What makes you tick? What is your daily motivation? What are that things that wake you up in the morning and get out of your bed, and what are those that just make you stay in bed?
Many different books and theories have been written about motivation and how to get it. But the more you read and try to apply a few techniques the sooner you realize that is very hard to motivate yourself or others. And at the same it’s very easy to demotivate yourself or others.
The reason for this is the simple principle that motivation lies within us. Each one of us already have the natural reasons and motives that push us forward and equally those that hold us back. The trick here is to identify and amplify/avoid them for our own good. So how do we know what our real motivations are?
Tony Robbins argues that we are driven by only 2 forces: pleasure and pain, which means, everything we do is to increase our pleasure or to avoid pain.
On the other hand, a respected study by Professor Steve Reiss has identified 16 different types of motivation:
- Acceptance, the need for approval
- Curiosity, the need to think
- Eating, the need for food
- Family, the need to raise children
- Honor, the need to be loyal to the traditional values of one’s clan/ethnic group
- Idealism, the need for social justice
- Independence, the need for individuality
- Order, the need for organized, stable, predictable environments
- Physical Activity, the need for exercise
- Power, the need for influence of will
- Romance, the need for gender
- Saving, the need to collect
- Social Contact, the need for friends (peer relationships)
- Status, the need for social standing/importance
- Tranquility, the need to be safe
- Vengeance, the need to strike back
Essential self improvement steps to get motivated daily:
1. Identify what your internal and external drivers are, as some of the examples shown above. Read more on self motivation tips.
2. Amplify your core areas of motivation. Once you clarified what makes you tick, focus your efforts and your vision to the areas of motivation that will come naturally to you. For example, if you’re driven by Independence, you should seek activities where you can make decisions and move forward with autonomy. Another example, if your main motivation is tranquility and security, you should look for an environment with more stability and silence. Read more on self confidence improvement.
3. Eliminate the areas that demotivate you. Opposite to your motivation strengths, move away from those types of activities that hold you back. If areas of your life, relationships or your work require a type motivation that you naturally lack, it makes sense to avoid them, instead of trying to change your self. Understanding motivational psychology will help you in this process.
4. Leverage to achieve what you want: if you are aware of your areas of motivation, you should be able to use them in your favor, or to “leverage” them. As Brian Tracey says, “Whatever you believe with feeling becomes your reality.” Therefore, align your goals with your natural motivation.
If you constantly affirm in your mind what you want and the reason why you want it, you get that extra energy to get it done. Another way to leverage is to make clear to yourself what is the cost or consequences of not taking action towards your goals and continue the activities that demotivate you day in day out.