Why Do We Do What We Do? A Discussion on Motivation

So why is it that we do anything that we do?

I was filling out my membership agreement to a climbing gym the family and I are going to join. They asked me why am I choosing to become a member of their gym. That got me to ponder the deep mysteries that are out there. Like why peanut butter and chocolate tastes so great together. Why does photosynthesis end up turning plants green and not red. (Can you imagine red grass? HOW COOL WOULD THAT BE?)

I also came across this blog post which further got me to think. I then took a two hour nap because all the thinking wore me out. After which I preceded to place my head in the freezer to cool it off, if it goes over a certain temperature then I blow a head gasket (cue rim shot).

So what really make me leave the comfort, safety, and sometimes warmth of my own home to go set up a temporary one somewhere else? What makes me want to hike miles uphill, through trees, over stumps, while carrying a pack filled with supplies? Or climb rocks? Do any of these things carry purpose?

I wanted to get more meaning out of what I do then ‘Because it’s fun’ or ‘Because it’s there’. There are plenty of things that are fun, and plenty of things that are there but I don’t engage them with the same fervor as I do my outdoor activities. So why do I do it? Why do you?

I also thought about why I write and why I try my best to produce at least two posts a week, despite the poor quality of the content. 🙂

I can rule out compensation, because I’m not making a dime. Could I eventually make a dime? Yes….I would love to so that I can buy gear and not have to make the choice between buying a softshell and making sure my child has lunch money. These are difficult decisions that I would like to not have to make anymore.

So why do I write? Why do I spend WAY too much time on Twitter connecting in a virtual realm with people I’ve never met in the temporal plane? Why do I follow their blogs religiously? Comment on their content? I have other things that I could be doing.

I do have other interests in life, no really I do. I have a degree in Finance, and I love investing and trading. I love serving God and being involved in my church. I like college football even though I haven’t seen a game all season. I also like to read, although the books I own are related to either financial things, business, God, or the outdoors.

I’m noticing that my word count is getting pretty high so I’d better wrap this up soon and give the “?” key a rest.

In all truth I don’t have a ground-breaking, mind-blowing, conscience altering answer to why I do what I do. I have many different reasons which added together drive me to do what I do. I like the peace, the solitude, the experience, to joy of sharing the experience, the opportunity to teach, the opportunity to learn, being different, and the community it harbors.

Some questions just don’t need an answer, or an answer that makes no sense at all to anyone but you. I think that from now on I’m going to give a nonsensical answer if I’m ever asked why I do what I do. I envision is going something like this.

Confused person w/peculiar look on their face: Why do you climb up rocks the hardest way possible?

The Bionic Hiker: Simple, on top of that rock is a jelly donut and the only way it appears is if I take the hardest way up.

 Another confused person w/peculiar look on their face: Why do you deem it necessary to go camping in the woods when it can get cold and have to deal with bugs?

The Bionic Hiker: When I camp I find that it presents the best location and atmosphere possible to allow my pet dragon to feast on the carcasses of naughty chipmunks.

A third confused person w/peculiar look on their face: So what kind of entertainment do you get by tramping around in the woods?

The Bionic Hiker: I’m entertained by discovering all the locations I can use to bury the bodies of the narwhals I kidnap form the ocean and fillet for breakfast every morning in hopes of growing a horn.


Yea…..that’ll work for me.

Until next time……Adventure On!



Categories: Backpacking, Camping, Climbing, Family Vacation, Hiking, Insight, Outdoor Recreation | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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