CHARACTER MOTIVATION THESAURUS

GAINING CONTROL OVER ONE'S OWN LIFE



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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.
NOTES:
This entry looks at the psychological aspect of gaining control rather than a literal situation of escape, such as confinement, slavery, etc.

FORMS THIS MIGHT TAKE:
Entering the workforce to remove a financial dependency on another (a parent, a spouse, a guardian)
Seeking out education or a mentor that can open the door to opportunity
Rejecting a group mentality or set of rules and instead choosing one's own path
Breaking ties with those who are restricting one's freedoms
Leaving an abusive situation
Moving away from a toxic home life
Following a passion despite opposition
Exiting a dysfunctional relationship
Entering into therapy or obtaining another type of help that one needs
Leaving to start over somewhere else
Overcoming an addiction or self-limiting behavior
Overcoming mental illness
Following a set of beliefs that align with one's personal truth
Assuming a new identity
Following through with a gender reassignment
Choosing to end one's own life
Leaving a cult
Leaving a group using the character for their own gain (for power, influence, political connections, access to wealth, 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: A character who feels utterly restricted and unable to follow their own dreams may reach such a deep level of dissatisfaction that they would actively choose hardship for a chance to break free from those trying to keep the character compliant. Achieving control over one's actions and decisions seems like a small thing to those who take this for granted, but to someone who has to fight for it, it is everything.
Esteem and Recognition: If a character's self-esteem has suffered due to being under the thumb of others, the desire to distinguish oneself will be strong. This drive to be one's own person will push the character to tackle obstacles that will lead to small bits of independence, and the act of achieving this will demonstrate they are capable. This will boost their self-esteem and leave them hungry to tackle more challenges to achieve more successes. 
Love and Belonging: If a character is in love with someone yet is forbidden from being with them, this could drive them to challenge the rules. Fighting for what one wants means being in control so one can go after it.
Safety and Security: In some environments the character may see how the powers that be are actually placing them in danger. This can incentivize them to break free of this situation to become their own master.
Physiological: A character who is deteriorating because of an illness or condition may be pressured by loved ones to seek out treatments or surgeries that, while they may prolong life, will lead to pain and hardship. In this situation, the character may choose to seek out a way reain control and end their life on their own terms.

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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