What Motivates Filipinos: Pain or Gain?

There are people who are motivated by what they want while others are motivated by necessity. Some people have a proactive approach to life while other people, the majority actually, only decide and take action when they cannot help but do so because they find themselves in an emergency situation.

A case in point is healthy choices: there are people who proactively embark on a project to reach peak health because they want to and others who only make changes in their lifestyle when they are driven by necessity.

If you have ever been to a Filipino social gathering you have certainly noticed how, for the most part, Filipinos basically eat rice or noodles and proteins which could include chicken, pork meat of fish. Actually there are dishes that contain more than one kind of animal protein in the same dish, such as pansit palabok, which basically is noodles with eggs ground meat, shrimps and grated chicharon on top (at least this is the variety they make in my wife’s hometown).

What is usually missing or is barely present is vegetables.

Now, although I am not a medical doctor, I think we all know that eating plenty of fruits and vegetables and limiting carbs, especially refined ones such as white rice, as well as limiting animal proteins, especially the habit of mixing several types of those proteins in the same meal, is something that increases our chances to enjoy good health.

Most Filipinos view such diseases as high blood pressure for example, as inevitable, their bahala na approach to things gets them to enjoy food that is often not the healthiest possible and when the consequence show up then they take action.

I know very few Filipinos who eat whole grain cereals, fruits and lots of vegetables and they are usually people who went through some serious disease like cancer or severe high blood pressure.

They didn’t embark on a healthy diet proactively, they were just forced by a major disease into changing their diet.

So, it seems to me that taking action proactively is generally foreign to the Filipino mindset and, by and large, Filipinos appear to be more driven by fixing emergencies than preventing them by making wise choices upstream.

A few days ago I read an article about the underlying reasons why Filipinos seem to lack a long-term view of things and tend to focus on the immediate benefits. It pointed to the fact that the early settlers of the Philippines got there by means of small boats called barangay that were designed for short island hopping rather than huge oceangoing vessels designed to explore vast and unknown spaces and that were built for a long-range journey.

So, it seems like from the time Filipinos settled in their archipelago, they have been characterized by a lifestyle oriented toward short-term decisions and actions.

So, by being married to a Filipina, you will likely be sharing your life with a person who, by and large, is more driven by necessity than ambition or possibilities and what I’ve found out is that, a good share of the time, the only way to motivate a Filipina is by telling her what she is going to lose if she fails to take a certain action rather than what she is going to gain if she does take action.

Filipinos definitely seem to be more driven by pain than by gain.

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