Understanding motivation.

The study of human behavior


mo-ti-va-tion   [moh-tuh-vey-shuh-n]

1. the act or an instance or motivating, or providing with a reason to act a certain way: I don't understand her motivation was for quitting her job. Synonyms: motive, inspiration, inducement, cause, impetus.
2. the state or condition of being motivated: We know that these students have strong motivation to learn 
3. something that motivates; inducement; incentive: Clearly the companies motivation is profit.

Motivation is known as the reason behind an action or behaviour. This is the driving force and what causes us to begin and then commit to an action whether its going to the shop because you're hungry, going for a jog to get into shape, read a book to increase your knowledge etc. The list goes on. When finding your own motivations there are a few components to help build and maintain motivation.

Goal setting
When setting goals it is important to set them in a way that they are realistic and achievable, nothing will be more deflating than a goal which is far too unrealistic and out of reach. For example you may want to make £10,000 in 6 months but just this goal alone in its self can seem quite a feat depending on how much you are earning already. What you want to do is make mini-goals that will stream line themselves directly towards your main goal making it that much more easier to achieve. So once you have achieved one mini-goal you are one step closer to your main goal, then you focus on to the next mini-goal getting you closer again. Think of it as a staircase heading towards a treasure chest, each step is a mini-goal and the main goal is the treasure chest.

Extrinsic motivation
Extrinsic motivation is when someone is motived by an external incentive of one form or another. This can be a trophy at the end of a game, money to perform a deed, even praise from other people. A psychologist named Mark Lepper performed some psychology researched on motivation where he asked two groups of children to do some drawings. One group was promised a medal for the drawings whilst the other group was promised nothing. the children were given paper and crayons to do their work, what was observed was the reward group spent less time on their work than the no reward group, meaning the motivation of the reward pushed the children to work faster and harder in hope of receiving their medal. Lastly extrinsic motivations can come in many forms such as praise, money, prizes, medals trophies, recognition. It all depends on what you want and what you are after.

Intrinsic motivation
A very simple motivational factor where you engage in an activity just for the sake of doing it, you have no reason to do it other than the enjoyment of it. This is actually is more powerful than extrinsic motivation because your very own values align with performing the activity itself meaning you doing it is part of your identity as a person (as cheesy as it sounds). For instance most people have a hobby which they are intrinsically motivated, a sport you like doing because you've being doing it since you were young or collect stamps because you love the look of them and keep them, even going to the gym because it makes you feel healthy and fit. Arguably intrinsic motivation is another word for passion and people who are passionate about what they do tend to get further than people who are extrinsically motivated.

Persistence is a mixture of everything I have mentioned above but mostly it would relate to intrinsic motivation. This means actually pushing yourself to reach to the end of your overall goal despite all the hurdles, bumps and hiccups you will naturally encounter along the way. It takes a certain amount of drive to take punishment and keep pushing forward but the rewards always outweigh the punishment as the delay will make victory taste that much sweeter when you finally get it. 

Usually when you do something for the first time you never get it right straight away, you probably practised until you got the hang of it and now comfortable with it. Now imagine giving up at the first sign of trouble. Now imagine having that attitude with everything you do. You'd get nothing done. You'd essentially be weak as you wouldn't have the inner strength to see anything through. Nothing ever comes easy, you have to push yourself towards your maximum limit to get to where you want to be. Sometimes things make come easier than others but sometimes thats just one skill you've previously worked hard at already being translated into another skill. Similar to a professional journalist turning into a successful book writer.

''Persistence is the twin sister of excellence. One is a matter of quality, another is a matter of time.''
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