CHARACTER MOTIVATION THESAURUS

DOING THE RIGHT THING



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HELPFUL TIP:

To understand why your character is driven toward a certain goal, take time to understand their personality and moral compass using the positive and negative trait thesauri. Also, dig into their backstory to find an unresolved emotional wound. Past trauma is disruptive and can generate unmet needs that, if strong enough, will motivate your character to chase a specific goal to satisfy this need.
FORMS THIS MIGHT TAKE:
Turning in a family member who is wanted by the police
Confessing to a crime
Collecting workplace evidence of wrongdoing to turn over to police even if it is a career-ender
Testifying against a criminal even if it is dangerous to do so
Helping someone, even at great peril
Trying to save someone's life
Taking someone in if one is able (refugees, a child's friend who has just lost both parents, a friend down on their luck)
Standing up against racism or inequity
Sacrificing comfort to help others
Stepping up to be responsible for others
Leading when a leader is needed
Offering financial help to someone worthy
Planning a rescue that will be dangerous
Fighting for a belief or value (freedom, that all life is precious, etc.)
Admitting to adultery
Taking care of people because one can (watching over a friend's loved ones after he passed away, for example)
Helping another end their life when they are in great pain (assisted suicide)
Walking away from a relationship because it's the right thing for the other person involved
Owning up to the past (a hit and run, a lie that changed someone's life, etc.)
Selling a business one loves to help someone get out of debt
Offering someone protection when they need it most
Returning something lost to the right owner, even at a great personal cost
Sacrificing a win because it means more to someone else
Sharing one's resources in dire times
Sacrificing freedom so others can keep theirs
Pushing for fairness even when it isn't popular to do so
Helping someone get justice
Doing what is hard, not what is easy
Challenging the status quo because it is unfair or unjust
Sacrificing one's life so others may live

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: In a world where so many lack a moral compass, the character may feel they must do what is right, not what is easy, to act as a counterweight and put something good and pure back into the world.
Esteem and Recognition: If a character made a mistake in the past and regrets it, they would seek to do the right thing if an opportunity came around to undo the harm they did (or at least repair it). In this way they may feel partially redeemed and view themselves in a kinder light. 
Love and Belonging: A character in a committed relationship may have an affair only to discover just how deep their love for their spouse is. In this case, regret and self-loathing for betraying that love may prompt a confession as this is the only way to honor the love they have for their spouse, even if it leads to the end of the relationship.
Safety and Security: In a situation where someone is in great need and your character is in a position to help, doing the right thing becomes the only logical option for anyone with a moral compass.

HOW THE CHARACTER MAY PREPARE FOR THIS GOAL:
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POSSIBLE SACRIFICES OR COSTS ASSOCIATED WITH THIS GOAL:
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ROADBLOCKS WHICH COULD PREVENT THIS GOAL FROM BEING ACHIEVED:
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TALENTS & SKILLS THAT WILL HELP THE CHARACTER ACHIEVE THIS GOAL:
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WHAT'S AT STAKE IF THIS GOAL ISN'T MET?
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