What is Motivation and how to get it
Motivation is different for all of us so. Check here to see some of the things that can motivate you, how to keep motivated and what can you do when it fails you?
“Great things are not done by impulse, but by a series of small things brought together.”
Vincent Van Gogh
Motivation (the opposite of procrastination) is the feeling you have that drives you to do things. It may be negative energy that drives you and/or it may be positive energy.
Negative energy: Some people work best under pressure of losing something – maybe money, position, a relationship, or having someone think badly of them, thereby taking away their reputation. At this point the chips are down and they really need to pull something out of the bag in order to save the day.
Another way this is sometimes described is that people act to avoid pain. We can stand a certain amount of discomfort and may make gentle efforts to rid ourselves of it. If that doesn’t work we may have to make a slightly more concerted effort because it’s starting to get us down. Of course our threshold for pain differs, our tolerance levels differ and our breaking points are different.
Finally, when it really starts to become unbearable, we find the necessary motivation to resolve the issue. This could be losing weight, stopping gambling or drinking so heavily, putting effort into a relationship, getting a piece of work finished or doing some DIY that’s been outstanding for a long time!
Positive energy: Others work best when they really want to achieve something.
They may really enjoy doing what they’re doing (their work for instance) and start each day excited at the prospect of being involved again.
They may be more concerned with the result of their work, rather than the process (it may bring them the money they desire, or position or fame!) They keep their eye on the end result and this keeps them going.
They may have some specific achievement that will, in itself, be the reward they seek (launching a new business, writing their monthly newsletter, completing a project.)
Some of the things that motivate us are not practical but more philosophical issues. For example: being honest, trustworthy or philanthropic, having a sense of duty or honour.
In reality, many peoples’ motivation is affected by a mixture of both, so to help motivate a person you need to know which types of motivation is dominant. You can see this with a child, or perhaps more so with a teenager. If you want them to do something, with some you need to lay down the law and threaten to withdraw something like pocket money (negative) with others you offer rewards for doing the task well (positive.)
Self- Motivation starts with having a vision, a dream, a desire or a goal you want/need to achieve. How quickly or slowly you advance towards achieving it will depend on your motivation. Many people, while saying they really want to achieve X,Y or Z never actually become motivated to do the one thing necessary – TAKING ACTION.
So, having established that both positive energy and negative energy can motivate you, let’s look at some of the other factors that might also be involved:
… you can add your own to the list. Only you know what motivates you to ‘get up and go’ and keeps you there! One of the reasons you need to identify this is so you know best how to achieve what you want.
So why do you need self-motivation? Well, you can’t always rely on other people to give you the push you need or, if you do, you may find that you’re being pushed towards things that the other person feels will be ‘good for you’ rather than towards what you really want. The inevitable outcome of that is that you won’t have the necessary motivation to do it anyway.
Just because you found the motivation you needed to get started, don’t think that it will necessarily be all plain sailing. Your motivation can just as easily be lost, especially if you hit some difficulties.
However, there are a few strategies you can use to both reduce the possibility of this happening, or to get back on track if it does.
- Don’t give up:
If you hit a bad patch – don’t give up. You can always take time out for a day or a few days, either to clear your mind so you can come back refreshed, or to be away from the project or problem while you figure out a strategy to resolve it. Overcoming it will definitely help in building self-confidence and add to your cache of solutions too!
- Remind Yourself:
As you progress you may be so caught up in what you’re doing that you lose sight of why you’re doing it – the reasons why you were motivated in the first place. Remind yourself – go back to the beginning and re-connect with them.
Sometimes the problem is with your goal setting, or perhaps just one of the smaller goals leading to your major one isn’t realistic and isn’t achievable. Review it and decide whether it’s one you need to abandon or change. There’s no point in sticking with something that isn’t working for you and that isn’t ever likely to work!
When you feel you’re at a standstill it’s good to acknowledge how far you’ve already progressed towards your goal – you may be surprised! Just doing that will often spur you on.
- Keep going:
Sometimes when you feel you’ve hit a hard spot, when you don’t feel like going on because you don’t believe it will come good – just keep going. Many times you will find that you stick with it and just as you thought you were wasting your time – you get through it!
If what you’re doing involves someone else, share your feelings with them. They may also be feeling down or in a spot – you won’t know until you ask. Even if they aren’t having the same challenges as you they may be able to offer some ideas.