairly and with respect. No one should fellate management and directors, because this is obviously self effacing and sense of self destroying also.

    As an aside, I find it genuinely odd that people love their job on here. Something I can aspire to, maybe! So it seems to be about finding the right kind of job for yourself, also, with some autonomy.

    The other small aside, is least (for now), we're not as brutal a country as the US, and we have somewhat comprehensive social security. Our healthcare is free, thank fucking god. That helps society be somewhat progressive and harmonious, less gap between rich and poor, in some respects.
  • NearlyNapping
    You are missing something major. This is entirely based on the idea that work is actually something negative. What about doing it simply because you like to?

    What else are you gong to do? Sit around doing nothing? Why not do something productive instead. It's probably just as enjoyable as whatever else you might be doing. I mean, I'm paying a video game at the moment (taking a quick break). But working is just as enjoyable. More enjoyable actually.

    Work should never fell like a negative, like something repulsive that you have to do. If it really is so horrible, then I feel sorry for you. Work is such a major part of life, that not liking work is not liking life itself. For me, work is what gave me the most satisfaction in life. I can't imagine feeling any other way about it.

    I totally agree about the career thing, and spending your life doing just one thing. But you don't need to do it that way. Life is long enough to have multiple careers. So try different stuff. If you like something, then keep doing it for a while. When some other opportunity that sounds interesting presents itself, give it a try.

    I've had two careers, three if you push the definition a little. Plus a whole bunch of short term jobs, many that were totally unrelated to each other. I also started multiple small businesses (which are a LOT easier to start than many people think).

    Jumping around a lot might not be the best way to make money, but I made a living and was able to retire at a youngish age. It's what I wanted to do, so I did it. Which brings up another very important one that you missed - saving for retirement. Do it. You won't regret if you do, but you'll regret if you don't.

    You do need to work, it's just part of life. But it should be enjoyable, not a chore. You can't avoid working, but you can avoid doing the same thing for 50 years straight. When people tell you that you have to do the same thing your entire life, don't listen to them. There are thousands of different routes you can take in life. Some are better than others, but most are viable.
  • WalterRadio
    You fail to understand that working all the time is that evolved state of humans. Notable leisure time is new over the last 130 years.

    As a human, you must solve these problems:
    1. Obtain sufficient calories free of disease.
    2. Obtain sufficient water free of disease.
    3. Defend yourself against predators.
    4. Protect yourself against the elements.
    5. Mate.

    Unless you grew up on a farm, without civilization, you will be dead within a week.

    Just look at how much time each of these problems would take every day. You will need between 2,500 and 3,000 calories. How are you going to do that? Are you going to hunt or fish? That's great. You need to make tools first. Do you think you could get close enough to a wild animal to spear it or lasso it? Do you think you could use a net? You will have to work to make those. How do you make a spear without civilization? You have to make a cutting rock by smashing two rocks together. You have to find the rocks (how long will that take?), then do the smashing (how long will that take?) Then you can cut a straight branch into a spear. By the time you are ready to start hunting, you've probably been working for two hours. Then you have to find game and sneak up on it without it running away. If it runs, you start again. It may take days to get a large animal like a deer. You will have more luck catching snakes and lizards. But they are small.

    Now you've killed something to eat after say a day of trying. Are you going to dress it? You need a tool for that. And that will take time too.

    Then you need to cook it so you don't get parasites and it will digest better. How are you going to start a fire? Have you ever tried starting a fire with friction? I have. It is hard under ideal circumstances. If you don't start a fire, you will die. You might spend an hour a day gathering wood and tending to the fire, but you've already spent all day hunting.

    So what about vegetables and starches. Sure, go find some cattails or thistles. You might get lucky and find seasonal berries and fruit too. But they won't last. You have to gather enough of it to preserve for off-season.

    If you live in a cold environment, you are going to need clothes, a good shelter, and lots of firewood.

    I think you get the idea.

    If you are not working every waking moment just to survive, thank those billions of people who work those 40 hour weeks.
    • Robertcw

      I don't get 2500-3000 calories a day even today.

      More like 1600-1800. If I could hunt the turkeys near me I think I'd get a lot to eats

    • Robertcw

      Okay, if I cook some jasmine rice with my chicken I do.

    • WalterRadio

      You would need 2,500 to 3,000 calories a day because you would be doing physical work all day.

      How are you going to hunt turkeys? Have you ever tried to catch one? I will tell you first hand that it is hard enough to catch a turkey when they are in a pen. The wild ones will fly away from you if you get close to them. Try it.

