This entry on Motivation is the first entry in a 2 part series. To read the second entry, see How to Become a Peak Performer by Applying Increased Motivation.
Motivation, simply put, is a sum of multiple components inside of you that influence your behavior. You probably know people who have a lot of it, and others who have very little. It is believed that the natural amount of motivation that one has is derived from a combination of biological elements (genetics, anyone?), one’s fundamental ability to learn and process information, and one’s cultural background.
What if I told you that you could crank up your motivation like the volume knob on a stereo? Ask yourself what you think the potential benefits of that could be as you read on. What if you could learn to harness the power of your motivators to boost your motivation, then unleash it in seemingly superhuman amounts to make you much more focused and productive? Might that help you at work? Do you think you could use that to advance your career, and furthermore, to improve your life?
What is motivation really though? It could be defined as follows:
Motivation is energy supplied from the conscious or subconscious recognition of a need that a person requires or at least desires to have satisfied.
A simple example is that when you are hungry (the need/motive), you recognize it either consciously or subconsciously, which energizes you (the motivation) to get food and eat it (the satisfaction). Motivation is something that most of us rarely think about on the surface, but it’s always there in the background, whether it’s a little or a lot, pushing us to do everything that we do.
I don’t want to put you to sleep with too many boring details, but stick with me here, because I’m going to tie it all together soon to show you how you can use all of this to your advantage. Let’s take a quick look at the 2 different types of motivation.
Intrinsic motivation drives one to do something when there is no tangible reward received for doing it. In this case, the reward comes from inside oneself. To put it simply, you could say that intrinsic motivation is when you do something purely for the enjoyment of doing it. A few examples include backpacking, leisurely reading, playing a board game, going to the beach, and so on.
One should be able to guess at this point that extrinsic motivation is the opposite from intrinsic motivation. Extrinsic motivation is the drive to do something that will yield an external reward. The reward could be money, a trophy or medal, a promotion, or many other things. One might be motivated to work extra hard at their job in order to received a desired promotion.
Of course, certain elements can serve to de-motivate you as well. Negative remarks or criticism might hurt one’s motivation to perform on screen or on stage for example. Being mistreated or treated unfairly will typically result in one’s motivation taking a turn south. One of the strongest factors that will cause a person’s motivation to decline is fear of failure. Try to think of a few specific factors or scenarios which might cause your motivation to suffer.
Turning Up Your Motivation
Why am I telling you all of this? I am explaining these things, because once you have a clear understanding of how motivation works, you can put that knowledge to work for you. Think about it. There are probably a handful of things that motivate you more than anything else in the entire world. Once you know what motivates you the most, you can use that information to push yourself to new heights. By the way, intrinsic rewards are known to be more powerful as motivators than extrinsic rewards, so keep this in mind. This is why it is so important to do something you love for a living if possible.
By now, you should also have a good idea of what de-motivates you. Tell yourself that if you experience one these things that you’re not going to let it lessen your motivation. Learn to focus on the big picture, and learn to focus on your primary motives in life to develop an intense motivation to start moving closer toward living up to your potential.
When applied properly, this ability can turn you into a quality oriented powerhouse of productivity. You’ll learn to set much higher goals for yourself and push yourself harder than you ever thought possible in order to attain those goals. When it comes to the amount of success that you can achieve, your only limits are those that you place on yourself.