Motivation is a fascinating concept. It is that abstract inner drive that gives you the will to accomplish something that matters to you. One dictionary definition of motivation that I found is as follows: “The reason or reasons one has for acting or behaving in a particular way.” But a reason in and of itself cannot motivate us. There must be something behind the reason that causes the reason to be important enough for us to act on it. I am motivated to get good grades in school in order to get a job in order to succeed in life. Is succeeding in life the end goal for me? Or is it just a fear of failure of not succeeding? Why do I care about succeeding so much? Is there a reason beyond physical well being? We are motivated to have a good social life because we want people to like us. Or are we simply afraid that no one will like us? Why do we even care if other people like us? These are just a few of the questions surrounding this concept of motivation.
We know that motivation causes us to want to get things done. The hard part is figuring out what inspires motivation. If we take one step back, we can see that emotions are a primary cause of motivation. We can be motivated by fear, anger, joy, sadness, etc. What causes these emotions? There must be some sort of trigger. The trigger causes the emotion which causes motivation which causes a response. The question is: What determines how that trigger impacts your emotions? This may be the most difficult question but also the most important in determining what really causes motivation. Some triggers we learn how to deal with through watching other people and through our enviroment. However, there are other triggers that it seems we are born with a tendency to respond a certain way to. In the end, it seems like the root of what motivates us is a combination of enviromental learning and innate characteristics.
Why are different people motivated by different things? The quick answer here is to say that everyone has a different personality, different life goals, different environment, etc. However, two people can have the exact same situation and same goal but one is able to self-motivate himself more than the other. Can some people be born with a mental disposition that makes it easier to motivate themselves than others? Or are there are factors at play here? Also, there is the question of motivating others as opposed to motivating oneself. In general, we find it easier to motivate other people than we do ourselves. Why do we do this? Are we afraid to put expectations on ourselves or set the bar too high? We think it is easier to convince others than it is ourselves.
Another interesting observation is the effect of failure on motivation. There are two extremes to this situation. One person may fail and that may motivate him to try twice as hard the next time. Another person may fail and completely give up. What quality is it that causes one person to behave one way, and the other the exact opposite way? Then there is the question of motivating other people. If somebody else fails we continue to motivate them to try it again next time. If somebody succeeds, we congratulate them with just as much effort as we did when we were motivating them. Is there a certain trait that causes some people to be harsher on themselves than on others?
I couldn’t write a post about motivation without some motivational quotes, so check out the link down below.
Let me know your thoughts and opinions in the comments below, and also what motivates you to achieve some of your most important goals. Don’t forget to like the post and share it with your friends as well.