The Fundamentals Motives and Traits

December 1, 2017 General Studies

When you think of these three words; motives, goals, & traits, what is the first thing that comes to mind? Are there similarities? How about differences? Before we discuss the differences between these three words, I believe it’s important to understand their meanings. Motive is defined as the reason for doing or behaving in a certain way. Goal is defined as something you want to achieve. Lastly, traits can be defined as a characteristic that distinguishes a person.

So what are the differences between motives, goals, and traits? I believe traits are characteristics that stick with a person. A trait is almost a defining feature, something distinct that allows you to remember a person. You may remember your friends by certain traits they have, whether it be height, hair color, or personality. It is possible for a trait to be subdued for a moment in time, but they never change for good.

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On the other hand, motives and goals can change on a day to day basis. These two can actually work together at times. You may set a goal to graduate from college, or receive a promotion at work. You can use positive motivation to work towards those goals. Unlike traits, these two may not stick with you forever. I believe motives and goals are perfect examples of characteristic adaptations. Characteristic adaptations come about in time, situation, and social roles.

Some characteristic adaptations may change over time; they define the details of human individuality. The same goes for motives and goals. No one person has the same aspirations in life. We all create our own path and decided how we are going to get where we want to go. I hope that this has given you some insight into the difference between your goals, motives, and traits. You should now be able to find a clear definition of what your own personal traits are, and how to define your motives and goals.


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