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The Science of Motivation: How to Inspire Yourself and Others

Do you ever feel like you need a push to get started on a project? Or that you could use some help staying motivated throughout the day? If so, you’re not alone.

Motivation is a key ingredient to success in almost every area of life.

A small sign lying in a pile of leaves.  The sign says "Stop Wishing, Start Doing".
Photo by Ihsan Adityawarman

In this blog post, we will discuss the science of motivation and how you can use it to inspire yourself and others.


The Key Components of Motivation

Motivation is the psychological process that drives us to take action towards our goals. It is made up of three key components:

  1. Direction, or the focus of our motivation (e.g. getting a promotion at work)
  2. Intensity, or how much effort we put into achieving our goal (e.g. working overtime)
  3. Persistence, or how long we keep trying even when faced with setbacks (e.g. persevere despite repeated rejections).

These three factors interact with each other to influence our overall level of motivation. For example, if you have a clear direction but low intensity and persistence, you may not get very far.

However, if you have a strong desire to achieve your goal and put in the effort required, you are more likely to be successful.


The Science of Motivation: How it Works

Six post it notes on a mirror, each with a motivational message
Photo by cottonbro

Now that we know what motivation is and what its key components are, let’s take a look at how it works.

Motivation occurs when our brain is stimulated to take action towards a goal by both internal and external sources.

Internal sources of motivation include things like our personal values, interests, and personal or professional goals. For example, if we value success, we may be motivated to work hard to achieve it.

External sources of motivation can include things like rewards or punishments. For example, if we know we will get a bonus at work for meeting our sales target, this may motivate us to work harder.

It is also important to note that motivation can change over time. What motivated us to take action yesterday may not motivate us today.


How to Motivate Yourself

Photo by Olena Bohovyk

When it comes to motivation, there are two types of people: those who need extrinsic motivation and those who need intrinsic motivation.

Extrinsic motivators are external factors that inspire you to action, such as money, awards, or threats.

Intrinsic motivators come from within you and include things like a sense of fulfillment or the desire to improve your skills.

If you’re someone who needs extrinsic motivation, setting goals is a great way to stay motivated. Make sure your goals are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART). This will help you stay focused on what you need to do in order to achieve them. In addition, telling others about your goals can also help you stay accountable and on track.

If you’re someone who needs intrinsic motivation, it’s important to find meaning in what you’re doing. Ask yourself why you’re doing something and what the larger purpose is. For example, if you’re working on a project, think about how it will help others or make a difference in the world. When you can connect your work to a larger purpose, it becomes more motivating.

No matter what type of motivation you need, there are always ways to increase it.

Just remember that motivation comes from within – it’s up to you to find what works best for you and use it to achieve your goals.


How to Motivate Others

When it comes to motivating others, the most important thing is to lead by example. People are more likely to be motivated if they see that you’re motivated too. So set the tone for your team or group by being excited and enthusiastic about whatever goal you’re trying to achieve together.

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio

Another way to motivate others is to simply ask them what motivates them. Everyone is different, so what works for one person might not work for another. But if you take the time to understand what makes each person tick, you’ll be better equipped to help them find the motivation they need.

Finally, remember that people are more likely to be motivated if they feel like their efforts are appreciated. A little recognition can go a long way when you’re trying to motivate friends, family, or coworkers.


Motivation Myths Debunked

There are a lot of myths out there about motivation. Let’s dispel some of the most common ones:

Myth #1 Motivation has to come from within

False, false, false! While it is important to have some internal motivation, external factors can be just as motivating. In fact, sometimes we need a little push from others to help us get going.

Motivation can be defined as the desire to achieve a goal. It is the driving force that compels us to take action and achieve our goals. Motivation comes from within ourselves, but it can also be inspired by others. When we see someone else achieving their goals, it inspires us to do the same.

Myth #2 Motivation is simply something you’re born with

Not even close. Motivation is something that can be learned. Just like any other skill, the more you practice it, the better you’ll become at it. And like any other skill, it takes time and effort to learn how to motivate yourself and others. But trust me, it’s worth it.


Motivation is a psychological process that occurs when we decide to take action towards a goal. It can be driven by internal or external factors, but either way, it’s an essential part of achieving success. And contrary to popular belief, motivation is something that can be learned and improved over time.

So if you’re looking for ways to become more motivated and achieve your goals, don’t worry – you’re not alone! There are plenty of resources out there to help you get started. You could also consider utilizing a certified life coach to help you harness the power of motivation to achieve your goals.

I would be more than happy to take some time to sit down and learn more about how I can help.

You can also read the rest of my blog here to learn more!


FAQ

What is Motivation?

Motivation represents a person’s general desire or willingness to do something. There are two types of motivation: intrinsic and extrinsic.
Intrinsic motivation comes from within ourselves. It is driven by personal interest or enjoyment in the task itself.
Extrinsic motivation, on the other hand, comes from external factors such as rewards or punishments.


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