Project management header
products page


Definition of motivation

A typical dictionary definition of motivation would be, ‘desire to do; interest or drive’.

The science of the behaviour of people is commonly called psychology.
A dictionary definition of psychology is: ‘the scientific study of all forms of human and animal behaviour’.
While this may appear to cover behaviour, psychologists tend to focus more on the mind and the thought processes rather than the actual behaviour.

Behaviour itself is the province of the behavioural analyst.

Another simple view of motivation is, ‘the drives that move us to do the things we do’.

When we speak about the motivation of others this is not strictly true.
When we influence others we are trying to encourage behaviour by appealing to what already motivates the individual.
An individual would analyse the situation from their own motivational perspective and decide if they wanted to do the behaviour based upon the influence you are exerting.


Many people have commented on motivation and leadership.

Some examples are:

‘There is no sadder sight than a young pessimist .’
(Mark Twain, November 30, 1835 – April 21, 1910)
‘Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.’
(Winston Churchill, 30 November 1874 – 24 January 1965)
‘When it is obvious that the goals cannot be reached, don't adjust the goals, adjust the action steps.’
(Confucius, September 28, 551 – 479 BC)
‘If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.’
(John Quincy Adams, March 4, 1825 - March 4, 1829 )