This post was reprinted with permission from Motivation Mojo
What is Motivation?
Going by the dictionary definition, Motivation is defined as so; ‘a reason or set of reasons to accomplish something or behave in a particular manner’. It’s a form of driving force we all have, which pushes its own pedal when it sees opportunity.
For instance, when you see an ad for a new job opening and you happen to be looking for something new or different, doesn’t the voice in the back of your mind say, ‘why not?’ And even if you’re not looking for something new or different, motivation may just prompt you to ask that very same question in any case.
To state it simply, motivation becomes the thriving ambition to have something accomplished in life. This motivation can help you figure out problems when you’re stuck, get over overwhelming emotions, and help you aim for new heights.
We all have ambitions, dreams, and aspirations and the more you allow your motivation to inspire you, the more you can get done.
It can help you overcome habits as well. Things like drinking and smoking can stop when you’re motivated to see the end of it. Otherwise, it’s hard to dedicate to something if you do it reluctantly.
However, with motivation, you are driven by a feeling of willingness and inspiration that makes you a lot more ready to take action for or against yourself.
Why you need it
There’s little to debate that motivationis the key to progress. Everyone must develop their own passions in order to evolve in life. When you want to grow or improve yourself, you have to try new things. Without doing so, you won’t achieve things such as self-recognition and respect, which are vital aspects of a healthy life.
You may not realize it, but you motivate yourself every day in many small ways. For instance, right now, you’ve just motivated yourself to read through this book. Chances are you’re here because you’d like to better some aspects of your life.
Or, on a more generic level, you go to work because there is the motivation of a paycheck at the end of the month. You work hard so that you can earn appreciation and acknowledgment among peers, or perhaps the ability to do something that you love motivates you to get up every morning and go to work.
If you have a great boss at work, someone who takes time out to know their employees or appreciates a job well done, maybe that’s what motivates you to go to work and give it your best.
Workplace issues aside, you also motivate yourself in many everyday situations. If you’re a giver or someone wishes to help others, you may be motivated to donate your time or money to a cause. If you’re driven by a desire for achievement, you may spend hours studying just to get into a prestigious university.
Likewise, if self-expression drives you, you may be motivated to become a writer or if you’re an athlete then perhaps you’re driven by the thrill of a sport, the challenge of winning the game, or you are simply driven by playing at your personal best.
At its simplest, this is what motivation is. It can come from yourself, or someone else may push you to do something. Wherever the source, motivation is the initiative to succeed and surpass limits you or anyone else draws for you.
There are many situations in which motivation can affect your decisions, but they don’t all come from the same motivator. Some things require a big step to take action, while others like the above-mentioned just need a little shove to get you going. That is the magic of motivation.
Types of motivation in your life
There are different motivators that occur in your life to help you get going. Some motivators are big, like quitting a job or moving from one city to another. These motivators get you on your feet for change almost immediately. You’re going to need a job, so you have to work for one as soon as possible.
A smaller motivator could be getting a limited-time, two-for-one deal at the mall. You may not realize it, but at that very moment you’ve been motivated to take that deal and buy the product. It may be the typical market scam but it’s the ideal example of motivation for it gets you to act quickly by setting a time limit on the deal.
Other than big and small motivators there are positive and negative motivators.
Positive motivators are those that inspire you to do something because you know the end result is good. An example could be putting together a baby crib.
It might be a lot of work, especially if this is your first attempt. But you’re still ready to do so because you know you’re going to need a bed to place your child in. That proves motivating enough for parents and they willingly assemble the crib for their child.
Being your own boss may mean working 80 hours a week but spares you the hassle of working 40 hours a week for someone else. In other words, it gives you the freedom to make your own decisions and work with a feeling of self-worth. These are what positive motivators are.
Negative motivators are those things in life that encourage you to do something, because you know if you don’t do them, you’ll end up with a bad aftertaste. This doesn’t make negative motivators the alternative of a positive motivator though.
With a positive motivator, you act upon it out of free will. However, negative motivators are very much needed, but you don’t do it entirely out of free will.
Deadlines are the best examples for this case. When you’re given a deadline, it means you have to hand in work, or face consequences you don’t want to.
So, the motivator that makes you finish your work on time is to avoid the possible adverse result, making it a negative motivator. They can be pesky, but sometimes the only way to get things done.
While all of these things motivate, there can also be situations in which they de-motivate you. Like the third law of Newton, for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.
Motivation and De-Motivation
Motivation helps you turn an idea into an action and is typically a positive feeling; the feeling of accomplishment and commitment. De-motivation is the opposite of this.
It’s the perception that you can’t accomplish anything, are unable or unfit to, and is a gloomy feeling to carry around. Like a brick pulling down your stomach, it makes you feel bad and in common cases, lethargic.
De-motivation isn’t always in your control. A bad day or experience can keep you from doing something about it, making you feel bad about yourself. You may have had a horrible experience with driving on your first try, and no matter how many times you try to tell yourself it’ll be different the next time, you succumb to the failure of the previous time.
While one person may feel motivated about a promotion, another may be de-motivated by it. The first person here sees it as an ideal opportunity to achieve a higher position in work among colleagues. The second person may feel de-motivated because they know their chances at getting the promotion are less than the first person.
This is an example of positive motivation, but at the same time, it is an unintentional method of de-motivating someone else.
So while you may feel motivated to bring a crusty apple pie to your picnic, someone may feel de-motivated by your excellent desert and not bring their own pie. Sometimes, it’s out of your control if you de-motivate others, but sometimes it is and just takes a little consideration to see.
Simply enough, there are times you will be de-motivated, and it never feels good. But de-motivated emotions should never keep you down and instead remind you that there’s something to get done, and if you don’t do it, who else will do it for you?
So the basic idea here is that de-motivation is the countering effect of motivation. It’s a block that prevents you from becoming motivated and its cure is, if anything, motivation.