Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Making Cents of it All

I often wonder why it is we do the things we do. There's always some motivation for every action. Without it, there's no reason for it to happen, right? But what's in a motivation that causes the drive to do something? I suppose it depends on what that motivation is in the first place. Regardless of what it is that motivates you as a person, it always gives you an intense feeling of purpose that what you're about to do is right. People often overlook this and easily judge people.

We can all agree stealing something from a store is wrong, right? What if the person stealing is motivated to take as much food as he can from that convenience store because his family is at home starving and he's been out of work for months? Knowing all the details makes it a bit tougher to pass judgement.

I could spend all night arguing about moral absolutes, but that's not what's on my mind right now. I can't seem to grasp how anything can motivate you to repeatedly attempt something multiple times when it always turns out the same. Now I'm not talking about doing the exact same thing over and over again. That would be stupid. But no two situations are alike. It may take different paths to get there, but a certain motivation can make you forget the ending that always results simply because of the slight possibility things may turn out different this time.

But they never do.

I'm sure everyone has something in particular that comes to mind when you think of this, myself included. I don't really care to share publicly what that is, but if you know me well enough, it isn't hard to figure out. But this brings up an important question.

Should you give up?

If one day, a kid finds the coolest looking stuffed animal he's ever seen in a claw machine, you better believe he's going to use every quarter he has to try and get it. 75 cents later, he's broke and empty-handed. He asks his parents for more money, but they tell him it's time to go home. Something he was willing to try time and time again until he got what he wanted is now beyond his reach and he's forced to give up.

Well, life doesn't run on quarters and there's no parents to come and tell us it's time to go home for the day to end our repeated attempts at claiming the prize. The truth is that in many situations, there's nothing stopping you from spending your entire life trying to get whatever it is you're seeking. You've got to decide for yourself when enough is enough. Perhaps the question isn't about whether you should give up, but something different. Is it something you should try only once, or is it worth more to you?

How many quarters should you spend?