What keeps you motivated?

All of us might have seen the movie 127 hours. It was based on Aron Ralston’s adventure. He was hiking in the Utah Canyon, but unfortunately his arm was pinned to the ground by a huge boulder. He tried a lot to move the boulder using ropes and pulleys and all the other hiking paraphernalia. But in the end, he couldn’t cope up without water and was exhausted as his efforts to free himself from the boulder were futile. So he amputated his arm using a tourniquet to control his arterial circulation and a knife to chop off his arm which was stuck under the boulder. Thereby, he got freedom from the boulder and saved his life. He lost his arm but he survived. His motivation was driven by the instinct to live no matter what happens.

You want to help an old man crossing the road. Are you motivated intrinsically or extrinsically? It depends on what you expect from the old man. If you help him because he might reward you then you are extrinsically motivated. Else if you help him because you feel gratified of helping people in need for the sake of feeling good and not for any appreciation or reward, then you are intrinsically motivated.

Nevertheless, if you have intrinsic motivation to help someone, then it is good for you as you do it out of fun and happiness and not out of the need to be appreciated which falls under extrinsic motivation. Extrinsic motivation can lead one to lose the innate interest in a particular deed or work sometimes. For instance, one enjoys dancing merely because it helps one to be expressive and articulate (intrinsic motivation). But if one dances just to please the audience (extrinsic motivation) in an auditorium and not for one’s own satisfaction, this behaviour will lessen his or her own interest in the art form.

Extrinsic motivation is of course important, the need to feel acknowledged, earn money and name is human nature and make one motivated to work more. But there has to be a balance between intrinsic and extrinsic motivation in order to enjoy what one is doing and as well as feel contented with the rewards for that work.

The concept of motivation comes into the picture when we ask as to why a person does something or behaves or reacts in a certain way. What is the driving force that activates a person’s behaviour? It could be biological as in hunger, emotional as in empathy, social, as in cohesiveness and cognitive as in to think what would be the outcome of a certain action.

The factors that direct your behaviour come in the form of motivation. You catch a bus possible at the earliest to reach your workplace at the designated time or sooner than that. Your behaviour was energized by a factor known as motivation. Our motivation to do something is not a reflexive action because it is voluntary at any situation. Behaviour of every individual is guided by his or her motives. When you propose someone, the motivation could be to gain that person’s love or to conquer the other person or to lead on the person to boost your ego.

Every behaviour has a motive which instigates it. You may have many reasons to go to college. The reason will be in the context of motivation. You are going to an educational institution because you want to learn your favourite subject or you need a graduation degree to get a good job or it is an outlet to make new friends. If you are a student in the college because you think everyone goes to college so you might as well to. In this case, one of your motivational goals is to conform to what is expected.

Activation, persistence and intensity are the three building blocks of motivation.  Activation means the decision taken to initiate behaviour such as enrolling oneself in martial arts class.  Persistence is the ongoing effort towards a goal even though impediments may exist such as joining a martial arts class even though it is physically strenuous and needs lot of practice. Intensity is visible in the amount of concentration and vigor that is present in pursuing a goal. For example, one may not only join taekwondo class but also karate class in order to excel in both martial arts and know the essential difference; while another may just be keen in learning karate for the sake of knowing atleast one martial art.

Motivation always arises in us due to either a deficiency we experience or a desire to fulfill our needs. For instance, unemployment is a deficiency, so we look for a job that removes the feeling of inadequacy in us. While, a desire to learn a new skill like playing a guitar is fulfilling our need to be more versatile and talented.

Motivation is the purport of all action whether you want to turn over a new leaf or make drastic changes in your career or your personality. It is the inner voice which says, “I can!”, “I just have to say it and I know it is done!” etc.

One needs to remember that there are certain things that can keep you unmotivated. So ward off these things such as fear of not wanting certain situations. Well, not wanting things do not motivate us. Instead we must focus on the things that we want to keep you motivated. It is better to focus on the goals that we must achieve and motivate ourselves towards these goals rather than perpetually worrying about things that defocus your attention.

In order to be motivated, tap into your resources. With technology, you have the bona fide world at your fingertips. That’s code for “you have no excuses or reasons to procrastinate.” Do your research online or by asking people who you think are suitable to advice you and figure out the best, most efficient way to complete what needs to done. You’ll end up feeling adroit and knowledgeable which will ease your mind. This will usher out the worry, negative self-talk and bring in the confidence and go-getting attitude; the key ingredients for motivation. Your motivation should compel you to overcome your obstacles that come in your way invariably.


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