Motivation is an internal psychophysical state of readiness to take a specific action. This state of readiness applies to each of our actions.
Motivation can, therefore, take a very different form. It is not only a feeling of inner desire to make your life better and to achieve the set objectives.
In fact, every emotion we feel is a form of motivation. Emotions ascribe significance to particular events in our lives and are an incentive to take a specific action. For example, the goal of sadness is to withdraw and find a space for themselves, where we can express our feelings alone (eg. through tears) and think about things important to us. The purpose of fear is taking steps to ensure our security. Therefore emotions lead us to satisfy our psychological needs. They are motivators that steering our behaviour.
So the question is, what emotions motivate your actions? In other words, why you do what you do? Is it fear, longing, desire, guilt, or maybe the joy of what you’re doing motivates you? For someone, motivation may be the desire to achieve this beautiful, colourful vision that has carried in his imagination for a long time. For another, it may be heightened determination voice of his father, who wants to be proud of his child. For yet another person’s motivation may be the fear of boring and unsatisfying life.
Motivation is a very broad concept and it’s worth to understand how it works in our case. When we put all states which stimulate us to act into one bag, we prevent ourselves from understanding what motivates us and why.
Now, give yourself a moment to reflect on the following questions:
- How do I perceive the state of motivation?
- What emotions motivate me the most?
- What kind of motivation is the best base for effective action in my case?
- What kind of motivation suits me more in life, and what less?
I want to tell you about Three Key Factors of motivation.
The First One is the Autonomy.
It is our natural tendency to self-manage and to give ourselves the right to freedom and independence.
Autonomy is the point in your life in which you know that you are acting fully independently. You have the freedom to live as you want, so you can adequately respond to your own needs and desires. You are not doing anything just because someone else told you or decided what’s good for you. You know what is best for you, and even if you don’t know yet – by trial and error method you will reach that.
Motivation never works in the world of pressure and coercion, that’s why it is mostly based on autonomy. The more you feel free and the more control you have over your life, the more motivated you will be.
So what can you do to have more autonomy in life?
1. Get rid of the dictatorship “must” and “should”. We all live in a network of social obligations, norms, rules, do’s and don’ts. Just like we were tied by hundreds of strings which restrict our movements. These strings, of course, exist only in our heads, and their break-up is to realise that there is nothing we MUST do. And even if it seems to us that we HAVE TO, MUST or SHOULD – it is only because we are not aware of the reason why we WANT to do it. For example, “I need to pass the exam,” often at a deeper level means “I want to stay at the college, and if I don’t pass the exam, I’ll be kicked out.”
You will regain your freedom by realising that everything in your life is your own independent choice. If you allow others to guide you – is also your choice – finally, is you who decided to give the control of your life to someone else.
It’s worth to be aware of the impact that the word “must”, “should” and “want” have on our neurology. Close your eyes, turn your focus inside and let your inner voice say a few sentences. Each of them twice, once starting with “I have to” and once with “I want”. For example: “I have to clean up the room,” “I want to clean up the room.” Note the difference in the feelings that flow from such internal communication.
2. Act in accordance to your needs. If you are trying to get motivated to something that is not due to your natural needs – you’ll have to force yourself to do it. Unfortunately, life in a modern society puts us a whole lot of unrealistic, artificial expectations – be beautiful, be perfectly healthy, get results, be happy, find your passion, find the love of your life, build a family, do sport. When we feel overwhelmed by the number of requirements, our life energy is fading away.
Choose only what is compatible with you. Remove all unnecessary noises. Choose what you feel that you really want to do and set aside the rest. If your life would be the life you love and enjoy, in which you feel like a fish in water – then the motivation will be your natural state of being.