Topic for this Week is Motivation - What is Motivation



What Is Motivation?

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.


Motivation Influences


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 wellbeing 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 dominate 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.


Avoid These Motivation Mistakes


When people are trying to increase their motivation, they often make a series of fundamental mistakes which are so avoidable. In this article we will discuss the most common motivational mistakes that people make so you can avoid them.


If you are pursuing a number of goals, then you are going to face some obstacles that can overwhelm you. It can be a daunting prospect when you are pursuing long term goals as achieving them just seems so far away. This can change your motivational state dramatically and you need to do the right things to get it back on course.


So read this article in full and avoid the most common mistakes when trying to raise your motivational levels.


1. Goals are Unrealistic


If your goals are unrealistic then it is going to be very difficult to achieve them. This will really test your motivation. It is much better to have more realistic goals that you feel confident you can achieve. Your motivation will stay higher in this situation.


So don’t try and go for near impossible goals. If you are in your fifties and overweight it isn’t realistic that you will be the next great world sports star, is it? It is fine to go for financial goals but don’t make the time frame too short. When you set unrealistic goals, it will really test your motivation and the likelihood is that it will fail.


2. No Discipline


Making changes to your motivation is going to take discipline. But a lot of people lack this and expect miracles. Increasing your motivation is something you need to work at consistently. You cannot make a change and expect this to last forever.


So, you need to improve your discipline if you want to make lasting changes to increase your motivation. Make a commitment each day to work on your motivation and find different ways to do this.


3. Stop Procrastinating


Are you a procrastinator? Do you look at your task list and think about other things that you would be sooner doing? Do social media and other things that you fall back on when you just can’t be bothered easily distract you?


The more that you procrastinate the more you will damage your motivation. Procrastination is a total success killer. So rather than thinking “I will do this later” change your thinking to “I want to get this done right now”. There are many ways that you can overcome procrastination. Admit that you have the problem and then take steps to overcome it.


4. Change Long Term Pain into Short Term Pleasure


When you are trying to achieve something worthwhile you are going to experience some pain. The way that you approach this will mean the difference between being totally unmotivated or highly motivated to push forward.


Be sure to link pleasure to completing all of your tasks. If you feel overwhelmed about completing a large task, then break it down into smaller tasks that you can complete easily. So, change your thinking to pleasure rather than pain.


5. Too Much Planning


To achieve any goal, you need to have a good plan. But a lot of people go overboard with too much planning. Creating a realistic plan will give your motivation a boost but spending too much time refining a plan can have the opposite effect.


So, create a good plan and then start working on it. You can make adjustments to it as you go along. Taking action will be far more beneficial for your motivation than creating a perfect plan.

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