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Motivation - general - part 2

Don’t keep it to yourself

One area where people might improve to help motivation is to tell others of their plans.
When we have to carry out something different we often have a variety of fears of failure or of embarrassment etc.

One way around this is not to tell anyone of our plans, then if we change our minds we have a ‘get out clause’ and just don’t go ahead.
However, if you are really serious about trying to change behaviours and do alternative things then tell someone of your plans.

In this way you can be badgered into action and the thought of letting others down may galvanise you into action.

Don’t neglect yourself

Most of this information concerns the motivation of others and control of behaviour.
So what about you?
Others may have the job of motivating you. They may be good or bad.
Take no chances and look for many opportunities to look after your own motivation.
Create a development plan that provides you with training and other opportunities to gain experience.

This will include personal training courses and perhaps gaining experience at other jobs.
Look for opportunities that you may be able to learn from.

For example, you may wish to give your time to a charitable cause.

When looking for help from another consider getting a mentor from your senior managers.

Basic reasons

In simple terms motivation can be thought of as the reason behind why we wish to do anything.
There is a reason behind every behaviour, whether it is a scratch to relieve and itch or putting sugar in tea to make it taste sweeter.

We know that these reasons can be positive or negative.
These are either things that you want or others that you are trying to avoid.

Fear is a negative reason for doing things, that is, fear of the consequences if you don’t perform.
The trouble with fear is that it can be all consuming. So much so that you can focus on the fear at the expense of the behaviour you want.

Negative reasons are often good to initiate a particular behaviour and then positive reinforcement is needed to maintain it.

Other areas that may help drive people are spiritual and ethical or health and body and image issues.


It is hard to define exactly what motivation is. In the main, there will be two aspects.
The first is external and the second internal. We either try to ‘motivate’ others to do things or we have an inherent belief that ‘motivation’, or the lack it, resides in all of us to get things done.

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

If you ask people how to motivate them there would be some common themes:

  • Talk to them
  • Get to know them
  • Set them targets, goals or objectives

At the end of the day, the motivation for an individual lies in what he or she wants to do, what’s in it for them and not what you may think drives them.

There have been many key motivational theories put forward.