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Motivation and psychological needs

People have three basic psychological needs: autonomy, competence, and relatedness. Our internal motivations often depend on how these needs are met.

Goals that satisfy these needs tend to be more motivating, while goals that don't may cause harm. The underlying reasons for a goal may matter more.

MORE IDEAS FROM THE SAME ARTICLE

  • A-motivation. An utter lack of motivation to act.
  • External regulation. When you're motivated to act based on external rewards and punishments.
  • Introjection. Your motives to ...

When Ivan Pavlov and his dogs led to the discovery of learned behaviour through repeated exposure, and Edward Thorndike discovered the Law of Effect that stated that rewarded behaviours tended to increase, many psychologists were impelled to separate psychology from armchair introspection and

Procrastination is delaying an intended course of action despite expecting negative consequences for the delay.

Possible causes for procrastination:

  • Task unpleasantness. Boring, frustrating and aversive tasks.
  • Se...

  • Self-efficacy. When we feel we can do something. The social-cognitive theory is the idea that we learn by witnessing others, not only by trying things ourselves. Yet, sometimes we don't (or choose not to) learn from the example of others. If you believe you cannot perform w...

  • Goals direct your attention to relevant information and tasks.
  • Goals give you the energy to act on various physical and cognitive tasks.
  • Goals increase your persistence. It enables you to endure for longer before giving up...

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Why we fail to motivate ourselves

Two factors contribute to a lack of motivation.

  • Lack of drive. The object of our goals may just not be worthwhile.
  • Pain from progress. Something might be in the way of our progress. It may be fears, but most often, it is drudgery, effort or ...

Self-control

It’s your ability to resolve conflicts between your short-term desires and your long-term goals.

For example, successful self-control means sacrificing immediate pleasure (cookies and cakes) and choosing the delayed reward (healthy weight).

  • Setting goals can transform your life. Goals can help you get in shape, improve your finances, learn a new language, or finally launch that business.
  • But goal-setting can also leave you miserable. Burnout, stress and disillusionment are high on the list of potential side effects.