Most personal development teachers will agree that motivation plays a big role in your ability to achieve anything. Today I’m here to offer a different opinion. I believe motivation as significant as it is insignificant if you are willing to accept such a cryptic statement. This article will look at the essence of motivation and outline some of the ways it can help or hinder the progress towards your goals.
If you think motivation is the key to success you are wrong. Firstly what exactly is this thing called motivation? Different people define motivation in different ways but for the purposes of this article here’s what I think.
Most people define motivation as an ability to take action. To these people motivation is a state of mind, it’s a feeling. In other words it’s a mental construct, it comes from your brain.
My problem with this is that as a state of mind, it is subject to continual change. You know what I mean right? For most people motivation comes and goes. Some days you are motivated and some times you feel lazy. In other words, motivation never lasts! If as many success experts teach, your level of achievement rests on your ability to ‘motivate yourself’ we are all in a lot of trouble!
Most people in this frame of mind talk about motivation as coming from a desire to achieve a certain goal. As psychologists would tell us, motivation can be intrinsic, arising from a desire we hold within, or external, when we are motivated by some external influence like a coach or a deadline. Again whether it be internal or external, these factors are subject to change: our desires fluctuate like the changing tide and external factors are in also in perpetual motion, increasing and decreasing in their effect on us.
In my mind I believe the motivation that we need is something very different.
I believe that to be ultimately successful we have to be driven forward by things that are eternal. We have to have as our motivation, underlying principles, thoughts, feelings, beliefs, values and goals that will never change. By being motivated this way, we can retain the sense that we must continually take action regardless of how internal or external circumstances change.
So what factors of our lives have this level of consistency?
While there are many, the main one is your purpose. Your life purpose, whatever it is you’re here on this earth to do, and your innate need to fulfill that is the most powerfully motivating force you can experience. When your action each day is inspired by a desire to fulfill that which is the essence of your existence on this planet will push you farther than any emotional or physical external influence. What else?
The things you value as a person are far more concrete than fluctuating impulses of desire that you experience daily. Your values contribute to who you are and once developed and clarified, create a code of conduct for your life that you will be very reluctant to violate. The urge to live these values and be congruent with that you value and believe also represents a powerful source of motivation.
While there is more, I intended this article to be merely a sample of some of the sources of motivation that are truly compelling. With a deeper level of introspection and a greater clarity of who you are you can experience a profound sense of motivation that can guarantee continual action and progress through all the seasons of your life’s journey.
Andrew Hansen is an entrepreneur, author and personal development trainer. He runs a website dedicated to personal growth that provides tips, information and advice on attaining the level of success that you’re worthy of in all areas of your life. For more information on motivation theory please see motivation theory.