What is Motivation: Understanding Your Drive

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What exactly is motivation? Is it will power? Are we motivated to achieve goals by others inspiring us to do so? What is it that keeps us going day after day without giving up?

Motivation is in psychological terms that which is causes behavior. In other words, motivation is the reason or reasons behind a certain action. Motivation can be based upon basic needs. If we are hungry then we seek out something to eat. Hunger is the motivating factor. Motivation can also be based on higher desire. Once you finish a meal, you may want a piece of cake. You did not need the cake, but you were motivated to get it because it is your favorite kind of cake. Motivation can also be rooted in higher concept. These types of motivations are found in our beliefs and morals. An example is that you wanted to help at a food kitchen because you were motivated to help the poor and less fortunate.

Motivation is governed primarily by reward, a reward being a positive acknowledgment for a given behavior or behavior set. It is the carrot before the mule. You dangle a carrot in front a mule in order to get them to move. There are carrots everyday in your life that are you motivators to achieve certain tasks with the hope of getting the carrot, or reward in the end. Rewards themselves can be either intrinsic or extrinsic. In intrinsic reward can be as simple as self-satisfaction or a feeling of accomplishment. An extrinsic reward can be anything from food to money to love.

Intrinsic and extrinsic rewards can be more or less motivational depending on the person or particular situation. Some people work as volunteers because there is an intrinsic motivation to help without a material reward. Some people need an extrinsic reward of being paid to work and that praise is not enough to keep them involved or motivated. Each person is different. Basic needs have a greater motivational power over our actions than motivation based upon your morale code. Suppose you were starving to death on the street. You might not feel it is right to steal but your need to eat might alter the priority of motivating factors.

Some people are strongly motivated by higher concepts. People that might go on a hunger strike because they believe in a cause may overcome their natural need for food in order to make a morale point. People that have a high sense of religious purpose and motivation often are motivated because of their belief in a higher power. The act based upon a couple of strong motivational factors. 1) They seek to please this higher power; and 2) They do not wish to offend the higher power. Whether or not one's higher concept has truth value, the rationale behind the motivation is logical.

Motivation, as related to the self-help movement at least, is primarily of the type based on higher desire. Individuals want certain things and thus they seek to build a rational basis for that desire as an edifice for the pursuit thereof. Such a motivational base will be successful in as much as the reward consists of both intrinsic and extrinsic elements.

There is the motivation of desire to consider as well. This is in between morale conviction and the necessities of life. These are things that we do not necessarily need, but really want. Desire can be as powerful a motivation as anything else can. It can be the driving force in a person's life. They may even ignore higher concepts and necessities to achieve these goals. A person may want a certain car, a certain body, a certain house a certain job. These are not necessary things but they can drive a person until they achieve them. The advertising industry is built upon this motivational concept.

In the final analysis, a person needs to look at what motivates them. They need to decide what is a necessity, what is a desire, and what is an ideal that by which they are trying to live. These motivations can be in conflict with one another. In order for a person to be truly happy they must balance each of these motivational factors. Each person must decide what truly matters and what can be left behind. Once these goals are sorted out, motivation can easily help us on our way to what we desire in our life.

Ray Kelly is the trainer that guided Adro Sarnelli and Chris Garling to their wins on The Biggest Loser Australia. Check out his web sites at: http://www.biggestloserforum.com or http://www.bloodpressurefitness.com

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