      Have you ever been to a place where they grow rice traditionally? You have to build the paddies, which is hard without tools you have to pay for. Then you have to flood the paddies. Then you have to plow the paddies (while flooded). Some people use water buffalo (carabao) for that, but you would have to catch one and tend to it (my grandfather told me that a horse ate half of what they grew with it). Then you have to sprout the rice seed, then plant each seedling in the water one by one. Then when it is ready for harvest, you have to cut the rice (hard with stone tools you spent a month making), then separate it from the chaff, which means you will have had to spend a few days collecting materials and weaving baskets.

      What you don't understand is that by not working in the modern economy, the amount of work you have to do just to survive is enormous.

  • Cynicaldreamer
    "If you're single with no kids and not materialistic, you have zero incentive to do anything... if you're a single person without kids who is materialistic, I wonder what happens after you finally achieve your materialistic goals without ever having kids. Does the motivation disappear?"
    No. You keep working because it's JUST you. You have no one else to take care of you if something happens such as an illness or an emergency where you need money. Or you're driven to maintain that lifestyle you've attained: just because you're doing well is no reason to stop working- if anything you want to work harder to make sure you keep doing well!

    I work because it's just me: I realize I have to pay my own bills and provide for myself or I'm screwed. Simple as that.
    So I'm driven, independent, and work to attain for things I want in life. There are definitely times I hate working; I won't even deny that. But I rather work and grumble about it, than be an unemployed, lazy ass with no sense of fulfillment or happiness knowing I can take care of myself and buy what I want in life.
  • Taylor_C
    I believe many jobs are low paying enough to mandate people to work 5 or more full days per week just to get by. Then there are many people who are very materialistic and need stuff, technology, clothes, expensive furniture, a better house in a better neighborhood, etc etc to feel their life has a meaning.
  • Daisy007
    For me personally, yeah the money helps but I LOVE my job (: I've been at this place for 2 years now & it's tutoring/teaching middle school students. What motivates me is the smile/happiness that goes on a kids face when they finally grasp onto a concept or something they've been struggling on & the difference I've seen i could make on their day by just a simple "hello" (':
    • wouldn't you be happier and more fulfilled if they were your kids?

    • Daisy007

      Personally I'm not thinking of having kids anytime soon so no 😅 I love kids but not thinking of kids of my own rn

    • sixxx

      Are you a private tutor or a school teacher?

  • DizzyDesii
    I want to be able to build my house and afford in vitro
    • Robertcw

      You can find a guy to be parents with too. It's good to have biological kids with people and raise them together.

    • DizzyDesii

      Thats still my first option. I just wanna afford other options as backuo

  • oddwaffle
    Apparently bills don't pay themselves so you have to pay them.

    There is a reason why everyone wants "Financial Independence".

    Imagined if you have like 150k USD a year from a fund that will last forever and you can even give them to your kids. Would you go to work the same job you had?

    Not many will. They would only work for fun and probably part time.
    I think you're leaving out other reasons... Like maybe they enjoy it or legacy.
    • Robertcw

      Yeah legacy is a good one. Enjoying work -- I guess I'm so jaded that didn't cross my mind.

  • SamirahD22
    I love learning , meeting new people, making money and what I do. Learning increases your earning potential
    • Robertcw

      I guess I feel like I'm done learning for the most part. Studying philosophy as a major can do that to a person. Like, what comes after metaphysics and philosophy of math?

      Maybe learning how to do thing and build things? Or maybe learning more about how the human body works? I don't know. 🤷🏻‍♂️

    • SamirahD22

      I didn't read the entire post just thr picture sorry. So you're tired of what you do?

    • Robertcw

      Well, actually I don't do anything. I studied a major that employers are not hiring. I do whatever hires me.

      There's not much more I can do.

  • Phoenix98
    I work for many reasons because I like my job, because I work for money, money that I need to pay off medical debt and other things that need taken care off. But most importantly I work for family, the family that raised me and to prepare for the family I'll have in the future.
  • Deathraider
    To many people, the profession they do gives meaning to their lives. They believe they are contributing to good in society.

    Other people genuinely want to work since they are just interested. It is their passion.

    The thing is if you like what you do, you never work a day in your life.
  • regina1991
    Tru , bt some people like wrkng cz an idle mind is the devils wrkshop
  • Jamie05rhs
    In general? I work to be able to pay the rent. If rent or a mortgage wasn't an issue, then I would just work part-time for spending money, and I would invest most of my time in composing music.
  • Miristheiss
    Why is the sky blue?
    Why is water wet.
    Work is the law of nature.
    You work so you can eat.
    All living creatures spend most of their time searching for food... work!
    If you do not work you will not eat.
    You have to grow your food or hunt your food or offer something to society ro earn momey so you can pay others to grow and hunt your food.
    That is how the universe is run... it is a natural law.
    The world has resources but you must struggle daily to utilize them.
    Look at the bee, squirrels, birds, fish, lions... etc.
    A daily struggle to eat. Do you expect us to feed you?
    • Robertcw

      No. Let me hunt my own food.

