What is Motivation?

motivationMotivation is the desire that guides your behavior.  It has been shown to be the single most predictor of success.  It is not just what drives you towards a goal, but it is the engine and the fuel to run it combined.  Stronger motivation will keep you striving at a goal longer.  It is not just the initial push, but the daily walk that motivation will sustain.

Some examples of motivation were published in Psychology Today by Jim Taylor, PhD.

  • An internal or external drive that prompts a person to action;
  • The ability to initiate and persist toward a chosen objective;
  • Putting 100% of your time, effort, energy, and focus into your goal attainment;
  • Being able to pursue change in the face of obstacles, boredom, fatigue, stress, and the desire to do other things;
  • The determination to resist ingrained and unhealthy patterns and habits;
  • Doing everything you can to make the changes you want in your life.

There are different types of motivation.  It can come from an internal or external source.  External can be described as an influence from peers, family, work or related to your personal environment.  Examples are recognition, respect, job quality or a promotion.  Internal motivation comes from within and can related to your emotions or feelings.  Examples would be fear, self-validation and happiness.

Whether it be internal or external motivation, there will be a positive or negative context attached to it.  Examples fall into a category of loss or gain.  The relationship you have with a positive or negative outcome depends on your viewpoint.  While some might view weight loss as a positive outcomes, others might view it as negative if they are trying to increase muscle mass.

The strongest motivator is something internal and positive.

In a real sense, our view of the outcome heavily defines our motivation.  Are we looking forward to the change or approaching it with trepidation?  Changing our focus of a seemingly negative situation to a positive can increase and strengthen our motivation.



Kristen Palser
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