What motivates people to do what they do?

by Alan Davies, FUW Managing Director

When you get up in the morning, what motivates you? What is that driving force that gets you to do what you do each day? What is it that makes us say certain things, or do certain things, if anything, at all?

By definition ‘Motivation’ refers to the reasons we do what we do, the process of finding those reasons, or the factors that cause us to act. It’s a word that allows us to talk about our needs, wants, desires, or drive to do things. But the word itself doesn’t explain our actions.

If we say that someone is naturally, or intrinsically motivated to do something or the motivation is driven by external reward we don’t automatically and instantly understand why the motivation was there in the first place.

Wiser heads than mine argue that motivation is likely to be driven by three factors – affiliation, achievement and power. All three fit neatly into our political world and also possibly into the political theatrics we have seen in recent weeks.

For example: why do two former Prime Ministers (Blair and Major), who should be enjoying retirement, come forward to urge politicians to hold a second referendum to solve the Brexit deadlock and abandon the idea of a general election? What have they got to gain?

into the public arena because they have the UK’s best interest at heart, because they care about the future of the country and its people and as much anyone else want to see the mess fixed and the country at peace.

neither of them is likely to have much to gain. They are both “past it” and have earnt the right to a quiet, retired life. A few after dinner speeches maybe, but not full on political battle for them right now, surely.

But something motivates them to do what they have done.

equally something has to be motivating the Brexiters to do what they are doing. And something has to be motivating the Prime Minister to prorogue Parliament, make calls for a General election and make a generous gift of £160 million to Scottish farmers.

But what is it? What is it that drives these acts? This is a fundamental question that has been going around in my head for weeks and weeks. And I can’t get to a fathomable

how can a Prime Minister lead a Government that produces horror story scenarios for

the impact of Government policy and yet then be still so keen to implement those damaging policies?

There are just some things in life that don’t make sense to me irrespective of how often I try and analyse them.

But whilst I may not fully understand the whole motivation behind many of their actions, I know what motivates the FUW to call on the UK Government to revoke Article 50. We are worried. Very worried that the loss of eU markets – overnight potentially – will

have deep and damaging impact on our country.
The survival of our family farms, our way of life, language, culture and rural economy are all at risk. If things pan out the way that some scenarios suggest that they might, much of

what we hold dear will be put in jeopardy.
Revoking Article 50 to allow the UK to ‘take back control’

and deliver a smooth Brexit that does not threaten millions of livelihoods still remains the sensible way

Those who are enthusiastic about Brexit must be realistic about the dangers of getting it

wrong, and the need for a well planned and orderly withdrawal over a realistic timescale has to be a sensible goal. Anything that says otherwise has to be driven by different motives.

next time you hear someone saying something that differs from your views, just ask yourself: “What is motivating them to do or say that?” It’s a serious question.

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