Study Coach, What is Motivation?

Answer: Motivation refers to the processes that are involved when we decide to initiate, direct and energise our thoughts towards a behaviour.

Motivation involves the pushes and prods that we use in our everyday lives to encourage ourselves to take action, in other words to move ourselves (Miller, 1962). Some people might have no problem with taking action, they do so with great enthusiasm, whilst others might act reluctantly or don’t act at all; they lack motivation. 

People who have no interest in motivating self, preferring to live a laid back life, might well find it intriguing why others want to motivate self. People motivate self because of social motives, we become motivated because we want to be the best we can possibly be, we want to realise our intellectual ability, develop creativeness, acquire skills and achieve ‘self-actualisation’ (Maslow, 1954) and we clearly want to continue actualising. Meaning that human beings feel driven, to fulfil their higher needs, as most of us want to achieve and realise our potential. 

Motivation is further concerned with the direction and intensity of effort. To explain direction and intensity, I will give you an example. Student C and D, attend an IT workshop, therefore they have both demonstrated direction by seeking out the opportunity to acquire improved IT skills. However after the workshop only Student C takes the time to practise the new IT skills. Furthermore, Student C’s effort is intense because he practises the new skills over and over again, not only in his spare time, but he creates a study plan and work tirelessly to improve his IT skills; hence the term ‘intensity of effort’. 

Our motives will energise and direct our behaviour, Student C’s motives are clearly different to Student D. Student C’s motive might be because he  would like to find employment in IT, therefore he decided to intensify his efforts to learn and fine-tune new IT skills. Student D was initially motivated, he had a motive to attend the workshop (attendance was not mandatory, it was by choice) however the energy was not sustained following the workshop, it all fizzled out for Student D.  

CREDENTIALS: If you have a question about Motivation, then do get in touch. If you would like to read my credentials, please see the following link: How to Plan Great YouTube Tutorials?

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