Personal DevelopmentInspiration

Motivation: what it is, types, how to motivate yourself


From this article, you will learn what motivation is, what types of motivation are, how to motivate yourself, what misconceptions about motivation exist, as well as signs of motivated people.

What is motivation?

What is motivation

Motivation is a combination of internal and external factors that stimulate a person’s desire and energy to maintain interest and dedication to a certain activity or to exert efforts to achieve a goal.

Motivation is the willingness to do something.

Motivation arises as a result of the interaction of both conscious and unconscious factors, such as desire or need, the value of the reward, the expectations of the individual. These factors are the reasons why a person behaves in a certain way.

At some point, the pain of not doing anything becomes stronger than the pain resulting from your actions.

Stephen Pressfield

According to studies by Anders Ericsson, motivation is an important harbinger of success. The most successful are those who constantly continue to move towards their goal.

People with high motivation, as a rule, are prepared in the best way and have maximum productivity, which ultimately leads to positive results.

It’s easiest to be motivated about an activity that you are passionate about. So ask yourself the question: what turns you on a lot, and what makes you bored?

While doing what you love, you will not only be motivated, but you will also be able to attract other people to your work and get the support you need to complete your plan.

Types of Motivation

Types of motivation

1. Incentive

This is a type of motivation that includes rewards, both monetary and intangible.

Many people are guided by the realization that they will be rewarded in a certain way as a result of achieving their goals.

Various kinds of incentives and bonuses are good examples of incentives that are used for motivation.

2. Fear

The motivation of fear is associated with the possibility of punishment or the onset of adverse effects. This type of motivation is often used when incentive motivation fails.

You probably have firsthand knowledge on the method of “stick and carrot”, an incentive which is gingerbread, but in the role of frightening tool is the whip.

This kind of motivation is often used in education and in professional activities to regulate the behavior of employees.

If a student or employee violated the established rules or not reach the goal, they will apply negative incentives.

3. Achievement

Achievement motivation is also often referred to the desire for competence.

We are committed to the goals and new challenges. We want to improve their skills and prove their competence as others, and ourselves.

As a rule, achievement motivation by its nature is an inseparable companion of man. However, in certain circumstances, achievement motivation may include the need for external recognition.

We often have a desire or necessity to obtain a positive evaluation by our environment: friends, colleagues, etc. This need can include anything from material incentives to a simple handshake for a job well done.

4. Self-development

The need of self-improvement is a very strong internal driving force. The motivation of self-development is best seen in the desire to change.

Of course not all, but many of us seek to perfect your inner world and your body.

Most of us due to our own personality or upbringing, which become a starting point to effect change in our inner being, knowledge, or the external environment, because stagnant is not the figure that should be used.

5. Power

The motivation of power can take the form of the desire to control your own life, or the desire to control other people.

We are committed to developing the ability to influence our lives today, as well as the improvement of living conditions in the future.

In addition, we often try to control other people, and some of us have such a desire to control others developed much more than others.

Sometimes pronounced desire for power motivates people to negative, even immoral or illegal behavior. In other situations, the desire for power is the desire to influence others.

We feel the need to make people do what we want and how we want it.

6. Society

Many people are motivated by social factors. It may be the desire to belong and be accepted by a certain group of people, or the desire to interact with other people in different areas.

People have an innate need to feel connected with others, and the need for acceptance and belonging to society.

Another form of social motivation may be a genuine and passionate desire to contribute to the lives of others.

If you have the desire to change the world, it is usually a sign of social motivation.

A common misconception about motivation

A common misconception about motivation

One of the most amazing properties of motivation is that it often occurs after making a new action, and does not precede them.

People have a common misconception, believing that motivation comes as a result of passive experience with a motivational video or reading an inspirational book. However, active inspiration is a much stronger motivator.

Most often, motivation becomes the result of the action, not its cause. The first step in a new business is a form of active inspiration, giving impetus to further action.

Objects in motion tend to stay in motion. Objects at rest tend to stay at rest.

Newton’s first law

Thus, once you started from a standstill, you will much easier to keep moving forward.

Almost all the difficulties for the solution of any task are at the beginning. But after you’ve already started, progress is happening more naturally.

In other words, it is often easier to perform a task than to begin its implementation. So one of the keys to motivation is to simplify the initial stage.

