Motivation may be simply defined as “a reason to do something” but if you have ever lacked motivation, you will know that it is far from simple. Most of us have at some point in life experienced a desire to do something or have something but failed to experience or obtain it.
This often occurs when there is a disconnect between the needs and wants that drive our behaviour and the outcome itself. We may want to lose weight but if we prefer to eat and drink more than we need and do little activity (Behaviour) we will not achieve what we want (lose weight).
With this in mind it is perhaps easier to recognise that if it is our behaviour that is preventing us from achieving our desired outcome then maybe we need to change it!
TO IMPROVE MOTIVATION
Identify the behaviour required to achieve your desired outcome.
Identify the Pros and Cons of the behaviour required to achieve your outcome.
Identify the Barriers to carrying out the behaviour that will result in achieving your desired outcome.
Identify potential solutions to these barriers.
Focus on the potential benefits to you personally of achieving your desired outcome.
Surround yourself with positive stimulus that supports your behaviour change
Elicit external support mechanism (family, friends, groups or clubs)
There are a number of different Theories of Motivation, some suggesting that we have basic biological drives and needs and that our behaviours are motivated by the need to fulfil these drives i.e Hunger and Thirst drive us to eat and drink. Another, the Instinct Theory, suggests that our behaviours are motivated by our instincts which are fixed and inborn patterns of behaviour. More commonly motivation is referred to as being Intrinsic, coming from the internal drive and desire of the individual to achieve or Extrinsic which is believed to arise from external factors like praise, social recognition, rewards and money.
My personal belief is that like most things in life there is no “one cap fits all approach”. For the most part I have found that people’s behaviour seems to driven either by the need to move away from what they don’t want, be that pain, fear and conflict or towards what they do want reward, praise or social recognition. I feel sure that there are just as many successful business people driven by the fear of poverty as there are by the trappings of success!
Whichever theory of motivation we subscribe to, the key is recognising that if we are lacking motivation in a particular area of our life be it health, social, spiritual or financial we need to CHANGE our behaviour.