We’ve all heard it – probably starting at school – “he’s just not motivated” or “she really lacks motivation”
If our teachers thought it was so important – enough to write it in our reports – why did they do so little to help us understand motivation?
20 odd years ago I was on a management “development” course and we invented Motivation Toothpaste. Simply brush first thing in the morning and last thing at night and you’d have that vital ingredient for success in anything you did – motivation.
If you believed in the paste enough it would work – the belief alone would be enough to keep you motivated. You knew you couldn’t fail at whatever you did.
If only it really was that simple!
Instead of one solution – the Motivation Paste, we are faced with 4 factors:
Positive & Negative motivation and Internal & External influences
The difficulty is knowing what motivates us and where it comes from! And how to stay motivated in the face of setbacks and negativity.
- Are we born with motivation?
- Do some people have an abundant supply of the stuff?
- Are we motivated by external sources such as rewards or praise?
- Does the actual challenge motivate us?
I know nothing about the science of this subject but the answer is so critical to our success.
If we are not motivated to do something we either won’t attempt it or we’ll do it just because we have to. It’s part of the job. The boss told us to do it.
But for us, building our perfect lifestyle, we need to be self motivated because nobody is waving the big stick. If we don’t do what is required nobody else will care!
At its most basic level motivation is what gets us out of bed each day:
- Hunger, thirst, call of nature.
- Fear of losing job if late.Basic human needs.
But for most of us there’s something deeper. There’s a passion or desire to do something:
- Golf today
- Going on holiday
- Love of business
- A new car
- Sense of achievement
- A moral or desire to help others
Even then there are days where we are not motivated. An argument with partner the night before, a cold developing, it’s raining…
As I was thinking about this subject I found this post that lists 21 proven motivation techniques
Reading through them I reached the conclusion that there are 4 types of motivation and each will be present at all times but only one will be dominant at any particular time.
Some people respond to negative motivation – do it or else.
Most people who hate their jobs live with this. Get that done or you’ll be fired!
But, it results in a grudging activity induced by fear of the consequences. Not exactly the best way to have a motivated workforce!
By it’s very nature the negative motivation breeds negativity – mainly because the action is not chosen for it’s own virtues but fear of other consequences.
This can be exceptionally motivating for some people. Praise from the boss for a job well done. The promise of a reward for doing something correctly, quickly or exceptionally well.
Most sales organisations use positive rewards as part of their motivational strategy.
This can be the most damaging.
If I don’t do this…
I must get this done or…
I don’t want to be in debt so…
Although possibly motivating there are other implications for this kind of self talk – in fact this kind of “motivation” can lead to the Law of Attraction working against you.
Goal driven. Focused on targets you want to achieve for yourself. Positive self talk with maybe mini rewards for achievement.
Although the most inspiring, for many this is the hardest motivation to enjoy consistently because it is dependent upon keeping focused and positive. Outside influences can change your attitude in an instant.
This is THE ONE to master. Get a tube of Motivation Paste, use twice daily and the secret of success is yours.
WARNING To be read in conjunction with articles on positivity, positive thinking, abundance, goals and focus.