Everything we do is motivated by one of two things: seeking pleasure or avoiding pain. It's not entirely black and white since sometimes it's a mix of both, but usually one or the other is the dominant factor. Some of us tend to be more motivated by pleasure and others more motivated by pain.
Our actions are always motivated by how we expect to feel, and this basically comes down to pleasure versus pain. Yet the two go hand-in-hand: many of the most pleasurable experiences in life involve the risk of pain.
Another way of looking at this is love versus fear. We're either acting out of love, or we're acting out of fear. Perhaps it's a combination of the two. Often we're not even aware of the underlying motivation but if we look closely we can see that it's usually one or the other.
Acting out of love means being vulnerable and since this exposes us to the risk of painful rejection we often don't want to risk it. It seems easier and feels safer to be defensive and act out of fear. But when we do this we miss out on loving and being loved. Our willingness to risk being vulnerable determines how much love we get.… Continue reading…