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Saturday, January 13, 2007

Incentive based society

We live in a world ruled by incentive driven behavior. Every one of us is controlled somehow by incentive marketing. Feel free to disagree, but you will soon realize that it is true.

There are various incentives that control our every action. There are Incentives like; internal and external ones, big and small ones, moral and monetary ones, spiritual and spacial ones just to name a few. The question is "What are yours?"

We develop behaviors because we believe that those behaviors will benefit us somehow. Some where we have been exposed to some marketing strategy that sold us on a "this for that" mentality. Answer a few questions with the reason why you do something and you will see my point. Why do you go to church?, Why do you go to work?, Why do we pay money for higher education?, Why do we make such an effort to build friendships? There is always some incentive for us at the end to the day. Mind you that our incentive does not have to be monetary. Incentives can be, and often are, the meeting of an internal need. I need to feel accepted, therefore I will do things for, or with, you if you make me feel accepted.

There are also negative incentives. The laws of the land create a pretty good (negative) incentive not to do something. Fines, punishment, rejection, all fall under the negative incentives program of mankind. Think of some things that you may have thought about doing, but you chose not to because of some kind of negative return. When you start to make a list of all you do and don't do and the why, couple that list, with who is in control of that "why" (incentive) and we can start to see who, or what, is in control of our life. This can be a sobering process, especially if we think we are running our own show.

What I want to learn how to do is control my own incentives. But, I wonder if that is even possible or healthy to do? By becoming more aware of this process called incentive marketing, I can at least begin to chose who's incentives I pursue. This choosing of who's incentives I chase is healthy and very do able. I can be apart of something without trying to gain something from it. Kind of like, be in the world but not of the world. I can be externally engaged but internal securely removed. I think most of us handle the external incentives fairly well. It is the internal incentives that betray us. Chasing the acceptance incentive from a person can, and most likely will, lead us into destructive arenas. I know some really good folks who have compromised on a lot to gain acceptance from the wrong crowd.

What do we do when two opposing incentives presents themselves to us? Let say, gaining fame and fortune for sleeping with a beautiful married woman (there is a movie on this one). What will you do when an external incentive collides with an internal incentive; moral compromise VS. monetary gain. This is the arena called "everyone has their price." Moral gain VS. monetary loss is much easier to contemplate I think. Anyway, I look forward to some of you weighing in on this one. Let me know what you think about all of this incentive stuff. I will post the best response with some really great coodo's to the writer, humm, another incentive.

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