Motivation: What Is It?*

Thursday, 22 June 2017, By Josh Reed

First of all, what is motivation? Motivation (defined by Wikipedia) is the reason behind people's actions, desires and needs.  Motivation can also be defined as one's direction to behaviour or what causes a person to want to repeat behaviour and vice versa. (Elliot, Andrew J 2001). Motivation, is internal and external factors that stimulate desire and energy in people to be continually involved and committed towards a goal, job or subject. Motivation is different for everybody. Motivation is biological, emotional, social and cognitive forces that make people behave in a certain way.

Anyone who has ever had a goal has at one point or another understood that simply having that goal or desire is not adequate enough and there has to be some sort of motivation involved. When achieving a goal there is almost 100% chance that you will have obstacles come up and how you react to those obstacles will ultimately decide how you go in regards to your goal. There are three major components of motivation and they are:Activation,PersistenceandIntensity.

Activationis described as your initial decision in doing something. For example; starting a weights program towards a specific goal.Persistenceis the constant attempts at your goal no matter what obstacles may arise in the process.Intensitycan be understood as how much effort and concentration goes into the goal. For example, an athlete may only do the required training for a specific event and no more, another athlete could do the required training plus additional training, suggesting that the second athlete has more intensity in motivation towards their goal.

So, what are the things that force us to act? There are different theories that suggest this: Instincts, drives & needs and arousals. Instincts are fixed patterns or structural behaviours that we all have. There are biological instincts that are vital for survival such as love, fear and cleanliness to name a few. Our drives & needs can be described as our biological behaviours. We have a need for food, water and sleep. The drive theory suggests that we have biological drives and that our behaviours are motivated to fill these drives. (Drive theory, Clark Hull). The arousal theory suggests that people do things that maintain their levels of arousal. For example, low arousal needs could be someone who wants to relax listen to music, a person with high arousal needs could want to bungee jump; thrill seeking needs.

Last of all, intrinsic and extrinsic motivation is the two different types of motivation. Intrinsic refers to the motivation within someone; such as doing something to prove someone wrong. Whereas Extrinsic refers to the motivation outside someone, generally by a reward, certain grades, fame etc.

I'm motivated to be better than I was yesterday in what I want to do. I'm determined to be the best I can be! Motivation is a key element for success and each and every one of us has some sort of internal motivation. What exactly motivates us is different. I know what mine is. What motivates you?

Josh Reed

Vision Personal Training Bangor

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