No beginning and no end. Only action.

Quote from the movie “peaceful warrior”, 2006

Myths about motivation

Myths about motivation

1. Write down your goals and success is guaranteed

On the Internet, you can often stumble on the story, according to which in 1953 was conducted one study.

Graduates of Yale University tried to find out whether they have specific goals that they would like to achieve in the future. Agreed, only 3% of respondents.

Twenty years later the researchers found that those 3% of students having specific goals achieved greater financial prosperity than the remaining 97%. Isn’t it amazing?

And such a development would be a really impressive fact if it were true, but it’s not. In 1997 Fast Company magazine exposed the story, added her to the category of legends.

Moreover, even such a man as Forrest Mars (Jr.), CEO of Mars and grandson of its founder, responded negatively to the question, did he have any job prospects at the time of graduating from Yale University.

I wish it were that simple. However, it should be added that the presence of specific goals is an important aspect of achieving success. By itself, the goal necessary, but it is not sufficient.

2. Just do your best

It is believed that attitude is “just do everything” is a great motivator. This is not so.

Undoubtedly, such a belief carries a positive charge but has no significant effect.

Psychologists Edwin Locke and Gary Latham devoted much time to the study of the differences between the goal of “do your best” and her opponent – challenging goals with a specific plan for its implementation.

The results show that the goals that set the bar high, and elaborates what needs to be done to achieve them, lead to much better performance than just trying to “do everything possible”.

This is because a more complex but detailed task force people, often unconsciously, to make great efforts to increase concentration and to stay true to goals, persisting longer and better using the most effective strategy.

3. Just visualize success

The mere visualization of success is not just useless, but also is a great way to set yourself up for failure.

The belief that you will succeed, and the belief that success comes easy – a completely different Outlook on the same things.

Realistic minded people are convinced that will succeed, but also they are willing to make any effort, to persevere, and to devote time to careful planning and choosing the right strategies.

They do not shy away from thinking about the obstacles that they will encounter and how to overcome them.

Unrealistic-minded people believe that success will come by itself if they are constantly and in large quantities to visualize. But ironically, this approach can only lead to the depletion of internal energy required to achieve the objectives.

People who spend too much time fantasizing about the wonderful future, thereby depriving themselves of the fuel needed to get to their dreams.

You can develop a more realistically optimistic outlook by combining confidence in your ability to succeed with an objective assessment of the problems that may arise in your way.

Don’t engage in constant and debilitating visualization of their success, but at the same time visualize the steps you will take to make that happen.

How to motivate yourself

Be unhappy. Or motivate yourself. All you do is your own choice.

Wayne Dyer

1. Just start and let your motivation will catch up with you

You don’t need to wait for motivation to start. If you want to work consistently, every day, all you need to do is take the first step.

After some time everything becomes easier and more interesting, and the motivation will catch up to you.

2. Start small

If the project or the intended goals are too large and difficult to implement, don’t let these circumstances restrain you.

Instead of dressing your thoughts in negative shades, break down the tasks into intermediate goals, and then, concentrating on the closest one, start moving forward.

3. Reduce daily distractions

When you are surrounded by distractions, it becomes difficult to focus.

Therefore, close the door in the office, put your phone in silent mode and stop checking messages on social networks.

4. Get motivation from people around you

Spend less time with negative minded people who always and everywhere see the negative side of things, filter what you tell them or completely eliminate communication with them.

Pay more attention to the positive, successful environment, the energy of which will go to you and charge for new achievements.

5. Get motivation from people

Do not limit yourself to the motivation that you can get exclusively from people close to you.

There are a large number of motivational books, videos, success stories of other people, which you can use to motivate yourself.

6. Listen to music that gives you energy

One of the easiest things to help you motivate yourself the moment you feel lack of energy or motivation is to listen to music that can inspire you.

Therefore, create a music playlist that is able to charge you with energy.

The rest of the work that you complete listening to motivational music, will have a positive impact on the progress of your case.

7. Look for opportunities in negative events

A pessimistic attitude can drain your energy and motivation. On the other hand, a positive and constructive way to look at a situation can be a great helper to motivate yourself.

Therefore, when you are faced with a negative event, ask yourself the questions: “What is good in this?” and “What is the hidden opportunity here?”

