In life, we need motivation in order to achieve our goals. According to Psychology Today, “Motivation is one of the driving forces behind human behavior.” The presence of motivation can help a person reach new heights. While its absence may push a person to their lowest. 

What is motivation?

As defined by Kendra Cherry from Very Well Mind, motivation is “the process that initiates, guides, and maintains goal-oriented behaviors.” This means that motivation is something that drives a person to do something and is the reason why a person does something.

Two types of motivation

There are two types of motivation which are differentiated by the source of a person’s motivation. It may be intrinsic or extrinsic.

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Intrinsic motivation

Intrinsic motivation is sourced from within that person. They do not accomplish a task just because of a reward, avoidance of punishment, deadlines, or outside pressure. They are driven to do something for their personal gratification. The reward that a person gains by doing a task is the joy of doing it. For example, playing games for enjoyment.

Extrinsic motivation

Extrinsic motivation is sourced from the outside. They are motivated to do a task in order to receive an external reward or to avoid any unwanted outcomes. According to Victor Vroom’s expectancy theory, three elements are needed for an extrinsic motivator to be successful: 

  • Valence – The desire of a person for a promised outcome or reward.
  • Expectancy – A person’s belief that their increased efforts will help them achieve their desired results.
  • Instrumentality – A person’s belief that once they achieve their desired result or outcome, a reward is provided.

Why do I need motivation?

As stated earlier, motivation is the driving force behind human actions. Without motivation, a person would be unproductive and it will be difficult to accomplish and finish anything. They don’t have any goals to strive for.

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Why is motivation important in our life?

Motivation gives you a purpose

Having motivation gives you a sense of purpose and this is to achieve your goals and dreams. It helps you know why you do what you do.

Motivation lets you overcome setbacks

The road towards your goals and dreams in life is not always smooth. There will always be some hitches that might cause you to give up. Motivation gives you the courage and the confidence to overcome such obstacles and continue in reaching your goals.

Motivation makes you productive

Being in-the-zone helps you focus on the task at hand. Since you are motivated, not only are you able to do your work faster and with better quality. 

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Motivation can influence other people

When you become self-motivated, others become inspired to do the same. Your positivity will also influence others and raise their spirits and be motivated as well.

What do I do if I don’t have any motivation?

Lacking motivation is one of the biggest hurdles for you to achieve your goals. If you don’t have any goals, the absence of motivation keeps you from having a sense of purpose in life. 

According to Amy Lorin from Very Well Mind, if you don’t have any motivation to finish anything, you should first assess why that is the case. Then, devise a plan to help yourself to keep on going. Here are some ways to help you find your motivation.

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Strategies to find your motivation

Stop thinking negatively

It’s easy to find something to complain about in your work such as saying that it’s tiring, it’s boring, or that you’ll never get to finish it in time. However, thinking about these things constantly would make you eventually believe what you say. This affects your mindset in completing the task. 

Instead of thinking negatively, you should keep on saying positive words to yourself to add more encouragement and you’ll eventually finish the task at hand.

Surround yourself with positive people

One of the reasons why motivation is important is that motivation influences others. Surrounding yourself with positive people inspires to think positively as well. 

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Take a break

Sometimes, taking a break is a must in order for you to work properly again. It may cause you mental and/or physical strain which affects your motivation in finishing the task. Taking a rest would help you clear your mind and recharge yourself to work again.

Focus on one goal

Having goals is good for you to stay motivated. However, there are times where because you have too many goals, you tend to become unfocused and do not know what to prioritize.

Use positive reinforcement

Using extrinsic motivation such as giving yourself a reward for a job well done is a great way to get your groove back. Even small rewards such as eating your favorite snacks after studying is already rewarding.

What are the ways to keep myself motivated?

There are a lot of ways to keep yourself motivated. Even the strategies mentioned above are applicable. Below are more practices of keeping your motivation.

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Practices to keep yourself motivated

Keep track of your progress

Sometimes, we get too caught up with our work that seems to be never ending. It can be rewarding to know that you have already come a long way and you are a step closer to achieving your goals and desired outcomes.

Don’t multitask

Just like having a lot of goals, doing a lot of things at once can be exhausting. Focusing on one task before starting another can help you finish faster. This is because you are able to focus more on the task at hand.

Be organized

Having a clean and uncluttered environment can clear your mind and let you become more productive. Also having a step-by-step process at the task at hand saves you more time and lets your mind concentrate on doing the tasks rather than thinking about what to start first or to do next.

Find someone to do something with

It is comforting to know that you are not alone in doing the tasks at hand especially if it is difficult to complete. It also helps to hear some encouragement from other people in letting you stay motivated.

Choose the goals that interest you

You are more likely to stay motivated if you do the things that interest you. Doing things that are dictated by others or that is against your will would let you quickly lose interest.

What are the ways to help others be motivated?

Aside from motivating yourself, you should also help others with their motivation. You alone cannot accomplish such a huge thing without other people’s help. When you motivate others, you will be able to reach your goals faster.

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Ways to help others be motivated

Let them see the bigger picture

You tell them how their contributions affect and help you achieve your goals. Letting them see the bigger picture lets them know that what they do matter.

Trust their capabilities

Letting them do what they need to do without being told is the best way to show the other people that you trust them. If they know that they are trusted, it boosts their morale and motivates them to do things on their own initiative.

Appreciate what they do

You show appreciation towards them by praising them, and showing gratitude to them for a job well done. You can also share positive feedback about them to other people.

Reference Summary:

  1. (Kendra Cherry, 2020) What is Motivation?
  2. (Daskal, 2016) 19 Highly Effective Ways to Stay Motivated
  3. (Psychology Today, n.d.) Motivation
  4. (Sennett, 2021) Understanding intrinsic and extrinsic motivation
  5. (Stunning Motivation, 2020) Why Motivation is Important and 10 Ways How to Get More of It
  6. (Cook, 2017) Why Motivation is Important in Life
  7. (Develop Good Habits, 2021) No Motivation to Do Anything? 21 Ways to Get Out of Your Rut
  8. (Morin, 2021) What To Do When You Have No Motivation
  9. (ACS Careers, 2018) 9 ways to motivate others
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