Clarifying motivation & differentiate needs and strategies

With just about anything in life, it’s helpful to clarify our motivations, and it’s helpful to differentiate our needs and wishes from our strategies to meet those.

For instance, a relative wishes to build a house on the land in the Andes mountains. He has a specific idea in mind of how he wants to place the different buildings which is the reverse of how most people would want it. For me, it makes sense to take a step back and clarify what it is he wants to get out of it (and perhaps help him clarify it for himself), and then see what strategy may work the best for him. There are likely several strategies that would get him what he wants, not just the one he has on his mind. And we may also find that his initial strategy makes the most sense, in which case the process has confirmed an initial hunch.

There are two parts to this.

One is to clarify our motivation. I notice a surface wish and I can ask myself: What do I hope to get out of it? And what do I hope to get out of that? And that? Eventually, we find an essential motivation that’s free of any particular strategy.

From here, we can explore strategies. What are some of the ways I can meet that wish or need? How many options can I find? Can I find one more? And one more?

And from here, we can chose strategy with a little more clarity. We have (if this is done with some sincerity) disattached from our initial idea of how to go about it. We have clarified our more essential motivation. We have likely found several strategies to meet our wish or need. And we are more free to chose among those strategies, or perhaps decide to pursue two or more if that makes more sense. And, as mentioned above, we may also discover that our initial hunch still makes sense and pursue that one.

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