Then consider the experience gained and take action to improve what you are doing.

8. Be kind to yourself by making mistakes

It is very easy to fall into the trap of self-flagellation and self-hatred when you stumble or fail.

But this attitude is a conductor of negative energy, killing motivation and lowering your self-esteem.

Therefore, be kind to your beautiful personality, and in case of failure, push yourself to go on your path again, taking the next step forward.

9. Look back and evaluate the results

Instead of killing your motivation by comparing yourself to those in front, look back.

Let you still have a long way to go, but how much has been done.

10. Friendly competition

As a rule, the element of competition enlivens the situation. Therefore, find yourself an opponent and come up with the friendly competition with a colleague, classmate, another person engaged in the same activity.

For additional motivation, you can determine the prize, for example, the winner receives a portion of ice cream or a bottle of whiskey.

11. Remind yourself why you are doing this

When you don’t know how to motivate yourself, it’s easy to lose sight of why you are doing this, why you started it all.

Therefore, take 2 minutes of free time and write down 3 main reasons for taking your actions, getting an education, implementing a project, saving money, etc., then post this entry in a visible place or save it on your smartphone.

12. Think about what you might miss

You can motivate yourself to continue moving towards your goal by considering the negative consequences of terminating your actions. What in the end you can miss.

Ask yourself: What can be the results if I continue to do this for another year? And for 5 years?

13. Be thankful for what you have

When the level of motivation is poor, it is easy to start observing your life in gloomy tones.

To charge yourself with a positive, and also focus on what you have and who you are, ask yourself the question: “What are the 3 things in my life that I take for granted, but can be thankful for them?”

14. Place your order at the workplace

Having an uncluttered and minimalistic workspace helps you think more clearly.

You will feel more focused and ready to solve the following problem.

15. Reduce the to-do list to one task

A crowded to-do list can be a real killer of motivation, so try reducing your current task list to one.

Choose the most important one or a task that you have been putting off for too long, and then proceed to its implementation.

You will be surprised how soon all things will be completed.

16. Don’t forget about the breaks

If you want to better understand how to motivate yourself, stop working non-stop.

Instead, work for 45 minutes every hour and take a break to eat, go out into the fresh air, or work out.

17. Target calibration

If the magnitude of the goal scares you, identify a smaller goal to find motivation again.

If the insignificance of the goal does not seem inspiring, set a higher bar and watch how it affects your motivation.

18. Physical activity

Exercise has a positive effect not only on your body.

20-30 minutes of exercise will reduce internal stress and allow you to concentrate again.

19. Celebrate your achievements

If you expect the reward you get after reaching your goal, your motivation tends to increase.

No matter how great or insignificant your current successes are, mark your results or give yourself a present.

20. Be aware before you begin

Studying the achievements of other people in the field you are interested in will help you avoid pitfalls and create a realistic schedule for achieving goals.

Otherwise, you can get demotivated if you do not advance as fast as you originally thought.

21. Take a meditation break

When your mind is a little tired or very tired, your energy supply and motivation are depleted.

Therefore, in the afternoon, or when you consider it necessary, you can do meditation. Just close your eyes and focus on your breath for a period of time that is convenient for you.

Meditation purifies the mind and reduces internal tension.

22. Go for a walk

Walking in the fresh air perfectly helps to motivate yourself, as well as refresh your head and stretch your body.

Signs of motivated people

Signs of motivated people

  1. Cheerfulness. Motivated people in anticipation of a happy future and have a strategy to achieve their goals.
  2. Persistence. They don’t belong to potential obstacles as unsolvable problems.
  3. Energy. They are the epitome of enthusiasm, and I see no reason to fade away from regrets and disappointments. Motivated people always continue to make efforts to achieve results.
  4. Positive. They know that all will be well, without waiting for the approach of the happy moment, enjoy the next task.
  5. Concentration. They understand where they are going, and they are not distracted from what they intended.
  6. Confidence. They are aware of their weaknesses, but instead of manifesting an inferiority complex, motivated people compensate for them with other qualities. As a result, there is confidence that the goals set will certainly be achieved.
  7. Awareness. They don’t waste time, instead, they gain new knowledge and improve skills.
  8. Perfectionism. They always try to find the best ways to accomplish a task, focusing more on quality.
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