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Understanding Motivation (HowTo Live A Happy And Successful Life Part 9)

Understanding Motivation

In Part 2 of this series we briefly touched on motivation. In this article we examine our understanding of motivation in more detail.

In order to be motivated, we adopt certain behavioral patterns that bring our minds to work dynamically. 

There are 3 facets to consider when understanding motivation. These are: Arousal, Direction and Persistence.

  1. Arousal
    This is the activating factor or stimulus that causes the motivation.

    It is something that either supports ('positive') or assaults ('negative') someone's values. 

    For instance, a mother is motivated to feed her child when it starts to cry. A man may physically lash out if he is personally assaulted.

    When someone is motivated, he or she is usually thinking about the actions required to achieve the desired goal.
  2. Direction or Focus.

    When someone is motivated, his or her thoughts are focused or directed towards a desired outcome.

    In the example above the mother is focused on the needs of her child. The man is focused on restoring his personal dignity and safety.
  3. Persistence
    When someone is motivated, they usually have the desire to persist in their actions until they achieve their goals.

    If they are not highly motivated, their level of persistence may also be low and they may quit at the first sign of trouble.  

    Persistence is an important part of motivation as it ensures continuity of action. Furthermore, ongoing actions provide feedback that supports the goal and helps maintain motivation until the goal is achieved. 

    If you try something and fail, you could just give up if you were not fully motivated. But if you were fully motivated you would not stop at the first setback.

In addition to the above, motivation can be triggered by other factors. These can be psychological or physiological in nature. 

Physiological factors include thirst, hunger etc. Psychological factors include shelter seeking, curiosity, and other social goals such as pursuing relationships, raising children, etc.

That is why everyone's response to these motives is quite different, depending on their upbringing, experience and learning patterns.

Every individual responds differently when motivated, and this is exhibited in their behaviour.

The key point to note here is that no matter how you are conditioned, always respond positively so as to maximise your potential and keep your motivation. 

Once you learn how to control these behavioural aspects, you can take charge of yourself and change sails according to the direction your life propels you in. This would make you move easily in to the realms of success.

Why understanding motivation is important for a happy and successful life 

Obviously, being successful is important to most people - it is a cardinal value of society. It is an intrinsic need of human beings to gain recognition, dignity and success.

However, in order to successful, you need to be highly motivated. This is so because motivation gives you the power and impetus to propel you towards success. 

However, there are other reasons as well. Some of these are as follows: 

1. Motivation is an ongoing stimulus.

Have you ever been forced to do something that you don't like? How did you react? Not positively, I'm sure!

Now compare that to something that you love to do. Do you realize the difference in your attitude when you compare both of these tasks? Which one was accomplished quickly with better work quality? 

Of course, the task you liked performing was performed much better. 

This is what motivation is - it serves as a catalyst to taking action and it is ongoing. In other words, it's not a one-hit wonder but a staple part of the success diet.

The most difficult aspect of any task is to get started, but once it is, there is no looking back. Thus motivation is a key factor in making you get started on your way to success. 

2. Motivation keeps you moving. 

When on the path to success, you are often not rewarded. Sometimes you need to to fall down many times before you can get up and move ahead. 

3. Obstacles are an integral part of making you stronger and worthy of success. 

In order to be mentally prepared to face the tough work, the challenges and the problems, you need to keep yourself motivated in order to keep pushing and going ahead.

How do you go about this? Always focus yourself on the end goal, how would you feel when you achieve it? If you keep yourself focused on this, you should have no trouble achieving it.

4. Do something extra.

What is it that the successful do that the non-successful don't? It's what they do 'extra' that makes them successful.

Even if you have started up, moved on and faced challenges, you still need to push beyond what your normal capacity is. 

Only then would you yield the fruit of success! Doing only the necessary may get the job done, but how about doing that extra bit, so that the task itself would boast about who has done it! Think about it! 

5. It's boring without motivation:

Why do you take books to read or listen to music when going on a long journey? It is to make you feel fresh throughout the journey. The same is the case with motivation.

The road to success can be long, boring and tedious, but if you have motivation as your companion, then you need not worry about anything.

Difficult times can be conveniently endured by motivation as being motivated ensures that you not only do it the right way, but also enjoy yourself as you go ahead. 

So always feel motivated, keep your hopes high and look towards a brighter future.

Further Viewing

You might want to look at this video by Dr John Demartini. It's a bit long - about an hour - but well worth watching.