CHARACTER MOTIVATION THESAURUS

REALIZING A DREAM



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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:
Pursuing a new career
Getting a degree or going back to school
Being creative in a way one was never able to fully be before
Living in one’s dream setting
Traveling the world
Inventing something and making it available to everyone
Completing a bucket list
Achieving a sports-related conquest (running a marathon, climbing a mountain, sailing around the world, winning an Olympic medal, etc.)
Running for office
Pursuing spiritual enlightenment (giving up material possessions, becoming a missionary or monk, going on a pilgrimage, etc.)
Having a child when one was never able to do so before
Making life better for an underprivileged or underrepresented people
Being the first (of one’s race, gender, family, ethnicity, etc.) to accomplish something

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 unfufilled because duty, responsibility, or other factors are keeping them from chasing a dream will eventually pursue the goal when the longing to do so grows sharp enough.
Esteem and Recognition: Not everyone will be supportive of a passion or dream, which can keep a character from fully pursuing it. They may finally decide to go all in and chase a dream out of a desire to prove themselves to the naysayers and show them that one's passion is worthwhile
Safety and Security: A character who is suffering, say, due to a societal inequity, may be driven to achieve a goal (creating a vaccine, inventing something that's needed, etc.) that will better society or protect the character and their loved ones, providing the safety or security that has been missing. 

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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CLICHÉS TO AVOID:
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