GOING MENTAL

The Drive Behind Motivation

A simple google search of the word “motivation” yields two definitions:

  1. the reason or reasons one has for acting or behaving in a particular way.

  2. the general desire or willingness of someone to do something.

The reasons somebody has for behaving in a certain way are up to them to decide. I think that definition of motivation falls along the lines of meaning/purpose, which everybody’s gotta figure out for themselves (good luck!).

The second definition, however, is something I find to be more universally applicable and less of a personal thing. It’s that sliding scale of an internal drive factor that varies from person to person. It’s something I’ve been thinking about a lot these past few days and have been wanting to write about.

Why are some people more motivated than others? Why are some people endlessly driven while others just… aren’t?

These questions drive me nuts and they have since I was little. I’ve always felt like a driven person and I sometimes become frustrated if I’m surrounded by people who aren’t the same way. I try and figure out what the difference is between the two types of people, which is probably not great because I should just accept others for how they are. Maybe in 3 years when I am the perfect, amazing person I’d like to be (due to apple product that infuses perfection into humans via touchscreen), that can be my reality. Alas, that is not my current situation and all I can offer you is my current situation.

So…

My current situation involves me being super curious about why some people are motivated and some people are lazy.

Is it a personality thing? A mood disorder thing? Is it seasonal? Is it dietary? Is it dependent on whether your childhood was good or terrible?

I don’t know if any of these questions are even answerable. I DO know, however, thanks to google and CrashCourse’s “The Power of Motivation” youtube video, that there are four basic theories of motivation, and they are as follows:

  1. Instinct theory. This theory assumes that biological/genetic makeup cause motivation, which means that all humans have the same bottom-line motivation: survival.

  2. Drive reduction theory. This theory states that deviations from homeostasis (layman’s terms aka my terms: basic human level of comfort) create physiological needs that create a psychological drive to behave in a way that moves toward homeostasis.

  3. Optimal arousal theory. This theory suggests that humans are motivated by arousal and their general behaviors will push them toward slightly elevated arousal (not exclusively sexual – get your mind out of the gutter!)

  4. Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. This theory is a five tier model of human needs displaying that some human needs take precedence over others. The bottom tiers are said to be deficiency needs, meaning that people are motivated to fill those needs if they are unmet. The higher tiers are self-fulfillment needs and they’re driven by a motivation for growth.

If I think about these four theories and apply them to my personal experiences, I’d say that optimal arousal is likely the biggest indicator of my motivation. I say this because I can think of instances where I’ve forsaken some pretty basic human needs in exchange for a more elevated level of arousal. I can also think of times where I haven’t necessarily been experiencing homeostasis, but I HAVE been experiencing some level of creativity or meaning that was more rewarding to me and subsequently more motivating to sustain.

I wonder if a person’s “driven” or “lazy” nature has to do with which theory of motivation they most relate to.

Does this make sense? What do you guys think? Which theory do you think most applies to your life?

I want to do some more posts on motivation in the future. In order to do that, it would be so helpful to hear about what motivates you. What drives you to do the things you do every day? What drives you to do the things you do more occasionally, the more challenging feats that you’ve accomplished? Think of whatever you’ve done in your life that you’re most proud of – what motivated you to do that thing?

Looking forward to your thoughts,

JM

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Konstantin
Member

I’m still thinking about this publication.
I did not want to think about it before. But when I wrote my message, I began to think about it every day. I do not know if I have found any solution to my problems, but it slowly draws me into deep anguish.
Postscript Thank you for the publication. I think when you think about the problem, sooner or later there will be a decision.It’s better than just ignoring this problem.

Dorn
Member

Found some interesting points to ponder, as I’ve subscribed to this fellas’ newsletter.
http://jamesclear.com/power-of-environment?__s=%5Bsubscriber.token%5D&__s=5nxqikhswjn7k4sojero

Robert E.
Member
If you really want to know the truth about why some people are lazy and some are motivated it basically for me boils down to FAITH! One Must have Faith that the life that they are living is worth it and that what they are doing matters not only to them but to others as well. I think that basically is what causes people to be motivated by their feelings and emotions determining their course of action for a particular situation or a response to a particular occurrence of a happenstance I am not sure if this is the right… Read more »
Tiziano
Member
I apologize for my bad English. I ask you patience I am Italian but from so much time by now I speak Spanish and I have lost a few the English but I adore Jennette over all her voice and her great interpretative ability The motivation is also environmental. In the world we don’t live alone and in my experience they have always been the others to give me motivation good impassioned teachers and great myths to reach, the stimulating world that has surrounded me and my stimulating friends. I am a musician from 39 years and I “suck” my… Read more »
Marlon_Rebrando
Member

I’m just responding to these as I come to them and… hm… I guess to this one I’d have to say the Maslows’ Hierarchy has most to do with how I was trained in psych. The one on homeostasis also makes a lot of sense though. 🙂 For me, motivation is an individual thing. To each his or her own, you know?

