What made primitive man to get out of the cave, make a fire, invent clothes and tools? It’s motivation! There is no point in making effort without any motivation it is meaning and purpose of life. For these reasons we are ready to overcome any resistance. Is there any difference between motivation and stimulus? Motivation is called the engine of progress. People would continued living as they lived in ancient times and they would be happy. They improved their tools, perceived the world at the expense of their lives.
Motivation is a great power and one who has it can move mountains. If a person knows what he wants and what for, he understands the point of the work he’ll reach the object of desires. The German philosopher Schopenhauer was the first who used in his work “Four principles of sufficient cause” the term “motivation”. And the word “motive” comes from the Latin moveo – “moving”, movere – “prompt to action”. The lack of motivation leads to inaction. Figuratively speaking, we will not move if we do not know what for. The hero of the poem “Dead souls ” by Gogol Manilov is considered to be ideologist. He dreams about the transformation of his estate which will improve the lives of his serfs. His castles in the air are beautiful, but these projects are impossible, because, in fact, he does not need it: he is well-fed, dressed and covered. Ivan Goncharov in the novel “Oblomov” described another type of person who can not lift himself off the couch, but at the same time reflects on life. “I know everything, understand everything, but there is no will power” – said Oblomov. And of course, there is no motivation. Although almost two centuries have passed modern Manilovs and Oblomovs do not allow us to forget these heroes. Every year someone gives a promise to master English but the problem is still not solved. And someone keeps eyes on the prize because he dreams to work in a foreign company, to move home, to marry a foreigner, to read original books, etc. At first glance motivation is similar to stimulus but in fact there are a lot of differences between these words.
Curiously, the word “stimulus” comes from the Latin stimulus – a stick with a sharp metal tip which served to goad oxen. Such external influence forced oxen to go forward. Stimulus means external influence that galvanizes somebody into action. Well-known incentives are premiums, raises, wage raise, expensive presents, company parties and of course warnings, reprimands, etc. (the carrot and the stick approach). Motivation should arouse a desire to act, to sport for example, take on a new identity. Motives lead people’s actions not incentives. Stimulus’ role is to awake motives and desires but this may not happen if the stimulus does not meet needs. Among people who studied the issues of motivation and human behavior – English-American psychologist William Mack Dugall, Austrian psychologist Sigmund Freud, Russian scientist Ivan Pavlov, American psychologist Abraham Maslow, etc. So, if we suddenly feel that our motivation begins to fade away and it becomes difficult for us to get down to business, perhaps we will be comforted by the idea that our problem –the problem of motivation was tried to be solved by outstanding minds of the world. Questions concerning motivation are important not for individuals only, but for managers, Directors of companies because they are interested in efficient work. American writer Ray Bradbury wrote that a man can get everything he needs, but only if he really needs it.
How to motivate yourself to get “everything you need” and become successful?
- 1. Set a goal
So, our goal is to achieve success. But this goal is too abstract, so it needs to be concretized. We ask ourselves: in what sphere do we want to be successful? Do we want to be successful in work, sports, personal life, hobbies or in all things. Of course, we need to make great efforts but it is possible. The purpose is connected with motivation: without motivation it will be looming somewhere ahead. Motivation is the thing that motivates us to move towards the goal. The stronger the motivation, the more chances to achieve it. The reason that goals remain unrealized, is the lack of motivation. For example, we want to head a Department in a large company, and this is our goal. But we can want it until we go into retirement, if we don’t start working on ourselves. Maybe we ‘ll have to get an additional education study several languages, change image, etc. On the one hand, it will not be easy, on the other hand motivation will help to overcome difficulties, it will support the desire to move towards the goal. Of course, we need to set real goals that we can achieve. Goals like “become mayor of New York” or “lead Deutsche Bank” are fine, but hardly real even with a strong desire. Or maybe we want to lose the extra 20 kg within a month? It will unlikely succeed without health damage. Failures low self-esteem, discourage from acting, and make our goal unreal while success brings us closer to it.
- 2. Divide the objective into sub-objectives: build “objectives tree”
We divide our great goal into several simple sub-goals. We briefly define each sub goal and describe in detail how we intend to go to it, as well as what result and in what period we expect to achieve it. If the sub-goal is too capacious, we also divide it into several points and describe steps to achieve it. We note thing that has been done. It is a good incentive to continue. The plans can be corrected because in the course of the tasks we will certainly have some improvements. There is such a thing as a “tree of goals”. Making this tree is based on principle “from the general to the special.” Its top is the common. Here is a global goal that answers questions: what are we trying for? what will we get as a result of these efforts? Branches are sub-goals or smaller tasks that bring us closer to the main goal. It answers the questions: under what conditions can we achieve this goal? what specific steps should be taken? And so on. We split up the goals until we get the most simple small tasks. The solution of these tasks will eventually allow us to succeed in a great goal.