    • Robertcw

      But in reality society kills off natural food supplies by over hunting. And what is anyone going to do in the face of military? Nothing they can do.

      So we piddle-fart around pretending to care about serving others in exchange for monetary to obtain food to eat. 🤷🏻‍♂️

      Then people get carries away and buy range rovers for absolutely no reason just because this becomes a game to them. Making money for no reason.

    • Robertcw

      We used to enjoy simple pleasures through basic consumerism and the acquisition of the latest gadgets and gizmos like smartphones, and before that personal computers, gaming consoles, televisions and home speaker systems -- but now the latest smartphone costs more than a mortgage payment.

      And new technology in consumer televisions are gimmicky. Speakers and thrown sound accuracy out the window and computers are irrelevant.

      So now people buy, I don't know, maybe shoes? Accessories, name brands?

      But even clothes destroy the planet with synthetic fabrics and exploit child labour.

      So now what? I guess I'm motivated to acquire clothing from brands like Patagonia and WearPact, Veja.

      I guess I can find motivation to wear brands that represent things I enjoy such as GymShark and Heria. 🤷🏻‍♂️

      But, I mean... I don't know man. Seems like this is all a runaway train that's gonna crash soon. People aren't going to be motivated to buy all this stuff forever.

    • Show All
  • sp33d
    Money's not a concern. I like being busy. While I don't want to work some 60h weeks year after year, I don't want to not work, because there's only so much one can do with a lot of free time.
  • GoodManDave
    If you're working a job you dislike... maybe. I personally would like to work differently. I don't get enough work; but I love most of the aspects of it. Not all of it, but most of it, I genuinely love. I DO eventually want to have a family; first, needing the romance part; A girlfriend, eventually becoming a wife. I'd like kids. But I think that even if I didn't want a family, I'd want this career. If I was successful, I could use it to make more of a life I'd want for myself, even if that didn't include having a family of my own. And it'd be doing a lot of stuff I like to do and get paid for it.

    Sure, materialism might be a part of that. Not saying it'd be for greed, though, but mostly to carve out a life I'd like and cut down on worry.

    Yes, everything seems to come down to food, shelter, security, and "sex." But practically everything could be boiled down to that. But I want something because I want to do it and it seems like it'd be a blast.
  • Optymistyk
    Yeah you know that's the thing I'm currently struggling with. I recently dropped out of college because I didn't care about my studies. I'm single and a minimalist. I don't care about having a big house or a nice car. I don't have children or a girlfriend so I don't have to spend money on them. I just go to any job that I can stomach that pays at least 600$ monthly. I don't need more money. My parents are disgusted with me. But I just don't care about finding a better job if I'm gonna go there for money anyway
  • soleil2666
    Nope, there is only one - dating,

    A churchgoer said this to me - what reason would one grey box have to speak to another?

    Materialism only comes in as means of providing for your loved one (and later ones) - we set too high a goalpost for how much of that is necessary, and people run away from dating in disillusionment (I would be the first one to, in all honesty and with a heart full of joy, date a poor girl over two warmed up slices of yesterday's pizza - but in most of what I have seen, most girls feel terribly insecure if they cannot show more (at least an iPhone), much to everyone's dismay (and male anger))

    It's the media that made you believe you have to buy what they advertise before you can date. People need none of it (and we much prefer our body parts toys and getting naked sooner to those you buy in shops (except, again, some women who want to see the money demonstrated first))
  • SomeGuyCalledTom
    Don't forget the deep-seated need for approval. People stay in jobs they hate in hopes that their manager will one day give them recognition. Or that they'll "prove themselves" to some uppity colleagues who flash their career achievements like street bling. Think how many films are basically about this search for acceptance in the workplace, it's like the "meta-story" for life in 21st century. Of course, shrewd employers use this exact narrative to manipulate their workforce-- especially knowing how powerful selective DISAPPROVAL can be to such employees.
  • BeMuse
    I guess you hit upon vanity and lust… People are a little more complex than that though. Some people want to control other people. Some people want to compete with and destroy other people just to feel a since of pride from winning. Some people just want to stack piled and piles of money, but have no clue what to do with it in the material world... They’re just treating their bank account like a high score counter. Some people just work so that they have enough stashed away to veg out and do nothing later in life. Some work to help others and money isn’t factor, it's more about the attention and reconition. Some work for the image of honor to be seen as brave, a patriot, or a hero. Some people work out of charity. Some work out of diligence to persistently get better at something they personally care about. So on and so forth...
  • startingfitness
    I was expecting something more primal like reward and punishment. But i guess this does too 😊
  • Liam_Hayden
    3. Survival.
    4. Purpose.
    5. Maintaining sanity.
  • I like the thrill of challenge in my job as usability designer.
  • DonCachondo
    So much of this screams American lmao
  • DizziBlond369
    I work to feel good and make money
    I don't I'm rich
  • Maria1290
    Not having depend on family for money.
  • KaraAyna
    Good mytake
  • MikeTheGreek79
    I like traveling and eating.
  • BigDaddyEric6969
    You realize you focused on the wrong things
  • Anonymous
    I like the way you think and I've pondered the same question for a long time as well. I think all your points are valid, but here are a couple of others I'd add:

