What is motivation? That sounds like a simple question – and we might also ask ourselves, why do need to know what the definition is when all we want is to stay upbeat and focused so we can achieve our goals.

There are a lot of ways to keep this drive going after we decide on our goals. Understanding what’s of value to us will help us to choose the right ways.

But, let’s take it one step at a time let’s understand just what it is.

Here’s the dictionary definition:

  1. The reason or reasons one has for acting or behaving in a particular way.
  2. The general desire or willingness of someone to do something.

Steven Reiss, Ph.D. (Emeritus Professor of Psychology and Psychiatry at The Ohio State University) on  Psychology Today explains his version of What Motivation is (as opposed to or different from Freud’s definition):

He says: “I think Freud made a huge mistake when he rejected conscious purpose as a motivational construct and opted for a mechanical model of human behavior. If we want to understand people, I think we need to find out what they are trying to accomplish with their behavior. Freudians don't ask people, "What are your goals? What are your values?" Instead, they ask, "What happened to you in childhood? How do you feel about your parents?"

My colleagues and I have scientifically validated the 16 basic desires common to us all. These desires are deeply rooted in human nature. They include basic survival needs such as eating and exercise and psychological needs such as order and family. Each is motivational, but since there is nothing common to them all, the Freudian notion of psychic energy is disproved. The 16 basic desires give purpose and meaning to human behavior. They predict behavior in natural environments,

I define motivation as the assertion of a value. I think we are a species motivated to assert out values. All human motivation can be viewed as an assertion of values, rather than as the discharge of energy. From values come motives, and from motives we can infer values.” 

From his comments we learn that goals and values are important facets. In fact, our “character” may have a strong influence on our drive if we look at it as a force which drives character to overcome conflicts or is a set of forces that cause people to behave in a certain way.

This is something we need for growth and improvement throughout our lives, no matter how small or how big our goals are, or how old or young we are.

A baby needs an inner drive to thrive, to desire to roll over, sit up, to eat. We build upon that innate ability with our love and care and soon we have a very determined person who is stretching themselves beyond anything they’ve done before – they want to walk and talk.

This drive is what helps us want to achieve good grades at school, higher goals in life, better career choices, improved relationship, a stronger more vibrant spiritual aspect of our journey through life, as well, as to shoot goals, run a race or to lose weight and become more fit.

It is one of the important aspects in life that keeps us going. It’s easy to lose energy for whatever reason - lack of energy diminishes efficiency, affects productivity, creates frustration, develops stress, makes you (and me) quick-tempered. And, we can end up with depression. All these affect both personal & professional life.

There are a lot of ways to keep moving ahead after we decide on our goals. Understanding what’s of value to us will help us to choose the incentives that work.

Make sure your understand your goals first, make sure they are in line with your personal values, then build on that foundation and you will be one step ahead..


Okay, how?

What inspires one person may only make another person irritated: it differs from person to person. We each have to understand what will drive us & do the things that work for us.

If you get a boost from following in the footsteps of others, read biographies of personalities who have made it big or watch inspiring movies.

Work to be optimistic.

Hang out with positive minded people.

Find and study one inspirational quote each week. Assess how it worked for you at the end of the week.

Reading a positive statement in the morning can help you to stay on target and upbeat the whole day.

Here's one!

Here are 5 more tips:

Give yourself a big helping hand by leading a disciplined life. These tips will help you to raise your energy.

1. Have a good Sleep – human body needs at least 6 hours of rest –at night.

2. Eat Healthy – Eat nutritiously and don’t skip breakfast, lunch or dinner. Overeating leads to obesity, stress, poor health and…loss of energy for anything else.

3.  Make a joke and take a joke. Humor is a best medicine to reduce stress & helps you to maintain your motivation.

4.  Exercise – Regular exercise makes body & mind fit.

5. Take a break – Remember that old saying “all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy”? Over working tires your mind, body and spirit. Your brain stops working efficiently.

Best Pennywise Tip:  Keep everything in balance.


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