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Our motivation is our most valuable commodity. Multiplied only by action, its value fluctuates with how we invest our attention. In our world of exponential change and ever-increasing complexity, the power rests with those who act with self-determination and persistence.
Why is it that we are all born with limitless potential, yet few people fulfill those possibilities?
Motivation can be experienced as either internal in the form of push motivation or external as in the case of pull motivation
Push motivation is described in terms of biological variables originating in a person’s brain and nervous system and psychological variables that represent the properties of a person's mind.
Pull motivation is understood as environmental variables that describe external sources of motivation, like incentives or goals
Our evolutionary history and our individual personal histories shed light on how our lifelong experiences shape our motives.
Needs are internal motives that energize, direct and sustain behaviour.
They generate strivings necessary for the maintenance of life as in physiological needs, and for the promotion of growth and wellbeing as in psychological and implicit needs.
The drive theory of motivation tells us that physiological needs originate in our bodies.
As our physiological system attempts to maintain health, it registers in our brain a psychological drive to satisfy a physiological craving and motivates us to bring the system from deficiency toward homeostasis.
Goals, like mindset, beliefs, expectations, or self-concept, are sources of internal motives and are together referred to as cognition.
As a cognitive mental event, a goal is a "spring to action" that functions like a moving force that energizes and directs our behaviour in purposive ways
Goal setting translates into performance only when the goals are challenging, specific, and congruent with the self.
Motivation at its best is spontaneous.
Other factors such as ability and resources also influence performance, and there is no direct correspondence between goals and performance.
Emotions are considered motivational states because they generate bursts of energy that get our attention and cause our reactions to significant events in our lives
They synchronize four interrelated aspects of experience:
Different emotions elicit different action tendencies
Personality theory and research show that we are, in fact, motivated in different ways based on our personality traits.
A high level of a particular trait will often make us act as the trait implies: we will be more open to experience, conscientious, extraverted, agreeable, and neurotic.
We will be motivated by different incentives, goals, and activities but also choose to be in different situations
If we exhibit characteristics at one end of a personality dimension we will seek out, create, or modify situations differently than do individuals at the other end of the spectrum.
Change is rarely simple or linear.
It is difficult to find the motivation to engage in activities that are not intrinsically motivating.
What we need is to move away from extrinsically motivated action, e.g., when we have to do something because we fear consequences, and toward introjected and fully self-determined regulation, where we value the new behaviour and align it with other aspects of our life.
Stage-based approaches to behavioural changes have proven to be particularly effective in increasing motivation toward the pursuit of difficult and non-intrinsically motivating goals.
Understanding the principles of motivation gives us the capacity to find workable solutions to real-world motivational problems.
Studying and applying motivational science can also help us reverse or cope with impulsive urges, habitual experiences, goal failure, counterproductive functioning, negative emotion, boredom, maladaptive or dysfunctional development, and a fragile sense of self.
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