The Source of Motivation

May 11, 2022

We all need a driving force in life. Often times, that driving force is motivation.  The outcome of success is determined by the level of motivation or sometimes lack of.

Here we will understand the concept and psychology of motivation in people. We will also share some tips on how to become more motivated and dive into how powerful this concept is to our development.  

What Is Motivation?

There are many definitions for motivation. But fundamentally it is the general desire to do something. 

Research has concluded two main types of motivation which is extrinsic and intrinsic. 

From this understanding we know that motivation is the driving force behind what we do and what is required to accomplish our goals. 

It does help to have a sense of enjoyment and satisfaction as a driving force behind your motivation to accomplish goals.

These two types of motivation can be easily explained. Extrinsic motivation can be explained as an external outcome such as a reward whether obtaining a prize, monetary return, praises, etc.

Intrinsic motivation is an internal drive such as the need for success or purpose.  This drive based on research is the motivation that leads to better results.

Which is why you hear many tech founders talking about finding purpose.  It is this intrinsic motivation that pushed these leaders through hard times and to achieve greater success. 

Let's look at 6 key common motivators in our current society.

  1. Money  – As shallow as it is, most of us are driven by money.  This is not necessarily always a negative trait.  We need to look deeper as to why money motivates us.  Some people are driven to make more money to support their family, to help others or to create a comfortable life for themselves.  Then there others who are driven by the image of wealth so they can flaunt to the community.  
  2. Competitive– This group is the Kobe Bryants, Michael Jordans, Elon Musk, Bruce Lee type of people. Their desire is to be the best of themselves is the key fuel of motivation. 
  3. Philanthropy–  The desire to help others.  Having the sympathy and heart to help others in need is not only a strong motivator but a route to happiness because it accomplishes a sense of fulfillment internally.
  4. Power and fame – This one should be quite easy to understand the motivation.  Let's think about politicians, celebrities, or even our current social media influencers.  
  5. Recognition – These are your academics. But this type of motivation comes and goes as there is always someone that will be greater.
  6. Passion – This is what we mentioned earlier about with many tech founders.  Passion's motivator provides an internal compass to guide you and fuel you. 

So Why is Motivation So Powerful?

1. Leads to Perseverance 

Great things don't come easy in life. 

If you look at most new year's resolutions or even your own, many of them fail.  We feel very motivated at the end of the year thinking it'll be a new start.  But often times, it's because most of us don't persevere.  And why do we not persevere? Our motivation isn't strong enough to sustain the failure and the patience. 

Whereas people who are perseverant accomplish their goals. 

Can you think of anything that was really worthwhile came easy? 

Most accomplishments face obstacles and failure along the way. Persistent people beat them.


2. Higher Engagement

People who are intrinsically motivated tend to engage more in their work which results in a higher probability of greater outcome. If you think of all the great athletes such as Muhammad Ali, Bruce Lee, Michael Jordan, they are all motivated to work on their own and push their own limits.  They didn't just work hard at practice and do the minimum of what was told to them or rely solely on their natural talents. They worked hard on their own time. Constantly thinking of how to improve their skill sets and pushing their boundaries. 

working hard

3. Motivated Learning 

 It is very difficult to learn or improve without heart or also known as motivation.  Having interest and motivation is the best teacher as you will start seeking the answers in all aspects of life.

Which is why motivated people often times find excellence and seek self growth. They push through the times times, whereas non motivated people tend to leave when times get tough. 

How To Be Motivated

There are a few techniques to motivate yourself  and create a new you according to psychologists. 

1. Incentivize 

Well you need to do something for a purpose right? So make sure you incentivize yourself. It's usually from the simplest form of acceptance and praise from the people around you. This is also why having the right people around you can really help with your success.  Think about babies and children. The simple praises and encouragement from parents motivates them to crawl, to walk, and to learn all areas of growing up.  


2. Small Failures

Failures are usually your best teachers.  Each time you overcome these pressures of failure, your brain actually rewires to be more resilient the next time around.  Aside from that, you learn from your mistakes and to try and different method in becoming better. (Well, most people do learn from their mistakes) Trial and error until you perfect what you need to perfect.

3. Visualization

This is tricky one.  A lot of people enjoy visualising their success. But this is not visualization. It's called daydreaming.

What you should be doing is visualizing the steps you need to take to success. Play it out in your head whether it's in sports or in business.

4. Take Control

Simply said, this does not mean not to be a team player. But step up and be a good leader to your team and yourself.


5. Enjoy the Journey

Yes, we all want to win. But winning is also about having a winning mindset. This means you need to enjoy the process and not just the sole outcome to win.

If you do happen to fail, then you look at what you need to improve in order to obtain success the next time around.

Final Thoughts

Utilizing the power of psychology to motivate us can allow certain insights we need to excel in life. Find your internal fire so you don't need the extrinsic motivation, but is able to be powered internally. Make it your DNA.

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