Motivation is the key to understanding why we humans persistently continue to pursue certain dreams that, in the short term, do not give any results. It is one of the conditions necessary to achieve one’s goals, to improve oneself as a person.
Despite this, how can we motivate ourselves? Simply put, motivation is what drives a person to act and behave in a certain way. It is a general term that describes a wide range of impulses, desires, needs and aspirations.
- Most authors distinguish two main types of motivation: intrinsic and extrinsic. An intrinsically motivated behavior has as its ultimate goal the self-interest of making a dream come true.
- Extrinsic motivation, on the other hand, attributes a preponderant role to the motivating sources of behavior, which come from the outside and, usually, are not naturally linked to the attitude they favor.
It is for this reason that intrinsic motivation drives us. In this form of motivation, moreover, the reward is inherent in the action and pleasure of the same.
In today’s Western society, we live in a constant succession of external circumstances which, very often, cause us to sink into inertia. The road of inertia pushes us to let ourselves be led by circumstances, thus ending up acting in an inhumane way. Living without a motivation pushes us to enter a world that makes us machines and in which we forget about ourselves and our true motivations.
What motivates us?
Let’s think about it for a moment: what leads us to act in one way or another and what are the real reasons that push us to set out in a certain direction? Knowing what are the reasons that drive us helps us to really know what leads us to make certain decisions or why we make one choice instead of another.
Sometimes, we act wrongly or regret our actions because we don’t reflect on the real reasons that favored our decisions. Knowing your motivations means knowing yourself as a person, it is the road that leads to self-knowledge and self-improvement.
Choosing to live by being motivated means choosing a more satisfying existence. Motivation is what keeps us going and keeps us fighting for our dreams, despite everything we have to go through to make them come true.
Obviously, it is not always possible to maintain the same degree of motivation and there are few streets completely covered with rose petals, but motivation is the key that explains why there are some people who manage to get everything they want, while others do. they resign to live the life they have, even if they are not satisfied with it.
We can learn from the motivation of athletes
Motivation is a determining factor for success in physical activity and for achieving one’s goals in races and competitions. The basic structure of the intellectual, physiological and psychological processes that decide, activate and guide our behavior in physical activity are similar to those of other activities.
We are all competitive by nature, even if some people are more competitive than others. In this case, the psychologist’s job is to take advantage of this feature of human nature and nurture it. This process helps maintain motivation in the short term, which means that you need to use it in conjunction with other strategies that also help maintain motivation over time.
Visualization has been scientifically proven to be very helpful in maintaining motivation over long periods of time. Every day, for at least 5 or 10 minutes, it is recommended to visualize the process and the desired results to help our mind prepare automatisms that favor the activity on which we are focused.
This is useful both for physical activity and for any other type of goal, especially when we are talking about new tasks or that we have not done in a long time. On the other hand, visualization is a way of training attention.
In general terms, to motivate a person to improve their performance, just like you do with an athlete, you need to evaluate their effort and previously accumulated experiences. There are many sportsmen who, without knowing it, are motivated by a low performance, or in any case lower than what they could achieve with their skills.
These results are often a source of anger and sadness, because they ruin a previous job that has been difficult, constant and well done. It is an effort that can be completely wasted because there is a lack of motivation, but also due to an excess of the same. For this reason, in one way or another, motivation is a fundamental factor for the final result obtained and knowing how to control it can tilt the scales in our favor or against us.