Motivation is one word we all are familiar with. From motivational speeches or talk, to motivational videos, motivational books, then motivational speakers, and their motivational quotes.
Motivation has always been with us, irrespective of the garb it wears. Something spurs us. Oftentimes, we get the kicks from outside, but truth is, these external “motivators” will always align with our basic values and goals. For instance, when we buy a product after a sales pitch or presentation, we can justify our action by referencing how well the salesman convinced us. The salesman was never the motivator! He only just appealed to a core need or value on your inside – to look good or to avert danger, or to smell good in order to present ourselves as best as we can.
Salesmen have realized how quickly we react to fear. So, they appeal to our sense of danger or fear or happiness. Bottom line is you are going to do what you are motivated to do.
Motivation comes from within.
It is directly proportional to our goals.
That is what truly motivates us.
What it is that gets your time the most is your motivation.
Misconceptions About Motivation
1 There are 2 types of motivations – internal motivation and external motivation.
Right: You are always motivated from within, based on your beliefs, perceptions and goals. You only respond to something external that appeals to what’s within.
2 You can be motivated by someone else.
Right: No one can motivate you. We are all self-motivated, but we might need a push or trigger.
3. You can motivate your employees to do what you want.
Right: Your employees can only be motivated if you advance reasons that are important to them.
4. Having a vision board or vision statement is a good motivator.
Right: The world tends to shatter our dreams pretty often. So, what the vision board, daydreaming and meditation do, is to bring you back to where you truly need and want to be.
5. Money motivates people.
Right. It only does to the extent of getting you the life you want. Money isn’t a primary motivator. It is usually the 2nd or 3rd after that core thing that you value.
6. You can motivate customers to buy what you sell.
Right: Your clients will respond only if they believe your product appeals to a need or desire they have identified.
We are always motivated. We don’t go on and off being motivated. It is always with us.
In theory, we think something, or someone externally motivates us but in reality, it is always your belief system that drives your motivation. Sometimes you need a nudge, a push and then you are on the track.
Getting It Right
We all need to be objective about ourselves. Our belief system drives our motivation. If our belief system is faulty, so will our motivation be. Our beliefs drive our emotional reactions and motivation. It applies to everything. If your goal in marriage is to enjoy a peaceful home, whatever comes from outside (from your spouse or the environment), will be measured against your internalized desire or goal. It will push you to strive for a marriage of your dreams.
When you say you have lost motivation, what you are really saying is that your motivation does not have good base internally. It means that you have sourced your motivation externally.
“When you’re climbing the ladder of success,
make sure it’s leaning against the right building.”
If your motivation is to be rich and famous and two years down the line, you become rich and famous, then you could easily lose your motivation. Why do you want to be rich and famous? Our motivation must be based on the answer to our whys.
Joseph Campbell said we should follow our bliss.
Most of us are too afraid to follow our bliss and are too pressured by the external world. We are too imbued with the beliefs that the world is too large a place to allow us to follow our bliss. We often believe we are too old, or too far or too small or too dark-skinned, or too uneducated, or too this or that. We have colored our realities with the wrong set of beliefs. So, we end up being wrongly motivated.
It all boils down to the questions we ask ourselves. Being real with ourselves and being able to question our beliefs and motivations will set us on the right track.
Note: All the opinions expressed in this article are those of Jess Huffman and Dapo Bankole and were sourced from Episodes 130 & 131 of The Immigrant Life Podcast. Listen to the full discussions and learn more about the top 3 things to look out for as an entrepreneur to stay positively motivated. You will also get other tips on how to be successful at what you do. Join the conversation here…
Written by Yinka Bakare.