In this day and age, motivation is one of the key elements of success. Let’s break the idea of motivation down, piece by piece, and assess what really gets us motivated.
Our Aim: To gain an understanding of the key sources of motivation, to establish what in particular motivates us as individuals, and finally to harness the power to consistently channel this motivation into our daily rituals.
So What Exactly Motivates Us?
Great question. One in which the answer is unique for each of us.
- Is it the desire to impress others?
- The desire to achieve the unexpected?
- To make large amounts money?
- The want to contribute or feel needed?
- The need to help others?
- To desire to reach higher levels of success?
- The intention to change the world?
- Professional football players who loose a big game feel down and out and try harder next time. Great professional football players on the other hand, are left instilled with a burning desire to dominate all of their following games after a loss and bring this relentless motivation onto the field.
- Entrepreneurs who see other inspiring individuals succeeding, perhaps their friends or colleagues, are experiencing first hand that what they are doing is in fact worth all the hard work. They are motivated to push on, and work even harder than before, knowing that one day it will be them celebrating their own success.
Not an easy question to answer, it may be a combination of the above. It may be more complex or far simpler for each of us to find our own sources of motivation. Let’s break it down even further…
How Can We Pin-Point Our Greatest Sources of Motivation?
In my opinion (and also in the opinion of many others), there is one concept or principle in particular that has stood out, when finding our key sources of motivation…
Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs
This can be described as a motivational theory in human psychology which argues that while people aim to meet basic need on a daily basis, they really seek to reach successively higher needs, needs which can be represented in the form of a pyramid.
From bottom to top:
- Physiological: These are the most basic needs that are vital to survival, such as air, water, food and sleep. Everything else should be sidelined until these needs are met.
- Safety: This refers to our need for a roof over our heads, a safe neighborhood, a steady job and access to health care.
- Social: We want to feel loved within our family and our community. We seek friendship and a sense of belonging.
- Esteem: We strive for self-confidence, respect and achievement. We want a sense of accomplishment.
- Self-Fulfillment: Self-actualizing people are concerned with personal growth above all else, and less concerned with the opinions of others. They are interested in fulfilling their full potential.
With Maslow’s Hierarchy In Mind, How Do We Manifest Our Motivation?
- Understand The Key Motivational Factors
- Analyse each and every element in each tier of Maslow’s Hierarchy. Understand what each element means and why it is important to you in particular. Envision what you must do to achieve that need, and make daily, reachable goals that will bring you closer.
- Reward Is Better Than Punishment
- It’s vital to reward yourself for good work done in every situation possible. Some may punish themselves if they fail at a certain task. But I have to say that this is wrong! Your brain is not programmed this way. Ever heard of positive reinforcement?
- Psychologically, when building habits, your brain creates a positive stimulus link between actions you take and how you felt after taking those actions. So, simply reward yourself with anything you find comforting, after you achieve a goal or complete a task. Your brain will do the rest.
- Motivational Media (Videos / Music / Pictures / Quotes)
- One of my favorite methods of motivation. Put simply, this involves watching motivational videos which could range from success videos of serial entrepreneurs telling their story to great feats of human ingenuity.. anything with gives you chills.
- This also involves listening to motivational speeches, or perhaps ‘pump music’ while working out. Reading quotes out loud, and you may even go to the extreme of printing and framing your favorite picture quotes. (Still motivates me every morning, 6 months on!)
- Find a Cause Worth Fighting For
- If all else fails, or you simply wish to give back, then find someone or something to fight for. The cause has to be one in which you will not directly gain from, in the event of its success. You need to selflessly help someone or some organization. The motivation that you will gain from knowing that you helped a cause, and actually slightly improved the world in some way or another, can sometimes be one of the greatest and most everlasting forms of motivation.
So there you have it. We took one largely validated explanation on how we are motivated and analysed it piece by piece. We should now have a clear view on what we need to do to reach higher levels of motivation, and in turn, success.
We also took a look at 4 methods we could use to manifest our motivation. Please do not hesitate to share your own methods by commenting on this post.
And don’t forget… Smiles are Contagious! :)
Here’s what to do next…
- Leave a comment below telling me which point surprised, inspired or taught you the most.
- For those of you who enjoyed the article and would like to read more on the topic, check out 6 Unusual Habits of Exceptionally Productive People.