What is Motivation?
Motivation is an internal process that makes a person move toward a goal. Often times, we have so many great ideas in our mind, but we lack the necessary energy and motivation to implement all these ideas and simply cannot get started with doing what needs to do. Sometimes it is really easy to get motivated, other times, it is nearly impossible to figure out how to motivate. There is a common misconception that motivation arrives as a result of watching a motivational video or reading a book about motivation. One of the major keys to getting motivated is to make it easy to start.
Motivation in Neuroscience and Psychological theories
Motivation is the reason for people’s actions, desires, and needs. Motivation is also one’s direction to behavior, or what causes a person to want to repeat a behavior. A motive is what prompts the person to act in a certain way, or at least develop an inclination for specific behavior.
According to Maehr and Meyer, “Motivation is a word that is part of the popular culture as few other psychological concepts are.
Motivation as a desire to perform an action is usually defined as having two parts, directional such as directed towards a positive stimulus or away from a negative one, as well as the activated “seeking phase” and consummatory “liking phase”. This type of motivation has neurobiological roots in the basal ganglia, and mesolimbic dopaminergic pathways. Activated “seeking” behavior, such as locomotor activity is influenced by dopaminergic drugs, and in micro dialysis reveals dopamine release during anticipation of a reward. The “wanting behavior” associated with a rewarding stimulus can be increased by microinjections of dopamine and dopaminergic drugs in the dorsorostral nucleus accumbens and posterior ventral palladium. Opioid injections in this area produce pleasure, however outside of these hedonic hotspots they create an increased desire. Furthermore, depletion or inhibition of DA in neurons of the nucleus accumbens decreases appetitive but not consummatory behavior. Dopamine is further implicated in motivation as administration of amphetamine increased the break point in a progressive ratio self-reinforcement schedule. That is, subjects were willing to go to greater lengths (e.g. press a lever more times) to obtain a reward.
Motivation can be conceived of as a cycle in which thoughts influence behaviors, behaviors drive performance, performance affects thoughts, and the cycle begins again. Each stage of the cycle is composed of many dimensions including attitudes, beliefs, intentions, effort, and withdrawal which can all affect the motivation that an individual experiences. Most psychological theories hold that motivation exists purely within the individual, but socio-cultural theories express motivation as an outcome of participation in actions and activities within the cultural context of social groups. Source: Wikipedia
Here are a few steps to increase positive motivation for a healthier and happier life.
- Educate yourself.
- Become aware of perceptions.
- Be truthful.
- Tap into gratitude to finalise new perceptions, and know that there is more truth.
- Identify your goal, being as specific as possible.
- Determine why you want to achieve the goal and envision the end result.
- Use visualisation as a goal-setting technique.
- Write your goal and vision down.
- Break down your goal into baby steps.
- Create an action plan.
- Remind yourself of your goals.
- Work to achieve your goals, and enjoy that achievement.
- Make sure to reward yourself every time you achieve your weekly goals.
- Make weekly checkpoints to track your progress.
- Give yourself breaks.
- Don’t be too hard on yourself.
- Watch and read motivational stories or speeches.
- Examine your strengths to understand what you can build on.
- Determine what other people see as your strengths and key capabilities.
Finding Your Meaning of Life – Inspirational Video
Recommended for reading:
- Ways to make your mind calm and peaceful
- How to control anger with easy steps
- Wise quotes that are incredibly motivating
- Keep failing and you will succeed
- How to be fearless of failures in life
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What do you do for motivation?
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