In this guide, we’ll be discussing motivation and it’s importance.
After reading this guide, you should understand:
- The definition of motivation
- What keeps people motivated
- Why motivation is important
- How motivation helps in achieving goals
- Significance of motivation in human life
- Positive effects of motivation
- What can decrease motivation
- And lots more
Let’s dive in.
What is Motivation?
Motivation is the driving force for our actions, our willingness, and our desire to accomplish goals. The driving force can be extrinsic or intrinsic — in other words, from outside forces or from within.
It is that inner voice in your head and drive that keeps you getting up in the morning. But as we’ll discuss later in this guide, sometimes we lose that inner voice and drive.
We’ll touch on some reasons why it is lost later.
What Keeps People Motivated
When it comes to motivation, as mentioned, there are two driving forces — one from outside forces and one from within.
Extrinsic motivation is an outside motivational force. It is often referred to as a drive that is driven by external rewards.
The rewards can be tangible such as money, material possessions, grades, etc and can also be intangible such as fame, praise, etc.
Intrinsic motivation is an inside motivational force. It is often referred to as a drive that is driven without any obvious external rewards.
Intrinsic motivation brings internal satisfaction and you want to perform the act because it’s enjoyable and interesting to you, rather than feeling a pressure to do it because of an outside pressure or incentive such as a reward or deadline.
Why is Motivation Important?
There are many positive effects of motivation that makes it very important in life.
Positive Effects of Motivation
1. Clarifies a Goal
The first reason motivation is important is because it helps clarify a goal.
How Motivation Helps in Achieving Goals
When you are motivated, you have a desire to achieve something, whether for extrinsic or intrinsic reasons.
Motivation can help you gain clarity on a goal and see the necessary steps you need to take in order to achieve it.
Where there is a will there’s a way.
2. Sets Priorities
The second reason motivation is important is because it sets priorities in your life.
Have a goal to reach a certain weight? Have a goal to write a book?
By having motivation to accomplish these goals, it will help you focus on committing to that goal — often requiring sacrifices whether it be social or time.
3. Perseverance and Determination
The third reason motivation is important is because it teaches perseverance and determination.
If you are motivated to accomplish a goal, truly motivated, you won’t let anything stand between you and your goal.
That means “failures” will not be seen as negative, but rather as learning moments.
Get knocked down once, but get up twice.
4. Pushes Through Setbacks
The fourth reason motivation is important is because you will be able to push through setbacks.
As mentioned in our last reason, there will be setbacks on your path to your goal.
Motivation will help you push through those setbacks, failures, and fears.
5. Fights Against Fear
The 5th reason motivation is important is because it will help you fight against fear.
Setting on the path to do something new can be scary.
It is the unknown — the “what if it doesn’t work out” that scares us the most.
Motivation helps fight against this fear because it pushes you to do it anyways — to act courageous.
Of course, make sure what you are set out to accomplish has already been backed by thoughtful planning and ideation.
For example, if you’ve never ran in your life and you are trying to run a 4-minute mile, motivation won’t help you run it — BUT, motivation will help you train to eventually get there one day.
But no need to fear, as long as you view “failures” only as learning points and not something negative, you will be good.
6. Builds Self-Confidence
The 6th reason motivation is important in life is because it builds self-confidence.
The ideas we were discussing earlier such as failures and pushing through setbacks applies here.
Once you push through a setback or get out of your comfort zone only to realize that it isn’t so bad, this will build your self-confidence and ability to keep pushing forward.
You will realize that no matter how many times you get knocked down, that if you just keep getting back up then nothing can stop you.
7. Inspires Others
The 7th reason motivation is important is because it inspires others.
Why do you think motivational speakers are so important?
Some of the best motivational speakers are living proof that if you just stay motivated, keep learning, and keep getting up after you’ve been knocked down, that you will rise and succeed.
If you motivate yourself, you will often motivate others through your actions and ability to stay confident, to push through setbacks, and to stay on your path despite the “fears” and unknowns.
What Can Decrease Motivation
Motivation is great when we have it, but sometimes we just lose that drive whether it be extrinsic or intrinsic.
We may start feeling lost or in a severe situation, even depressed.
So how do we get something back that is so important as a human — our motivation, our drive, our sense of purpose?
Let’s dive into some things that can cause a lack of motivation. We wrote a full guide on 10 factors that cause a lack of motivation, we touch on some of them here, but check out the full guide for solutions as well.
