Just What Exactly Is Motivation?
What exactly is motivation? Everyone does not always define motivation the exact same way.
Some people describe motivation as a mental force that drives a person to accomplish an end such as finishing a project or saving for retirement.
Some people say that motivation is why some individuals do one thing and others do something all together different. Motivation is often discussed in terms of setting and achieving goals and also what determines the behaviour of a human being.
Motivation is sometimes defined in terms of feelings that push a person to achieve a given objective.
Often motivation is believed to be the reason that a person chooses to do anything in particular, whether it be applying for a specific job or taking a chance by asking someone out on a date.
In the realm of psychology, motivation is closely connected to behaviour in terms of the initiation as well as direction, intensity and persistence of it.
Motivation has to do with having the interest in doing something and then having the willingness and ability to see it through to completion.
Motivation however is not the same as emotion or personality. Motivation is instead a dynamic and temporal state of mind.
A person who is motivated can be motivated to accomplish a long-term goal or a short-term goal and both have value.
Sometimes a motivated individual will break a long-term goal down into a series of smaller short-term goals in order to make the end result easier to reach for and attain.
The motivation to work towards any given goal can change and often times circumstances make it necessary for a person to modify their level of motivation.
An individual’s personality on the other hand is basically a permanent part of the characteristics of the person that does not change.
Aspects of a person’s personality include such things as whether the person is introverted or extroverted, modest, conscientious, shy, loud and so on.
Emotions are temporary states that a person finds themselves in in order to cope with immediate circumstances, such as feeling sad, happy, frustrated, confused, anger and being in a state of grief.
Emotion does not automatically correlate with behaviour whereas motivation does.
Motivation is often broken down into two categories, that of intrinsic motivation and extrinsic motivation.
Intrinsic motivation occurs when the desire to do something comes from within a person and there is no obvious external incentive for it to take place.
Engaging in a hobby for pure enjoyment such as painting, making toy models, stamp collecting, scrap booking etc. are examples of intrinsic motivation. A great deal of research studies have been conducted on intrinsic motivation since the 1970s.
Extrinsic motivation is when there is an external factor present that serves as an incentive for behaviour.
This is commonly viewed in workplaces where employees are motivated by their superiors by being offered tangible rewards such as extra money or a promotion.
There are also intangible rewards which are things such as being praised for a job well done or receiving public acknowledgement for your efforts. Many people respond well to both tangible as well as intangible extrinsic motivation.