Edward
Member
To have motivation is to have that special drive whether you created it or not. After going through a rough divorce all last year through this past February, my life turned upside down when my exwife cheated on me. At this time I am at 3 years in the Navy. So I’m working on an out plan. Go to college, create a career path, etc etc.. Going through that whole ordeal along with going to work everyday, doing sea trials to prep the ship for deployment, coming back to basically nothing because I couch surfed for a long time. I… Read more »
Dorn
Member

I’ve been alone for a very long time. I seem to be motivated by the hope that some chick will be smart enough to cut through the b.s., and show up at my door. Your intellect got my nose open and I don’t want to be obsessed, so I’ll attempt to stay away for a bit, but I will stay motivated! 🙂

Levi
Member

As for what motivates I things that religion is the best motivation if a person can come to a realization that their life is in their own rather gods. If religion is not for you than the best motivation is just enjoying life the more you succeed the more you can enjoy and everybody likes having fun.

Levi
Member

I don’t really see a difference in between the two definitions of motivation if you have a reason to do something you’ll be motivated if not then no

Dorn
Member
I was thinking about the “Optimal Arousal Theory” the other day, and I remembered something I heard about thrill-seekers a long time ago, it went something like this; In today’s society where we no longer need to run from potential danger, or get fired up to hunt down food (or mates), the natural fight, flight, or freeze reaction to danger is almost nonexistent, (unless you’ve done something wrong.) So, looking for challenges, thrills, arousal, etc., bring us back to our animal instincts that we’ve been failing to hone! Truth, Justice, Sex, Honesty – My Motivations (not necessarily in that order,… Read more »
Dorn
Member

Jeanette, I found a couple of good podcasts that I’ve been tuning in to for the past several days. I think you’ll like them!
The first one is: [http://www.stitcher.com/podcast/psych-files/psychology-in-everyday-life-the-psych-files-podcast] “Ep247: Optimum Arousal Theory”
The next one is: [http://www.quickanddirtytips.com/savvy-psychologist]
This one has your app for ITunes! Talk to you later, Dorn

Edmond
Member

>Think of whatever you’ve done in your life that you’re most proud of

Interesting that such a simple question could pull me down!
Looking back at my life I realized that there is nothing I’m really proud of.
Now – a fey days later, I know the reason why:
I’m very proud of myself when I accomplish something I didn’t believe I could accomplish.
After a while this feeling vanishes, because I know I’m able to accomplish it.
Conclusion: The thing I’m most proud of is something somewhere in the near future…

Someguy
Member

I think motivation is highly connected if you like the topic or not. For example if you like painting, you can be motivated about it. Every person has different interests and things that they like, working on these things makes you motivated about it. Some people might be motivated when working on music, some people might be when studying. I think that drives your motivation. Thats why different people might be motivated more on something while others are not.

Dorn
Member

This is where your sense of duty and responsibility come in. Doing the smallest, most meaningless tasks that you hate to do, with a fire and diligence, to the best of your ability. (Boot Camp)

Someguy
Member
Actually I dont agree with this sense of duty thing. It cant be the main reason to motivate someone. If you have benefits from the task you hate like money or acceptance or ego boost, you can be motivated. Otherwise a human cant motivated about it. I should be widen my first post though, humans can be motivated if the task has a gain for them. Acquiring positive emotions like love, escaping negative emotions like humiliation and money, ego boost, acceptance, survival can be drive your motivation because of these benefits you. I think in the core we are all… Read more »
Dorn
Member

Task has to be done, and no one else will do it, what do you do? Doesn’t your superego lead you to find a higher purpose, even if it’s only the self-satisfaction that you did something right?

Konstantin
Member
Hello everyone. I have hereditary macular degeneration of the retina of both eyes. The question of motivation for me is sick. The diagnosis was made when I was 11 years old. At first it was easy. I went to school, then to university. The motivation was assessment, good relations with teachers and peers. My vision worsened. But I consulted, I looked for solutions and ways to cope. My mother helped me, my friends helped. Then I ran into a problem. I was hired, but I could not cope with my obligations. Everywhere vision was required. Vision deteriorated so much that… Read more »
Robert E.
Member

Ive lost my zest for life and I dont know why?

Robert E.
Member
Hey Maybe you can find love and that might reinspire you but you have to find it within yourself first before one can take out deposits from others people’s hearts I am sure you know this but maybe start by accepting yourself and your life and being happy you are even alive instead of like oh poor me nothing has panned out for me and like oh well I dont need to do anything life is so boring I dont care that’s the first thing stop saying You dont care about this or that or anything else for that matter… Read more »
Robert E.
Member

It has to do with personalities I think and what kind of personality you have because everyone gets motivated by something unless you have a personality where nothing motivates you

luis
Member
Kyle
Member
I believe a mixture of these are also what drives us. It depends on what areas of the brain being effected. I really think prefection comes from careing. I mean the more you care about something, the more likely you are going to work hard at prefecting it. That’s where we can become less process orianted and begin prolonging things that should just get done. It is also hard to not want to strive for that profection in society today. I mean we have been raised to want to do well. A lot of kids are raised to strive foor… Read more »
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