1. Not Knowing What We Want
The first factor when it comes to a lack of motivation is from not knowing what we want.
This could be due to a lack of planning or introspection.
Sometimes, we get so caught up in the daily grind and routine.
Waking up, going to work, coming home, eating dinner, watching TV, etc.
You can get so caught up in the routine that when you take a step back and think, “wait, what do I want from life?” it can throw you in a tailspin.
What is the end goal? Is the end goal even what I want? Is it the journey that I find joy in and not necessarily the destination?
If you were to ask yourself right now what is the end goal you are after and think about what it would look like if everything were to go exactly to plan, do you have an answer?
Is it working hard to get a promotion? Is it to make more money and buy a house? Is it to make enough money to have freedom to spend more time with your family?
If you don’t have an answer to this question and thought, then take some to think about it.
We won’t know where to go if we don’t know where we are going.
The second factor when it comes to a lack of motivation is from your self-identity and self-talk.
The mind listens to what we tell it.
Have you said to yourself these following statements before?
- I’m so stupid
- I’m so dumb
- I’m an idiot I can’t believe I just did that
This is an example of negative self talk, especially if you aren’t saying it in a joking manner.
If you make a mistake, it’s not that you are stupid, you just did something stupid.
Don’t identify as stupid or any other negative connotation, and identify the singular action or occurence as that negative connotation.
The same applies when thinking about motivation.
Don’t self-identify as a person who has a lack of motivation or your mind will listen.
Instead, if you are feeling an “off day,” recognize that today you might just be tired or sleepy, and not necessarily “unmotivated.”
If you even think that you are an unmotivated person, just think how far you have come in your life.
Everything you did whether it was going to school, getting a job, making friends, being good at a hobby, etc. is from you being motivated!
3. Not Aiming High Enough
The third factor when it comes to a lack of motivation is from not aiming high enough.
You do not want to put a limit on what you can accomplish because this will limit what you are willing to do.
If we set a goal in our head, we will start to take the necessary actions and steps to accomplish that goal if we know it or not.
So why not set a big stretch goal in our head? For example, want to close 10 leads this month? Why not 50 leads this month?
Your mind will start to figure out ways to make it closing the 50 leads a reality which will push you in ways that will allow you to uncover new potential and creative ideas.
4. Trying to Tackle Too Much at Once
The fourth factor when it comes to a lack of motivation is from trying to tackle too much at once.
If you have too many spinning plates that you are trying to balance, you may keep them all spinning for a while, but eventually one might fall, and when that one falls, it draws your attention away from the other plates and then all plates will start to fall.
When you feel overwhelmed and are trying to tackle too much at once, instead of feeling like you are making progress, you may feel like you are doing a lot but nothing is getting done.
Because of this, you may eventually just disassociate from the situation altogether.
Instead of this, try to set one or a few goals at a time, then set mini goals for those goals.
Once you hit each mini goal, you will get a dopamine hit and feel a sense of accomplishment that will continue to give you motivation for the bigger goal.
5. Waiting for Motivation
The 5th factor when it comes to a lack of motivation is trying to wait for motivation.
Motivation may come and go.
If you watch an inspiring movie, you may be motivated for a day.
If you see a nice car on the street that you want, you may be motivated for a couple days.
Don’t wait for motivation, it’s human nature that some days you will be more motivated than others.
What you want to be is consistent.
Is your goal to write a book? You may be motivated some days to write, but what about on that day where you are feeling less motivated.
It is especially important on those days that you stay consistent and still write a certain number of pages.
Focus on consistency and don’t wait for high motivational days.
Significance of Motivation in Human Life
Motivation has played an important role throughout the timespan of human existence.
Motivation has led to incredible feats being accomplished as well as horrific tragedies being committed.
Motivation is the underlying driver of existence and without motivation, we wouldn’t be where we are today as a civilization.
It keeps us on the pursuit of something greater than ourselves.
We hope you enjoyed this guide on the importance of motivation in life.
Now we’d love to hear from you!
What motivates you?
Is there a reason why motivation is important that you think we left out?
Either way, let us know by leaving a comment down below.
Nate Joaquin Torres is a portrait photographer based in Southern California. As a photographer, Nate loves testing different photography styles and gear to expand his skill set. Outside of photography, Nate enjoys learning about new digital marketing strategy and new ways to think creatively. Nate is also the founder of Imaginated.com, a media company dedicated to inspiring digital-age artists and creators in business, artistry, and mind. Connect with him on Instagram.