What is the meaning of the word motivation?

Do you know what the word motivation means? Some people associate it with a sudden urge, energy flow or the need to be on the move. Motivation, however, means more than that. It is a driving force that pushes people to achieve their desired goals. It is a lifestyle based on the strong need to constantly be on the go. It is a combination of knowledge and experience gathered for years. Are you ready to read more about it?

The word motivation comes from Latin word “movere” which means to move, relocate or prepare oneself for a fight. The word “motivum” means both a “decisive reason” and a “cause”. In short, if you have a goal and motif you implement certain activities to reach it.

Very often our action is based on natural instincts such as breathing, eating, need for safety and so on. Those actions do not require motivation, because they are based on your body’s natural response to your primitive needs. Motivation is associated with taking up actions towards fulfilling higher needs, not related to human instincts sustaining life and health. It requires making choices and decisions.

In short, motivation is an energy that pushes you to get going and be persistent.

Various types of motivation

There are two main types of motivation the intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. The driving force of the Intrinsic motivation is our needs and desires, which motivational stimuli are coming from within. We base our satisfaction on achieving the goal rather than gaining any additional profits from it, such as helping others or learning something new.

The extrinsic motivation consists of external factors. The individual’s motivational stimuli are coming from outside in the form of added profits such as money or prize rather than satisfaction from participation in the task. The other stimuli can be a possibility of punishment or lose due to our unwillingness to participate in the event or inability to achieve desired goals.

The key to success is to be able to combine intrinsic and extrinsic motivation in order to attain long-lasting encouragement. It assures persistence in achieving goals. 

The sticks and carrots

It is well known that there are two types of motivation positive and negative. The positive one is based on supporting, cheering and inspiring stimuli, whereas the other one- negative motivation- strives from punishment and fear. Nevertheless, it is clear that most of us prefer positive motivation because it fulfills our desire to achieve something great or be rewarded for our hard work. The main drive for such motivation is pleasure gained after completion of a certain task. In other words, people prefer carrots in oppose to sticks. Positive motivation makes people unstoppable and pushes them to achieve even the impossible goals.

Negative motivation is often build on our fear and punishment. For example, people fear that if they won’t work hard they may not have enough money to pay bills. They also fear the criticism of others and are afraid that won’t meet the expectations set out by society, family or their boss. It is like a blind circle that is driven by negativity and traps people in that pessimistic mindset.

The key is to redirect your thoughts from the negative standpoint into a positive one. Therefore, rather than saying “I don’t want to be lazy” change it to more proactive and definitive phrase “I want to get up half an hour earlier each day”. In this instance, you not only define your goal but also send out a positive message to your body to be hanged on to that task.

Note that negative motivation is often harmful to us, therefore, try to avoid sentences’ that will intensify negative emotions within your brain. It is like self-sabotage that deepens the distance between us and our actual goal. While forming your initial goal avoid modal phrases such as, “must”, “should”, “impossible”, “can’t”, thus they reflect negative thinking.

It can be very hard to plan and achieve long-term goals, therefore it is important to break them down into short, more doable action, which will give you an immediate sense of accomplishment.

In short, it is in the human nature to achieve happiness and pleasure and avoid situations that take it away from us. Therefore, direct your thought to positively motivate yourself.

Take time to create a sense of personal motivation, to understand yourself and set up a system of rewards that will push you to achieve more.