Motivation Is The Reason For Everything We Do!

What is motivation has many definitions, as it should.  Motivation is different for everybody.  The techniques to motivate vary depending on whether you are trying to motivate others or yourself – self-motivation.

In the simplest terms, motivation is what causes us to act or do something.  It is the “why” in doing anything.  We are motivated to act.  The term, motivation, is definitely part of our culture.

It could be a desire to do something or the drive for a particular outcome.  It could be a way to explain our behavior.  It certainly is an inducement or incentive to accomplish a goal-oriented behavior.

I’m sure you will agree that we all have different personalities.  Our desires to achieve and perform are as different as those personalities.  But, so are our fear of failure and tolerance for risk.  For some, attaining a goal is much more important than for others.  In fact, attaining the goal could be a reward itself.

Motivation starts with an initiation phase, that is, the desire or strong reason to accomplish something.  That seems to be followed by a psychological feature which lets us know that any accomplishment requires action to achieve the desired result.  

So, it is motivation that gets us to do anything as without motivation, the human tendency is to do nothing. At least, that seems to be the case with so many people who seem to have no incentive – no motivation.

They seem to be content to just exist without any reason to improve their situation in this wonderful life.

Of course, levels of motivation will depend on opportunities. That is why so many people desire to migrate to the United States, often called the “land of opportunity”. I often think of how I would react if I was born in a tribe in Africa without any opportunities.

The point is, there is a reason that humans do anything. That reason is motivation. It could be a certain need or desire that causes us to act. And that need could be intrinsic (Ex. hunger or thirst) or extrinsic (Ex. money).

Psychologists Study Human Behavior and What is Motivation!

We are motivated to act in a certain way. You could call it an incentive or inducement or it could be the reward factor. For example, a college student will spend hours studying in order to get a good grade that will lead to a quality job that will lead to money. In our capitalistic society, money is a great incentive.

The desire to be wealthy or, at least, have cash to buy things is a wonderful incentive. People go to work, work over-time, invest, and rob and steal for money.

Motives to do anything can be very complex and extremely difficult to pin-point.  When we hear a senseless, difficult to understand story on the news, there seems to be one question that comes to everyone’s mind.  That is “Why” would anyone do this?  What could possibly be their motive?  What were they thinking?  

Sometimes the motives are extremely strong such as religious zealots that kill in the name of their god (terrorism).  Other times, the motives are comparatively weak such as is the case of a person who would kill someone for $100.

The strength of the motivating force can be difficult to assess.  Human behavior is, also, not easy to understand.  The concentration and vigor necessary to pursue a goal varies considerably from person to person.

Part of motivation is the expectation.  If I do this, this will happen.  That can translate into a very persistent effort.

Intrinsic and Extrinsic Form of Motivation!

An intrinsic motivating factor would be to participate in a sport because it is challenging and enjoyable. This would be similar to enjoying a puzzle or a game, because it too is challenging, but also fun, interesting and often exciting.

Intrinsic motivation, as the name implies, comes from within.  For example, there is a desire in most people to try new things or challenges and improve one’s skills.  Most people think it is important to learn and experience things.  This type of motivation is engaging in an activity for the sake of the activity alone.

The most basic types of intrinsic motivation are biological drives that keep us alive.  These are built into our being.  For example, a well person will be highly motivated to eat and drink.  Often times, that motivation gets out of control when there are ample sources of food and drink available.

The psychologist, Abraham Maslow, believed that only when our physiological needs such as food, water, safety and security are fulfilled, that we will pursue higher needs and aspirations.  Of course, that seems obvious, because if those basic needs are not met, it would seem counter-productive to pursue anything else. 

Extrinsicmotivators are either to earn a reward or avoid a punishment. These are outside the individual and, therefore, external rewards. Examples of extrinsic motivation are studying to get a better grade or scholarship, and improving your on-the-job performance for an increase in salary.

Among the many extrinsic motivators are: independence, physical activity, acceptance, curiosity, social contact, vengeance, romance and social status. 


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