M for Motivation

I talked last week about diets and the need for motivation.  Although this post focuses on weight loss, motivation is required in achieving all goals and some basic rules apply.

But firstly we need to understand a bit about motivation.  Motivation is the thing that drives us.  We all have it.  We just need to understand a little about how we are motivated and how to harness and nurture it.

There are two types of motivation.  “Towards” motivation and “Away from”  motivation.

Towards Motivation

This is about moving toward a goal. A predominantly towards motivated individual will do something because of the rewards they will receive. So, being focussed on fitting into those trousers that are 5” smaller than the ones you are wearing now. Towards motivated individuals respond extremely well to rewards, and are motivated by league tables etc.

Away From Motivation

Away motivation is linked to pain.  Predominantly away motivated individuals do things out of fear of what might happen if they don’t take action. So an obese person might be motivated by a doctor explaining the health risks associated with their condition.  They’re taking action to avoid consequences.  Once a little action is taken the situation is less important, the less motivated the individual is likely to become.

In short it’s all about carrot and sticks.

Many people tend to preference one system more than the other.  Making the most of both systems will ensure you are harnessing your full motivational potential.

So take a step back and think about when you have been successful in the past.  Was it because you were working towards something new and better or because you were working towards leaving something behind.  Understand what motivates you can really mean the difference in achieving your future goals.

3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: Leadership Thought #279 – Be Mindful About What Motivates You « Ed Robinson's Blog
  2. carolyntrafford
    Jan 07, 2012 @ 17:05:35

    Ed thanks for visiting and the pingback. Getting motivation right is oh so important.


  3. Trackback: 6 ways to maximize your talent with motivation

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