People are motivated by negativity and fear

I’m not surprised at all. As much science as I’d like to write about training my most popular articles are by far those that touch on the negative side of humanity. My last article that I wrote about making people upset Click Here received a lot of attention. I’m not surprised because the reality is that people are fueled by negativity and or fear.

People work out because of broken relationships 

You just broke up and you realize that you’re out of shape and carrying far too many unwanted pounds. Instantly, you are motivated to workout again in the gym. Why? Because you want to feel attractive and get back into the dating scene. As you were in the relationship you’re motivation to stay slim and healthy waned as you relaxed in the relationship. Few people I know workout for health but a large majority workout to either stay in a relationship or to get into one.

Women workout and stay slim to keep a man

This is common among women who marry rich men. Why? Because a rich man has options and if he is not happy with a wife who is overweight he’ll drop her and choose someone else who is much slimmer and fitter.

Competing against others is a negative driving force

When you focus on what others are doing instead of focusing on your own performance it can lead a path of destruction. I know from personal experience. Before breaking my back in 2014 I was focused on others performances. All I wanted to do is beat my competitors and be number #1. And believe me it was a powerful motivator that pushed my performance. However, it resulted in breaking my back in 2014 because of bad habits, poor technique, and harmful choices. Completely my fault. I don’t blame anyone but myself. Today, I focus on my performance. I don’t care what others are doing. My technique has changed and improved much more. Perhaps I’ve lost some drive but what I have lost in drive I have replaced with trying to execute the most perfect lift I can. How can I execute this lift as perfectly as possible? How can I please the crowd? When I compete I want my lifting to be my gifts to the crowd. If the crowd can be amazed and enjoy my lifting I have done my part.

Feat of loss is greater than the fear of gain

The Tenerife Airport disaster

Aftermath of the collision between KLM flight 4805 and Pan Am flight 1736

Captain van Zanten was a former pilot for Dutch airline KLM. Captaion van Zanten had the best reputation of any pilot during his time at KLM. On March 27 1977 KLM flight 4805 had to make a diverted stop in Tenerife airport. Heavy fog invaded the Island which delayed flights. Captain van Zanten asked for clearance to take off because the delay was going to ruin his reputation for being a timely pilot. Any longer delays would cause the flight to take off the next day when the fog would be lifted and be much safer. However, that would mean that all the passengers would have to stay the night over in Tenerife possibly sleeping in the airport. This was not an option for Captain van Zanten. Without clearance and a foggy runway in front of him van Zanten took off. That would be the last flight of his career. The plane ran into a Pan Am plane killing all passengers from both planes.

Captain van Zanten

One would think that it would be much safer to stay the night in the airport with upset customers for sure but would mean much safer conditions for take off. However, that was not the course of action taken upon that day. The fear of loss of Captain van Zanten’s reputation was more important than the safety of taking off the next day.

Final thoughts

Fear based actions can result in negative outcomes in the case of van Zanten’s but negativity and fear is a very powerful motive. As much as negativity and fear are powerful motivators fear can drive you toward positive outcomes. For example, fear of public speaking is the number #1 fear. But all leaders, teachers and anybody worth listening too stands alone in front of a crowd of listeners delivering messages that change the world. Everyone feels fear before a competition to perform in front of people. It’s scary but creates courage we didn’t knew we had unless we walked towards that fear. Fear can uncover hidden courage we never knew we had.


Josue Cano


2 thoughts on “People are motivated by negativity and fear

  1. In fairness to von Zaten, it wasn’t his reputation as a timely pilot the that was at stake. KLM had strict rules about how many hours flight crews could work. If they had delayed, they would have exceeded the limit which would mean that a new crew would have to be flown in to take over, the passengers would have to be put in hotels overnight and so on.
    It doesn’t excuse his actions, but it’s wrong to say he acting purely out of ego.


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