Saturday, November 6, 2010


**This is a rough draft of the essay I turned in on Monday. I can't copy the final draft, it's on my flash drive. So excuse any errors, grammatical or otherwise. I don't have time to edit this for a blog post. Just wanted to share as this is really the only writing I'm doing much of lately. Part of this article is fabricated and is not my brother.

Personality Psychology
Essay Two

There are people that find it difficult to live with any imperfections. They have a need to appear perfect, or to actually be perfect, and it can be so intense that it’s often exhausting and even painful. The word perfectionism can and has been used to describe people with high standards but there are differences in setting high standards and being a perfectionist. When setting goals and high standards reaches the level of need that is driven by fear of failure, it is known as perfectionism.

Setting challenging goals and having high standards for you can be a great motivator. It can lead to growth, development and a feeling of satisfaction. The performance of an individual is function of his ability & willingness or desire to use his ability in achieving certain goals. The willingness or desire to act, to behave, to run, or even to keep quiet is what may be called in simplest manner as motivation. Motivation can be defined as a process, which begins with a need, or deficiency, which triggers behavior or a drive that is aimed at a goal or an incentive.

Motivation is a phenomenon by which `Motives ' based on `Needs ' will condition an individual’s behavior. Therefore, motivation refers to the way in which wages, drives, desires, aspiration, strivings, or needs, controls or explains human behavior. The word motivation has been derived from motive which means any idea, need or emotion that prompts a man in to action. Whatever may be the behavior of man, there is some stimulus behind it .Stimulus is dependent upon the motive of the person concerned. Motive can be known by studying his needs and desires. It is hard to draw the line precisely between wants and needs. There might be a biological minimum rooted in human nature, but there is a second minimum that varies to a significant extent with culture. In some cultures, it is almost impossible to receive respect if one does not wear a shirt or one cannot read. In other cultures (especially at other, earlier times) one could get by without a shirt (at least in warm weather) and inability to read was not noticed since nobody could.
Even if we grant that some of the things required to meet our needs (such as social needs) are culturally shaped and cannot be understood in strict biological terms, we can still distinguish between needs and mere wants.

My family is full of high achievers. My brother for example finished college four years after graduation with 2 bachelor’s degrees. He then went back for his Masters in teaching and is now a High School English teacher which was another of his dreams. In all his life he never achieved less than an A grade in school. He was student body president, active and phenomenal in the performing arts, very beloved by all who met him. He also had an inner struggle with perfectionism that has not seemed to let up even as he approaches 40 years of age.
As a teacher he strives to be the best and for the most part he is successful in his endeavors. He is one of the most beloved teachers at the high school he teaches at and his students have the highest test scores (the measure of achievement) in the school. When speaking with him and asking about his motivation in general he told me he wants to be the best. I also discussed whether or not this has hindered him in any way and he told me he has always had an inner loneliness that nothing can fill because he is so competitive it keeps people at a distance. Even though he has friends and family he often has a sense that he is “on the stage” and performing so that people will like him. He has an inner struggle that tells him he is not good enough. Part of that inner dialogue is what keeps him motivated to be successful and as he says “be the best”. I do believe part of this is biologically inherited because my sister and I tend to be high achievers also. We were always kept actively busy in group activities and sports and I believe that put some kind of drive in us to perform well and get the rewards for doing well. I believe our parents wanted highly successful children and that motivated us to do our best to get their approval. This was definitely learned behavior in that respect.

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