    SEX. This is a HUGE motivator if we're really honest. It lies behind so much of motivation when single. In my view especially for a guy. I think it's more fundamental than what you're calling "materialism" in your point one. Because when I REALLY think about it, it underlies a LOT of that materialism. WHY do I want nicer clothes, a nice watch, a nice car, a nice apartment/house, etc? Frequently it's because it would enable to me to attract more, hotter, better women. So sex was always the fundamental driver. Even down to things like doing well in school, getting smarter, being more productive, being a leader. Fundamental to a LOT of those drives was always sex.

    You REALLY see this in your approach to going out. When you're single, it's super cool to go out to all hours to a club or bar or some scene or other and you're willing to pay good money for it (read: to WORK for it). Why? Because doing so holds out the hope (sometimes realized!) that you'll either have sex or at the very least (and more common for me) meet someone and get a number which will eventually lead there. But then what happens when you're IN a relationship? Not REALLY that interested in going out and spending the cash and staying up forever. Why? Because I already KNOW who I'm going home with. And I could just start out there to begin with. It's also exactly why the during the "honeymoon" period of a relationship you'd much rather just stay in and fuck like bunnies all day and night rather than go out.
    • Anonymous

      INSURANCE. This is another big reason to work. The good times won't always last. You want to have a stock of cash and resources for emergencies and when things may go bad. And this process never REALLY ends. You just insure yourself against more and more severe events. You even see this reflected in political discourse. A common refrain around universal health insurance in the US has been "many people are just ONE ACCIDENT AWAY from financial ruin!" It's said as though that's some kind of deep insight or shocking condition. If you think about it--no shit! It's ALWAYS been like that. If you can't work you're pretty screwed in terms of affording what your current lifestyle looks like. Of course, as you started earning more you very likely IMPROVED your lifestyle so that you now NEED to keep working in order to afford it. Nothing wrong with that, but you basically traded a better lifestyle for one with less certainty. Probably because of materialism and sex! lol! But once you've sorted that out, you might want to have more resources just to insure yourself against INEVITABLE bad outcomes like accidents, poor health, loved ones getting in trouble, etc., etc.

    • Robertcw

      Exactly. There must be two types of materialism, 1) self-indulging materialism and 2) ulterior motive materialism. I bet the second isn't all that different from making 'friends' with everyone popular. Nobody actually gives a fuck about them, but it's a social survival strategy.

      In this way, as a self-described loner, I'd expect most loners and maybe most introverts too to not actually give much of a damn about the type if materialism you are describing -- because they aren't socially active anyway so there's no one to impress which means they prioritize themselves above all. Which means, they probably don't go out to bars because why the f*ck would anyone like to do that unless they were trying to get laid or hang out with a group of established friends? Like you say, it isn't fun.

      Now for the insurance idea, I don't know. I guess that counts. For instance, if you lived in a van ir were basically homeless there is literally nothing to insure against losing, which is kind of the point. So possibly 'insurance' describes the first kind of materialism above, or the self-indulging kind. 'I have these nice positions -- super-sports bike, plasma screen, muscle car, surround system and a daily commuter (for examples) -- but I need to keep working to keep paying rent or else I'm not gonna be able to move and keep all this valuable sh*t in an eviction. Plus how do I even move all of it quickly? What if my new place only allows one car one parking spot? etc.

      So I think 'insurance' is really just the other kind of materialism.

      I wrote a take a long time ago about the differences kn behavior between introverts and extroverts and I think these ideas are related. I would expect introverts to be exclusively motivated by the first 'insurance' kind of materialism and extroverts mostly by the second 'SEX' kind of materialism or 'ulterior motives.'

    • Anonymous

      I think that's right. Just to add though, insurance isn't just about material possessions. It also applies to unexpected expenses that can arise from becoming sick, getting in an accident, etc. And it deals with being able to still buy the stuff you need (like food and shelter) when you can no longer work or can't find work.

      Also I'm not sure I follow you on your introvert/extrovert point. I'd think that the vast, VAST majority of people are still looking for sex and partners even if they're introverts.