Motivation – An Introduction
Welcome to this seven part series dedicated to Motivation. I’ve written articles and blogs previously on the topic and so I am sure you are wondering why a seven part series now? And the question is valid. The inspiration behind this seven part series is really a personal one. Recently I welcomed my second child into the world and I was afforded the time to reflect and ponder how my life was changing and changing for the better. But more specifically I was realizing I was spending more time on what was and continues to truly motivate me in what I do for a living as well as my family and well, for me as an individual. As a result both this seven part series on motivation and the newly launched group coaching program “I Move Me! I Power Me!” My intention with these motivation focused blogs is to support you in tapping into your own reasons for finding motivation in what you are passionate about and to provide tools to empower you to take the next steps that might be necessary for you to reach your goals and move out of surviving and into thriving.
Title: What is Motivation?
The word motivation is not only a hot topic, buzz word or twitter trend, it is a word that when broken down can truly give us a guide to finding our inner fuel to achieving our goals. The simple definition can be found in any dictionary; Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary defines motivation as “the act or process of motivating.” (http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/motivation) This definition really only opens up more questions, so let’s move to the root word of motivation – motive. Motive is defined as “something (as a need or desire) that causes a person to act.” (http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/motive) Ah – ha! Now we are getting somewhere.
When it comes to finding motivation to achieve our goals there are some of us who just naturally have it and then there are others who struggle to locate and embrace it. As a person who is always highly motivated, I do find there are certain days where I wonder where my motivation has disappeared to. It is on these days I question if there is a way to actually measure my motivation levels in comparison to others days; outside of a knowing I feel more or less motivated.
We know that motivation is the fuel that supports people to take actions necessary for them to achieve their goals. When people have a strong desire to take action or are willing to take chances, to think outside the box, or to blaze their own path, we recognize they have a strong sense of being motivated.
Yet when an individual has less than strong inner desire to take action and they make little or no progress in their life then we know these people as slackers or lacking motivation.
Outside of these two perspectives, is there another way to learn how to measure motivation? Simply put … yes. This is done by actually looking at and recognizing the type or quality of action steps the highly motivated individuals take versus those that lack motivation to reach their goals.
We also know that a goal has no power on its own but combine the passion and strong desire of the individual who seeks to achieve the goal then you begin to recognize the strength of their motivation and the power behind the goal.
The clearer an individual’s goal is and the more they desire to achieve it, then the greater their motivation will be. With a greater sense of motivation an individual finds an increased level of courage to take greater risks, to step outside of their comfort zone and the perseverance to continue even when things are not going as planned. Observers will question why the individual continues down a path that seems to be leading them nowhere but the individual sees the goal in their sights and only see opportunities before them.
When an individual sets a goal for themselves but does not clearly define it, they will often come up against even the smallest challenge that takes them off course, sets them back and possibly even has them give up on achieving the goal. These individuals lack the strength to embrace the risks necessary and as a result are unmotivated to continue striving for goals that take them out of their comfort zones.
Here are a few questions to ask yourself to check in to see what your motivational level is right now. Think of a goal you’ve established for yourself and put a mental check mark beside the statements that are true for you at this time:
- Is the goal clearly defined?
- Do I know without question when I’ve arrived or completed the goal?
- Are there markers or guide posts along the way for me to know that I am on course to achieving the goal?
- Have I shared my goal with anyone else in my life either personally or professionally?
- When I think of the attaining the goal it feels comfortable to me – like an old well worn sweater?
- Is there anything that I may lose if I don’t achieve the goal?
- Am I okay with not seeing a return on my investment – both time and money if I don’t achieve the goal?
- When I hit a road bump do I stop taking steps necessary to achieve my goal?
- Is my stress level higher than before embarking on the path towards my goals?
- Has my sleep pattern been disrupted due to trying to achieve my goal?
How many did you answer yes to? Greater than 5? If you answered yes to 5 or more than you are definitely motivated to achieving your goal. If you answered yes to 3 – 5 of the questions then you are moderately motivated. If you answer yes to less than 3 then you may want to reconsider the goal and get clarity on how this goal supports your overall journey in life and what will it bring to enhancing your life. Now, please know that there are a few questions that if you are highly motivated you will actually respond no to. Use these few questions to help bring clarity to your goal so you can better define it and outline your plan for achievement.
Next month we’ll continue to delve further into the topic of motivation.
When we witness an individual doing everything within their power to attain their goals, and they face challenges without doubt or hesitation, we know that we are looking at someone with an inspiration and desire to succeed. As we stated in the beginning, motivation is the fuel which empowers people to take action. If people are not in action then they are not motivated enough. If you or someone you know seems to lack motivation, than it would be a great idea to clearly decide or define the goals you would like to reach.
Motivation comes from your inner desire and your inner desire comes from knowing clearly and truthfully what you want to achieve. If you are unsure of what you want, then it is worth the time to decide, define and articulate clearly what it is you do want. As you know, people who have a high level of motivation are those who achieve the greatest success.