Motivation is a state of mind.
It can be there one minute and gone the next.
There is an internal process that creates motivation.
All of us have a degree of motivation within us and we can use a number of techniques to increase it and make it last longer.
When an individual taps into their motivation they can drive themselves forward with renewed energy.
The best way to define motivation is that it is a source of internal energy that provides a person with the drive to achieve specific goals. It influences the behavior in a person.
There are a number of things that influence motivation levels in humans.
At the primal level we are all motivated to drink water, eat food, find shelter and procreate.
Then there is the motivation to protect your health.
We will do almost anything to fight disease and improve our well being thanks to motivation.
Beyond primal and more basic needs, some people have the motivation to crave power, success, achievement, autonomy, higher self esteem and so on.
Although this motivation is probably in all of us, only a few people actually use their motivation to achieve these things.
How do Psychologists see Motivation?
The psychologists believe that motivation is detectable and visible by means of behavior, engagement levels, neural activation as well as psychophysiology.
So let’s take a look at each of these in turn:
Motivation and Behavior
Psychologists believe that motivational behavior centers around quality, intensity and presence. They believe that you can see motivation through facial expressions and the gestures that people make as well as a sense of urgency and huge amounts of effort.
Motivation and Engagement Levels
Motivation is visible through levels of engagement. Someone that is highly motivated will engage a lot through conversation, paying attention to others and showing a genuine interest in them. A highly motivated person will persistently demonstrate these high engagement levels.
Neural Activation and Motivation
Neural activations in the brain determine the rise and fall of motivation and are responsible for keeping a person in a motivational state. Motivation for different things creates different neural activities in the brain. So if you are hungry this will trigger different neural activities than if you want to overcome a business problem.
Psychophysiology and Motivation
Motivation is expressed at 5 different psycho physiological levels. These are ocular activity, hormonal activity, cardiovascular activity, skeletal activity and electrodermal activity. As an example when a person is motivated they will experience a contraction and relax of their heart and surrounding vessels which is cardiovascular activity.
The Cycle of Motivation
Our motives to do something change all of the time.
This makes motivation a dynamic process.
So motivation rises and falls in response to the circumstances an individual finds themselves in.
People are driven by so many different motives in life. A person will make the decision which motive that is the strongest and this will become the dominant motive and demand the most attention.
Usually this dominant motivation determines the behavior of a person. Motivation is dynamic and at any one time another motive can dominate and change the behavior of the individual.
To be successful in life a person needs to be aware of the dynamic properties of motivation.
Why Motivation Is So Important
Most people tend to take motivation for granted. They don’t even think about it as they get on with their daily lives. But the reality is that we need different types of motivation to really get the most out of life and be happy and content.
Motivation is all about purpose and desire.
Results Inspire us
Our motivation levels usually rise when we get specific results or we see others achieving results. It can be very exciting to see a plan come together and this will provide you with the motivation to move on to a new plan.
People tend to associate results with business but there are many areas of life where results can give us a real motivational boost.
For example if you want to lose weight then what can be better than standing on the scales and seeing that you have lost the weight that you wanted to?
If you are a manager in a company then your purpose is to motivate the team that report to you. You agree personal objectives and targets with them and when they achieve these not only will they get a motivational boost but you will too.
The development of human beings relies on motivation.
People face different challenges in their lives every single day and they need motivation to overcome the challenges and move forward. Challenges can literally come out of nowhere such as a natural disaster that devastates a community.
To succeed in life you need to be hungry.
I am not talking about a craving for food here but a hunger to achieve. Take a look around you and notice all of the buildings nearby. They are only there because people were motivated to build them. The same goes for cars, roads, shops and so on.
There are so many things that you can do with your life these days that people often say that “there are not enough hours in the day”.
When you are motivated you can manage your time effectively so that you have the right balance in your life.
For example you are motivated to earn money so you will spend a certain amount of your time doing this.
You are also motivated to be with the people that you love so you need a chunk of time for that too.
And of course you need to look after yourself with regular exercise which requires other time.
Motivation helps us to manage all of this.
Stay tuned for the next article.
We are going to talk about practical ways to motivate yourself on a daily basis!
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