Everyone Needs Motivation – But Why?

Like most people, you probably feel that you know something about motivation. Something, but what?

Motivation is the motive – the internal reason – we have which prompts us to act in certain ways and directions. In a profound sense motivation is not a thought, since that would be purely intellectual. When we are motivated, whatever we are thinking is always hitched to an extra energy that appears electrical – it hits the body, producing a desire to act.

Motivation is like a tide: it ebbs and flows. Perhaps the best parallel of all is with energy; the flow of energy within us. This recalls the concept of Chi in Chinese philosophy, and of the yin-yang in the Tao Te Ching.

Everyone needs motivation, but whether they want it is another question. However, everywhere we look we see the need.

Turn to the classroom – see the teacher who may have set out with the best intentions in the world to deliver a quality education to students. Now, bogged down by bureaucracy and procedure, lessons are delivered without relevance or enthusiasm. Motivation is ebbing away.

Consider the students: a target driven education that bears little relationship to their reality, or to the deep springs of learning. They too lack motivation, or at best merely have some desire for qualifications to enable their advancement to the next stage of the process.

There has been a lot of discussion on the new 'Generation Y' – those born from 1982 – 2001 – who are the future and whom we need to motivate. Some of their characteristics are alleged to be:

Bored by routine

Lifestyle center

Technically fluent

Connected … 24/7


Success driven


Goal oriented


Clearly, education has to change if it is going to engage this generation.

The lover too: he or she needs motivation. Where there is no motivation, there is no desire; where there is no desire, love and relationship are effectively dead!

Also, think about a Monday morning – classic heart attack time. Or what might be termed the Optimal Work Aversion Moment (OWAM). So many people are de-motivated at the thought of having to go to work. Work itself a word almost synonymous with the word onerous. Who wants to work? Few do. But most need to work.

Really what we are talking about here is the quality of our lives. Independent of whether we have high IQs or low ones, whether we are tall or short, or whether even we are rich or poor, perhaps the biggest single determinant of the quality of our lives is how motivated we are at any given moment, and over prolonged periods of time.

Why is this? Because, as we said before, motivation is virtually synonymous with the word energy – our motivation determines our energy level. And when we are fully motivated, then we tend to be bursting with energy. When we are bursting with energy, then life feels good – stress has less power to touch us, and all our other problems are contextualized into manageable proportions.

Thus it is that we need to pay attention to motivation – especially our motivation, and by extension to our motivators.

Here is a curious thing: many people spend time working their muscles and concentrating on physical fitness. Why? Because they understand that if they do not exercise their muscles they will wither. They will become, as people, impaired – weak and flabby. This is fine physically, but what about psychologically? Two questions, then, arise: how do we know what our motivators are and how do we stimulate our motivators?

One interesting thing about motivators is that they are nearly allied to our values. When we realise our values ??we become extremely happy or satisfied. So too with motivators – these are deep needs within us, and so deliberately feeding them in ourselves, or even attempting to feed them in someone else, is not 'manipulation' – how could it be? – it is giving us or another exactly what we want. And what we want if often more than what we need.

Further, motivation is intimately connected to our self-esteem. It is also part of our performance matrix. And, finally, motivation is also part of our future, and our ability to realise that future. No motivation means no energy; and no energy means, at best, a deeply unsatisfying life.

These points I will seek to clarify and explore in future ezine articles.

Source by James Sale

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