The Science of Motivation: How to Get and Stay Motivated in Subculture Evolution

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Sep 10, 2023

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The Science of Motivation: How to Get and Stay Motivated in Subculture Evolution

Motivation is a powerful force that drives us to take action and achieve our goals. However, it can often be difficult to find and maintain motivation, especially when faced with challenges or setbacks. In this article, we will explore the science of motivation and how it can be applied to both personal and subculture evolution.

There are two types of motivation: intrinsic and extrinsic. Intrinsic motivation is associated with doing what you love and derives pleasure from the activity itself. This type of motivation is strongly correlated with sustained behavioral change and improved well-being. On the other hand, extrinsic motivation is driven by external factors such as rewards, recognition, or social approval. While extrinsic motivation can be effective in the short term, it is often less sustainable in the long run.

Self-Determination Theory is one of the most popular schools of thought when it comes to understanding motivation. This theory emphasizes the importance of self-regulation, which involves taking in social values and transforming them into our own values and self-motivations. In other words, self-regulation is the process of internalizing external motivations and making them our own. This is particularly relevant to extrinsic motivation, as we are more likely to internalize and sustain motivation when we feel a sense of relatedness with others who value our behavior.

In the context of subculture evolution, motivation plays a crucial role in the growth and sustainability of a subculture. Before a subculture emerges, there is a scene - a small group of creators who invent something new and exciting. These creators generate cultural capital, which is essentially coolness or the perceived value of the New Thing they have created. As the scene gains popularity, it attracts fans known as mops. Mops are not as fanatic as the creators, but they contribute to the subculture in their own way and help generate social capital - a network of relationships.

However, as the subculture evolves, there is a risk of sociopaths infiltrating the scene. Sociopaths are individuals who exploit the cultural capital and manipulate others for their own gain. They may dress and talk like the creators, but their intentions are solely focused on extracting value and taking advantage of the subculture. In order to prevent this, geeks or creators must establish barriers to entry, keeping out those who are not committed to the subculture's values.

Maintaining the optimal mop-to-geek ratio is crucial for the sustainability of a subculture. A ratio of around 6:1 ensures that the mops provide more energy than they consume. However, a ratio above 10:1 becomes unworkable and can lead to burnout among supporting fanatics. It is also important for geeks to learn from sociopaths and use some of their tricks to capture more of the value they create. By being slightly "evil" or strategic, geeks can protect the subculture from exploitation while still allowing for growth and success.

In conclusion, motivation is a complex and multifaceted concept that plays a crucial role in personal and subculture evolution. By understanding the different types of motivation and the factors that influence it, we can better harness motivation to achieve our goals and sustain the growth of subcultures. Here are three actionable pieces of advice to help you stay motivated:

  • 1. Find your intrinsic motivation: Identify activities or goals that bring you joy and fulfillment. Focus on these activities and align your goals with your personal values and passions.
  • 2. Cultivate relatedness: Surround yourself with individuals who share your interests and values. Build a supportive network of like-minded people who can provide encouragement and accountability.
  • 3. Be strategic and protective: While it is important to be open to new members and fans, establish barriers to entry to prevent exploitation. Learn from sociopaths and use their tactics to protect the subculture's integrity and value.

By following these strategies, you can tap into your motivation and create a sustainable path towards success, both personally and within subcultures. Remember, motivation is not a constant state but a journey that requires continuous effort and adaptation. Stay focused on your goals and be resilient in the face of setbacks. The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, and it is up to you to keep moving forward.

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