1. I don’t think it’s just kids that are motivated by those three things–I think it’s every human. In your case I’m not sure if those actions are based on greed–in many cases it’s based on a love for your family and a fear of not being able to provide. I don’t think it’s selfish to stretch yourself and do things that will grow your wealth, as long as the love of money isn’t the root of your motivation.

    At the end of the day I think it’s all about doing what’s best for you and your family. 🙂

    • It might not be Scrooge McDuck greed, but it’s definitely playing more of a role in my life than I’d like at this point. It started as a need for security, but it’s definitely grown into something larger.

  2. Love, fear, greed are definitely powerful motivators. So is pride, self worth, comforts, etc. I suppose you could also go back to Maslow to understand our motivators. Thanks for a thought provoking post.

    • You’re welcome! I think all of those probably fit into the love box, but I think it’s easy to slide into greed. Too much pride, etc. That’s definitely been my problem with comfort and security. I got so hyper-focused on it that I let fear and greed motivate me more than I would like to admit.

  3. kim domingue

    Well. Didn’t you make me stop and think. I never thought of greed in quite that way before but it rings true for me. I find the greed stems from fear which stems from love in the scenario you’ve presented. And a feeling of instability, not feeling secure. You’re bringing a new life into the world and it magnifies the fears that trouble you the most. I remember that. My first pregnancy was a rollercoaster ride of exhilaration and fear in equal measure. You haven’t turned into a greedy monster, you’re just becoming a mother!

    • Haha. Thanks, Kim! I needed that. And I definitely understand that fear and greed will always play a role in life. Hopefully not on the level that makes headlines, of course. But I think part of the general ickiness (so scientific!) that I’ve been feeling is because I’m acting so much out of fear. I finally stopped myself over the weekend when I realized I wouldn’t say half the things I’ve been saying to my husband about finances, worrying, etc., if I thought Baby could understand. That made me realize it’s time to look hard at my motives.

  4. Love, fear, and greed really are at the heart of it all, and as you pointed out it can be hard to tell them apart.
    So maybe it’s about striking the right balance. We need to have a little fear to keep us from becoming lazy and complacent. We need to love things to make the effort worthwhile and rewarding. We need greed because…maybe it helps us build a cushion to fight off fear, and once we’ve achieved that we can enjoy giving away the excess.

    • I think that’s exactly right! My concern is that I’ve definitely swerved away from the center point. Trying to put things more in balance now!

  5. I’ve got to agree that your motivations come from love of your family and fear of not being able to provide at a certain level for them. I think that’s perfectly natural for new and about-to-be parents. You’re going through a big change, one that will turn your world upside down in the best of ways, and you’ll need to give yourself some time to adjust. So keep giving thanks, and breathing, and telling yourself that it will be ok, because it will be ok.

  6. Insightful post. More important than what motivates us, in my view, is whether or not we are sufficiently self-aware to recognize our motives. When certain motives become too dominant in our lives, it’s time to take stock, reflect, and adjust.

    You’re showing the maturity of doing that in the second half of your post, and to me it’s the most important lesson in your writing. That, and “Remembering to give thanks.” Too often, we lose perspective on gratitude, and it can go a long way in “taming the beasts” of inappropriate motives. Thoughtful post.

  7. Sounds like a wise boss.

    You are fortunate to be driven by love most of the time. That is a luxurious choice.

    I was driven by fear. Fear of being a loser. Fear of not being able to take care of a family. Fear of wasting four years in college. Fear of being poor.

    The fear drove me to work long hours and side hustle. So in a way, fear helped find me love.

    I’ve learned to embrace fear now.


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