As humans, we naturally seek achievements and perform behaviours to fulfil our lives according to what pleases us most, whether that be learning languages, pursuing hobbies, studying knowledge, or hanging with friends. That’s all well and good, but in order to do these things, we require the essential fuel to reach these goals, and that’s in the form of ‘motivation’.
Everyday that passes by offers every one of us endless possibilities, as well as sacrificial opportunity costs. What that means is that time is finite; by undertaking one thing, you must sacrifice pursing another, so every choice we make matters both in the short and the long term. People naturally allocate their precious resource of time into what they desire most, and it’s very important to ensure that your allocations are aligned with your own personal priorities.
This is where motivation comes into play. We must learn, both in our personal and professional lives, how to both motivate ourselves and our teams around us, if we want to be successful. The true secret to life is living a fulfilled life, and whatever that is to you, real happiness means you have to get out there and create it yourself! If you ever feel the sense of demotivation or anxiety, it could be because your motivation does not match your associated behaviour, and this is where procrastination manifests from. In other words, there’s not enough fuel to drive your car because your destination is not where you really want to be.
What we see versus what’s internal
It’s the passion that drives a person to action, and is made up of an individual’s ingrained values and beliefs as well as processed thoughts and feelings. These motivational aspects stimulate a behaviour that others can visually witness.
For example, if a person chooses to skydive, their values and thoughts motivate them to perform the action of enrolling themselves into such a thrilling experience. They’re perhaps motivated by a personal motto of “embracing fear”, or perhaps they’ve heard their friends rave about it and choose to also participate in it. Now, another person may decide they’d never skydive because their fear is too great, or they’d prefer to spend their money on visiting, say, an art gallery or an expensive dinner. A third person may wish to do both and a forth may choose to do neither. Visually, we see four people, two who chose to skydive and two who don’t, however their internal motivations (values, beliefs, thoughts and feelings) are hidden and could literally be anything.
To motivate yourself or people around you, you must identify what’s beneath the surface of the water (ingrained values and beliefs as well as processed thoughts and feelings), rather than just observing the behavioural tip of the iceberg.
People tend to be motivated by either a passion for satisfaction or a desire for security. This can change with every given scenario and at different points in your life, however it indicates a need to either act conservatively or adventurously.
Maslow’s Motivational Pyramid
The first stage consists of the basic, physiological needs of the body. At this stage, people are motivated by physical needs such as air, water, food, sleep and sex. Once these needs are met, the next stage is the motivation for safety and comfort. Following on from that is the need for social interactivity and belonging to a group. These are the main external needs, and are based more in the security sector.
The higher level motivational needs lie in self-esteem, which is about experiencing personal identity, status and importance, and self-actualising, which is the striving for ultimate personal achievement. These are internal motivations, as all basic physical needs are met, and now at this level we are trying to make the most of our skills and talents to gain a fulfilling life.
These stages are all important, as it informs us about the underlying factors that result in how individuals behave.
What role do you play?
As mentioned above, procrastination is a lack of motivation to undertake a particular behaviour, and ultimately puts a dampener on success and progress. It indicates a lack of enthusiasm for the task at hand, and can perhaps mean that either your priorities need to be better aligned, or the whole process needs re-evaluation in order to make it more stimulating or more of a priority.
It’s important within a team to share positivity and comradery with fellow colleagues and friends to ensure that spirits are high and satisfaction levels are conducive. This kind of environment is motivating as it creates a snowball effect which is infectious.
Get out there today and motivate yourself to achieve!