- 3. We surround ourselves with like-minded people
To get success we need a clear goal, motivation and like – minded people who supports us when we are about to give up. In turn, we also support them if they need it. It is better to avoid people who do not believe in us. From the best motives people say like: you don’t have a chance! you are wasting your time, consuming energies, throwing away money. In fact, they are not averse to get what we aim for, but they are just lazy. Being positive and full of energy we make people nose swell instead of supporting us they prefer we were ordinary. Sensitive people give up, lose motivation and goal.
- 4. Tell about your goal to friends, relatives or colleagues
Revealing goals we will get additional motivation to achieve the goal. Nobody wants to be known as a babbler, windbag or blabbermouth, whose words mean nothing. We fear to be dismissed and it will help us when motion is not enough. There is a quite reasonable opinion that it is not necessary to tell everyone about plans, because it risks to remain plans. The more we talk about them, the less we want to realize it: our subconscious perceives the goal or desires we mouthed as already implemented.
- 5. We do not think about difficulties, but about the benefits that we will eventually get
We think over the advantages of our goal. It will inspire and motivate us. We answer our questions: how will our life or financial standing change? What interesting people will we meet? What can we learn? What places can we see? What opportunities will we have? We can make so called “dream collage” using photos, paintings and post it in conspicuous place. Such visualization of desires can be a good motivation. At the same time, we create an “anti-collage”, using black and white photographs, which depict boring dull people, poverty, etc.
- 6. Remember our ambitions
The word “ambition” evokes negative associations and It is probably because of word ” soaring ” we always use with. People whose ambitions soar high want too much and overestimate their personal qualities and capabilities.Conversely, a person with no ambitions does not need anything and he is grateful for small favours. But the ambitions can be helpful if we walk the line. In this case, it is a great source of motivation. A person with ambitions is constantly on the move, he wants to show his knowledge and skills, sets goals and achieves them. Psychologists say that ambition can be developed. It will be useful to communicate with ambitious person. The desire to keep up with them is a good motivation to be successful.
- 7. Auto-suggestion
Auto suggestion works wonders and it can change us radically if we know how to do it. People often start auto-suggestion involuntarily. For example, they call themselves losers and begin to behave like losers. Doctors assure that thoughts are powerful and it is possible both to recover from an illness, and to die. We can program ourselves to success repeating phrases like:” I believe that I will succeed”,” I can! It is not difficult for me “. We need to repeat these phrases in the morning to create the appropriate mood for the whole day. We do not recommend using a negative particle “not”. For example, instead of “I will not be a clumsy” you should say “I am very attentive”. Aspirational phrases should make positive emotions.
- 8. Be on a roll!
The American psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi writes in his work (“Flow. Psychology of optimal experience “) that the best motivation is the immersion of the soul in a state of inner drive, which he calls “flow” (and we call inspiration). This powerful energy flow takes possession of a person that he does not think about anything except his favorite thing. Scientists who got in the flow make outstanding discoveries, artists, musicians, poets and writers create masterpieces.
- 9. Watch movies and videos, read books that motivate you
There are a lot of films that motivate: “The Pursuit of Happyness”(the film is about a single dad who wants to see his child happy), “The Social Network”(the story of creating Facebook), “Yes Man” (the story is about how the short word ” Yes ” can change life),”Rain Man”, “Knokin’on Heaven’s Door”, “Inside I’m Dancing”,”The Bucket List”,etc.
Among the books: “A medicine for melancholy “, “Dandelion Wine” by Ray Bradbury,”My return to life” by Lance Armstrong, “Three cups of tea” by Greg Mortenson, “Sarah” by Jerry and Esther Hicks,etc. All these movies, books lift the spirits.
However, everyone has their own book or film, which you want to come back again and again, especially when spirit is low. According to the English poet Matthew Arnold, “ the biggest bankrupt in this world is a man who has lost his enthusiasm for life”. Do not forget it.
- 10. Remember the Yerkes-Dodson law
According to the law, established by British psychologists Robert Yerkes and John Dodson, the highest results are achieved with an average level of motivation. The average level is optimal. The second name of the Yerks-Dodson law is the law of optimum motivation. Experiments show a person with a high level of motivation begins to get nervous, fear not to meet expectations and not to cope with responsibility. Fear does not allow him to think properly, and he makes mistakes.