What is Motivation ?

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Stay Motivated all the time.

Well, What is Motivation? How to stay motivated? Motivation is a powerful, yet tricky beast. Sometimes it is really easy to get motivated, and you find yourself wrapped up in a whirlwind of excitement. Other times, it is nearly impossible to figure out how to motivate yourself and you’re trapped in a death spiral of procrastination. This page contains the best ideas and most useful research on how to get and stay motivated.

So what is motivation, exactly? Many authors have written Good books on motivation. The author Steven Pressfield has a great line in his book, The War of Art, which I think gets at the core of motivation. To paraphrase Pressfield, “At some point, the pain of not doing it becomes greater than the pain of  doing it.”.To live a life with full energy we need to understand the importance of Motivation.

Motivation has as many faces as there are human desires.

The simplest definition of motivation boils down to wanting (Baumeister, 2016). We want a change in behavior, thoughts, feelings, self-concept, environment, and relationships.

Motivation is an internal process. Whether we define it as a drive or a need, motivation is a condition inside us that desires a change, either in the self or the environment. When we tap into this well of energy, motivation endows the person with the drive and direction needed to engage with the environment in an adaptive, open-ended, and problem-solving sort of way (Reeve, 2018).

The essence of motivation is energized and persistent goal-directed behavior. When we are motivated, we move and take action.

Motivation is influenced by the satisfaction of needs that are either necessary for sustaining life or essential for wellbeing and growth. Physiological needs for food, water, and sex (yes sex) serve the organism to maintain life and also provide satisfaction from doing so.

Psychological needs for autonomy, mastery, and belonging direct our behavior in much the same way. As do the needs for achievement, power, closure, meaning, and self-esteem. Some of these needs will become motives as will all the intrinsic activities we engage in.

Our environment and social context will play a significant role in terms of extrinsic motivation. We will also be motivated by goals, values, and desires to experience specific emotions associated with certain end-states (Reeve, 2018).

The best way to explain motivation is to show what it looks like in everyday life. Here is an example of possible motivational reasons a person could have to engage in exercise.

Motivation Definition in Psychology
The study of motivation in psychology revolves around providing the best possible answers to two fundamental questions: what causes behavior, and why does behavior vary in its intensity?

Motivational science is a behavioral science that seeks to construct theories about what constitutes human motivation and how motivational processes work.

Motivation, when seen in the real world, and when measured by science, becomes visible and detectable through behavior, level of engagement, neural activation, and psychophysiology. Some would also include self-report in this list, but studies show that self-reports have proven to be highly unreliable sources of information (Reeve, 2018).

Behavior
So how does motivation behave? With presence, intensity, and quality. Motivation is visible through gestures and facial expressions, intense effort, immediacy (or as psychologists like to call it short latency).

The presence of motivation can also be inferred from the levels of persistence and decisiveness in choosing one goal over another, which taken together make for a high probability of occurrence (Atkinson & Birch, 1970, 1978; Bolles, 1975; Ekman & Friesen, 1975).

Engagement
Motivation can also be inferred from the level of engagement.

For example, in a coaching scenario or a motivational interview, a competent practitioner will enthusiastically and generously contribute to the flow of conversation (agentic engagement), express interest and enjoyment (emotional engagement), process deeply and pay attention (cognitive engagement), and persist in these efforts as if time and the outside world didn’t exist (behavioral engagement). And yes, for many of us, we don’t have those kinds of conversations often.

Motivation Model
In a nutshell, motives are internal experiences in the form of needs, cognitions, and emotions and are the direct and proximal causes of motivated action. Social contexts and external events act as antecedents to motives that cause or trigger motivational states. Our motives express themselves through behavior, engagement, psychophysiology, brain activations, and self-report.To understand it well have a look at the motivation cycle too.

The model below illustrates the framework for how motivational psychologists study the process of motivation and its elements and try to find the answer to the questions about what causes motivation. It also shows why the study of motivation is so relevant to people’s lives and how motivation contributes positively to significant life outcomes like achievement, performance, and wellbeing, to name a few (Reeve, 2018).

Most of the time in life we get motivation from the stories, articles, and quotes of some successful personalities how they achieved greatly in life. It’s a big source of motivation.