CHARACTER MOTIVATION THESAURUS

PURSUING MASTERY OF A SKILL OR TALENT



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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:
Exploring and making art with passion and dedication (painting, sculpting, etc.)
Building a work of fiction, poetry, a play, or other type of writing that stretches one's abilities
Earning a placement in a school that is known for producing visionaries in one's field
Earning an apprenticeship with a master craftsman or teacher
Seeking out higher education (graduate programs, etc.)
Volunteering to gain valuable experience to hone one's craft
Traveling to widen one's education and learn new methods, ideologies, practices, and techniques
Sacrificing time, money, and other desires to dedicate oneself to evolving through practice
Seeking out the best in one's field to learn from their insight (coaches, thought leaders, acclaimed individuals, etc.)
Pushing past what is known or done to try new ideas, experiment, and make new discoveries
Focusing and honing one's talents to make the world a better place (by inventing an important vaccine, by making a science discovery that revolutionizes thinking, etc.)
Seeking out hidden or lost knowledge even if it requires sacrifice, in order to benefit from it

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 deep love and respect for something can bring about a desire to educate oneself so one may grow one's skills to master it. 
Esteem and Recognition: A character who desires recognition by peers who are dismissive or biased will dedicate themselves to mastery to prove them wrong, and if possible, to outshine them all. 
Love and Belonging: If a parent who was not involved in a child's life had a skill that could be used to benefit them and repair the relationship, they could seek to master their talent with a specific mission in mind (say a father good at mechanical engineering wishing to invent an apparatus to assist his immobile child to walk).
Safety and Security: If the character can see a terrible situation coming and has time to do something about it using a skill they have, the threat of imminent danger will push them to seek mastery before disaster strikes. I
Physiological Needs: If a character's ability to provide the basic amenities (food, water, shelter, etc.) for themselves and loved ones relies on a talent or skill that makes them useful to someone in power or can be monetized to trade, they would seek out master this skill or talent to ensure basic needs are met.

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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