What It Means To Motivate

One of the biggest problems that can negatively impact someone’s success is a lack of motivation. People who just go through the motions in attempting to accomplish a task are not going to be particularly efficient. However, those who are strongly motivated will rise above their peers and excel in their jobs. As a result, it is very important to understand the concept of motivation beyond the typical dictionary definition of motivation.

 
You will find the motivation defined in many dictionaries to be something like “the act or process of giving someone a reason for doing something.” While that might be a succinct meaning of motivation, it does not necessarily describe the components of motivation which can dramatically affect the results that a person is able to produce. For example, motivation can be broken up into three different components.

The first component of motivation is activation. Activation represents the reason behind starting a given activity. For some people who are bored very easily or tending to have an adventurous spirit, activation comes very easily. For other people who are set in their ways, it can be like pulling teeth to get them to start another activity.

The second component of motivation is persistence. This represents the strength of the desire to complete a process once started. For people who are easily activated, persistence can be a significant problem. They might start a lot of tasks, and finish none of them. Persistence is particularly important when a person encounters one or more obstacles to completing the activity. The greater the persistence, the more likely the person is going to be successful in a given task. Persistence is thus a quality that is extremely important in differentiating between those that are successful and unsuccessful.

The third component of motivation is intensity. This is the amount of effort that is put in to achieving a goal or finishing a project. While intensity is very helpful in achieving a goal, it is not necessarily necessary. For people with a strong aptitude for completing a task, minimal intensity could be required to finish it. Intensity is more important for those who struggle with a given activity. By studying, practice, and hard work people with a high level of intensity can succeed at many tasks that they are not naturally gifted at.

 
There are two basic types of motivation as well. The first type is intrinsic motivation. This is the motivation that arises internally. For example, if someone has a natural love of music, one might be intrinsically motivated to learn to play the guitar. If one is motivated by external factors such as money, rewards, praise, or prizes, that is referred to as extrinsic motivation. For instance, most people are motivated to go to work by the extrinsic motivation of a paycheck. However, if the person would like to do that profession even if not paid, one could also have an intrinsic motivation for the job. These people are generally the most productive at what they do.

Understanding motivation is important towards achieving personal goals and incentivizing your employees to be more productive. By attempting to align one’s intrinsic and extrinsic motivations one can achieve the best productivity since people are being incentivized to do what already fulfills them naturally.