What is motivation Really?
Before you read any further, ask yourself this “Are you motivated?”. Do you wake up in the morning brimming with enthusiasm? Do you look forward to each day with expectation? Or is it a daily battle to drag yourself off your bed to do things that you hate but can’t live without?
Motivation is one of the most discussed subjects in this part of the galaxy. We hear about it at the workplace, in conferences, in our places of worship, writers have written volumes of epistles on it and now I’m about to nag about it. Yet, somehow, a vast majority seem to be oblivious as to what it really is, where it comes from, or what it does. So, what is motivation really? Just what is it?
Put simply, motivation is the push, drive, or willingness to do something. Put in more technical terms, motivation is the willingness for action especially in behavior or the incentive for doing something.
As simplistic as the aforestated sentence may sound, it is a quite holistic definition of what motivation is. Look closer at that definition and you will spot four keywords which I highlighted. Willingness, action, behavior, and incentive.
The first thing that defines motivated people is willingness. You possess a certain drive to do stuff when you are motivated. Motivated people always seem to get going. Somehow, they always seem to have the energy to do, to act, and to execute even when others are experiencing a drag. Somehow, these guys seem to get started and get going. They are always willing.
Now motivated people don’t just show willingness. A lot of people are willing to do a lot of stuff. They like the idea of action, they would like to get stuff done. It’s easy to look at someone who is an achiever and wish to do what he or she did.
You know you hear people tell their victory stories and you feel a warm sensation in your belly. You feel a rush building up, and you feel a willingness to go chase your dreams also.
Well, true motivation always begets action. Everyone experiences certain inertia at the onset of every task. But true motivation provides the drive, the force, and the initiative that one requires to overcome that inertia.
When a person is brimming with motivation, it influences the person’s entire being. Your level of motivation influences your countenance, your speech, your gait, your carriage, and your overall character. People can tell by looking at you, by listening to or even by hovering around you if you are motivated.
Motivation (the willingness for action) greatly determines both the proactive and reactive steps you take in different life situations. To sum it up, a motivated person acts and behaves like one.
No one does nothing for nothing. Everyone has a reason why they do anything and everything they do. Something pushes us. Either reward or consequence, something drives us.
Picture a man who shows up at work for the fear of being fired and losing his income. Now picture another who comes to work because he understands, enjoys his job, and sees his income as nothing less than what he deserves.
There will be an eternal difference between both men. The first man will do just enough to keep from being fired while the second will deliberately do his best to deliver value.
So, we can put the above together by saying that motivation is the attitude or behavior of willingness to take certain actions because of certain incentives. And when someone has such an attitude or behavior, we say he or she is motivated.
Forms of Motivation
You could categorize motivation based on its sources. Using this yardstick, one could safely say that there are two forms of motivation. Internal and External.
– External Motivation:
When your source of motivation is from a being or entity or person, other than yourself, then that’s external motivation. A classic example of this is a coach revving his boys up during the half time break, a military commander raising his troop morale before a battle, a manager talking up his salesman, and so on.
External motivation can work wonders. Wars have been won because someone gave an excellent speech at a crucial moment. External motivation is simply one person helping another person see a possibility that was out of his mental grasp.
It’s like believing in people so that they can believe in themselves and giving them a high image of themselves and an expectation to live up to.
Most people will need some form of external motivation as they journey through life. Sometimes, you go through a rough patch in life and your confidence gets shot. At points like this, you seem to lack the drive to get anything meaningful done. It is at points like these that we need our mentors, friends, loved ones to talk us up and help us get back in the game.
External motivation can also be in the form of incentives presented to us by others, to give us that extra reason and extra drive to get something done. Like parents offering to increase their kid’s allowance if he or she makes her grades or a boss offering his subordinate a promotion.
Material gain is one of the most potent forms of motivation known to man. Never underestimate the power of external motivation.
– Internal Motivation:
This is a form of motivation that wells up from within. It is our personal will power to will something and then follow through with action. This is one of the key denominators that separate successful people from the rest of the pack. The ability to will yourself to action is crucial in your pursuit of success in your life’s endeavors.
We may not always have people around us to talk us up. We might not always get an external incentive. Hence, the will to start, stay on, and see through a task primarily for the fulfillment that comes with finishing what you started is what internal motivation is.
To achieve long term success, you must be able to envision the long-term rewards of consistent action and drive yourself to do the necessary because it is necessary. You have to have a long-term perspective on life. A person with perspective has the vision of the big picture which keeps him going through the thick and thin.
Internal motivation makes you a leader among others who require external motivation. External motivation may be powerful, but self-motivation is the real deal.
We’ll complete this series In our next post. Kindly click here to continue the series.
Meanwhile hit the comments let’s talk motivation!