What is Motivation?

elements of motivation
The elements of Motivation


This is an area I have always been interested in – working out or finding out how to get stuck into and to finish items or projects I am interested in. From thinking about this for a long time – it appears that there are three main areas to motivation, for me.


One is passion – you have to have, or develop a PASSION for what it is you want to do. If you are vitally interested in poetry or building websites or football or knitting or jogging, or whatever, it is not difficult to read about it, think about it, work on it, maybe for hours on end. It is thus important to develop that passion or a similar kind of fascinated involvementĀ  in any project you want to take forward.


The next important area is that of energy and there are two important and very different forms of energy required. The first is the energy to get started. Overcoming inertia is like crawling out of bed on a cold wet dark winter’s morning to get exercise in before work – waking, getting out of a warm bed onto a cold floor, going out in the dark, those are difficult things to do and it takes a special spark of energy to overcome those difficulties.

The second form of energy needed is the long term energy to keep a project going to the end. Sometimes this can feel like running a marathon. You start off full of energy and running well. Then half way through, or sometimes even earlier, you can hit a block. Energy reduces, legs feel wobbly, it has been described as hitting a brick wall. Those that run through it have then described getting a second wind or a second burst of energy to help them finish, though for some people, it is a painful crawl over the finish line.



The third area is competence, that is – having the actual ability to do something. It’s all very well having a dream of being able to fly, but if it involves something like growing your own pair of actual feathered birds’ wings from your shoulders, it may never be possible. Now this is not to say that if your dream is to fly that you had better drop it and go and find something earthbound to take its place – NO! If you want to fly and are willing to accept different ways of doing that, then go ahead, just don’t get stuck on one single way of reaching your dream if there are difficulties to achieving it.

Don’t think of ability or competence as meaning that you have to be able to do something really well right from the start, this is nothing to do with that. Practice, especially targeted practice, will always get you through difficulties with improvement in something, such as a skill. This is just a heads up to say that having the ability to do something is important, even if you are not at present able to do it, you must be able to foresee the possibility of you being able to do it in the future. Maybe this is having the dream or the vision. You have to be able to SEE yourself doing this, in order to achieve it.


So the three areas are passion, energy (starting and continuing) and ability or competence.