Why Motivation Doesn’t Work

We are all motivated by different things, some are motivated by external factors others internal, the thing with motivation is It doesn’t last, when motivation fails, self-discipline prevails, some days you may be motivated and get loads done yet other days you just want to lay in bed all day and binge on Netflix.

There are people that require extrinsic motivation to do things whereas some people would intrinsically do the same activity for fun, for instance, someone who enjoys playing video games would be intrinsically motivated to do so, yet if their parents asked them to tidy their room chances are they will require extrinsic motivation to do it, especially if that activity was low on their values. Motivation comes down to your values, the things that are higher on your values you won’t need extrinsic motivation for

The same kind of principle happens within the workplace, some, or I would say most need extrinsic motivation like a paycheck to get them to turn up to work every day and the fear of losing their job if they don’t turn up is what keeps them extrinsically motivated.

There are 4 forms of motivation

“People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing – that’s why we recommend it daily.”

Zig Ziglar

Extrinsic Motivation

Lazy unmotivated

Extrinsic motivation is external, its influences are other people or events such as getting paid, getting a promotion or avoiding punishment, if you are relying on extrinsic motivation the tasks that are required to be done what you will find is that it tends to lead to procrastinating and putting off until the last minute. Think about your place of work or business, for example, employees are extrinsically motivated by money, many lack enthusiasm and are only there to get paid, to be able to pay the bills, in some cases extrinsic motivation can be good, but only in certain situations, if it’s used all the time it will kill creativity, we become more stressed from being continually put under pressure which then leads us to become unhappy the brain’s levels of the neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine decrease. Without those neurotransmitters, our cognitive skills like creativity, memory, and learning are weaker. The thing with extrinsic motivation or external motivation is it doesn’t last, you get rewarded, you reach a high then the high dissipates and you want more, it’s the cycle of hedonic adaptation or hedonic treadmill.

Intrinsic Motivation

The type of motivation we all should strive for is the motivation that comes from within, when you want to do something for fun or for a challenge, you are naturally excited to get up and do that thing because it’s internally rewarding. Intrinsic motivation comes into play when your actions are aligned with your values, if you doing something that’s is aligned with where your highest values are then you will willingly want to do that activity

“You can motivate by fear, and you can motivate by reward. But both those methods are only temporary. The only lasting thing is self-motivation.” ~ Homer Rice

When you’re going after goals it’s important to dig deep into why it is you want to achieve them ask yourself these questions as to why you are pursuing that goal
1. Why do you want it?
2. What will your life look like when you achieve it?
3. Why is this my goal?
4. What are my values
I won’t go into too much detail in the post about finding your why that can be a topic of another post, but it’s important to dig down and uncover your why which is where your intrinsic motivation comes from, it comes from within.

Introjected Motivation

Similar to intrinsic, it comes from the internal voice but it comes from being pressured into doing something by shame or guilt, and is usually driven by the pressure to perform or to gain appreciation from others, Introjected motivation is still not the desired type of motivation we want to aim for because ultimately it will lead to becoming resentful and unhappy.

Identified Motivation

In a very short way to explain it simply put, identified motivation is the point that you realise something needs to be done but have not yet reached the point of doing anything about it.

5 Tips To Stay Motivated

  1. Set realistic goals, use something like SMART for setting your goals
    Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and anchored within a Time Frame.
  2. Find a network of support, have an accountability partner, or use social media to keep you accountable
  3. Find what your highest values are and align your goals with your highest values
    What do you spend your money on?
    What are you naturally drawn to?
    Where are you most organised?
    What are you most disciplined with?
  4. Be your authentic self, don’t live in somebody else’s shadow
  5. Don’t beat yourself up, the world does a good enough job of doing that for us

Thank you for reading and I wish you all the best for whatever goals your going after

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