To understand why your character is driven toward a certain goal, get to know their positive and negative traits, as well as any significant emotional wounds that might be motivating them. Then you can explore the various kinds of conflict that could block them as they move toward their goal.
FORMS THIS MIGHT TAKE:
Winning a local competition (best chili, prettiest garden display, best home-brewed beer, etc.) Winning an election (for prom king, student council, city council, mayor, etc.) Being awarded a scholarship for an art competition, one's prowess in math, for an essay one wrote, etc. Being profiled in one's local paper for an accomplishment or accolade Being chosen for the Olympic team Being on a winning team (or coaching it) at the champion level Having one's business win a prestigious award Being acknowledged for being the one to put on the best parties or events Being chosen from a large pool of hopefuls (to act in a commercial, for a promotion, to earn spot in an orchestra, etc.) Being the best parent, grandparent, teacher, etc.
HUMAN NEED DRIVING THE GOAL (INNER MOTIVATION):
There are five basic human needs that, when missing from a character's life, could motivate them to pursue this goal. The following needs are all possibilities, but only one of them should be the primary driver for any given character. For more information on the relationship between human needs and outer motivations, please see this Character Motivation tutorial.
Self-Actualization: Believing that one has a special skill, knowledge, or insight in a particular area could drive a character to put their resources into becoming an expert, especially if they believe that by doing so, they are contributing to something greater than themselves.
Esteem and Recognition: If a character is skilled or has special knowledge, they may wish to hone their abilities to distiguish themselves and be known as "the best" in that area.
Safety and Security: A character may seek to be the best at something when the stakes are high, such as needing to become skilled at deception in order to keep one's resources from being stolen by others (e.g., a corrupt government).
Physiological Needs: When survival is at stake, a character would be driven to be the best at whatever will keep them alive, such as excelling at hunting in a landscape where meat is hard to find or being highly skilled at finding water during a drought.
HOW THE CHARACTER MAY PREPARE FOR THIS GOAL:
Reading up on the activity one wishes to master or the issues of importance that one should know Observing (in person, watching video footage, etc.) and studying one's competition Practicing one's communication (written, verbal, etc.) and charm to win over those who may be in a position to help Being open to trying new things and adding more tools to one's toolkit Seeking out mentors or coaches as needed Practicing obsessively Dedicating oneself to the area of study; cutting out distractions Researching past winners and studying their methods Understanding the risks and being willing to take the ones that make sense Studying one's judges or decision-makers so one can better deliver exactly what is needed Buying whatever equipment or services that might give one an edge Putting in more effort than one's competition Practicing affirmations and positive self-talk Trying out for smaller opportunities so one can build up to bigger ones
POSSIBLE SACRIFICES OR COSTS ASSOCIATED WITH THIS GOAL:
Giving up one's free time Friendships that grow strained because others aren't supportive of one's passion Spending one's savings on training, equipment, or other things needed to be the best Relationships that become damaged because of competition Losing out on family time Having less energy and focus for other things Dropping the ball in other areas of one's life because of a singular (possibly obsessive) focus on the goal
ROADBLOCKS WHICH COULD PREVENT THIS GOAL FROM BEING ACHIEVED:
A health crisis (either one's own or that of a family member) that requires time, money, or both A financial crisis (losing a job, one's car being totaled, etc.) Deepening family problems that must be addressed, requiring one to refocus one's time A move due to work A talented competitor with better resources and support Sabotage Not having the knowledge, talent, or experience to be the best (needing to be more seasoned) Ego creating an inflated sense of one's abilities, making it difficult for one to accurately self-examine and address areas of weakness Realizing this goal will not bring fulfillment (as it is a false goal and a deeper need is at the root)
TALENTS & SKILLS THAT WILL HELP THE CHARACTER ACHIEVE THIS GOAL: