Understanding Importance of Motivation in Life

Understanding Importance of Motivation in Life

This blog is written in two parts. Part 1 is devoted to understanding importance of motivation in life and Part 2 explains practical utilization of motivation in our routine lives.
Some very commonly encountered problems:

  1. “I started a weight loss program. It was okay for the first week, but now I find it difficult to continue.”
  2. “I find Math classes very boring & wait for them to get over”
  3. “I am preparing for the IAS exam, but I find it difficult & uninteresting to study ancient Indian & World History”
  4. “When I go to office/class on Monday, I am already looking forward to the weekend!”
  5. “I just don’t find the energy to go through the same old routine of life”

All these problems, apparently different, have a common thread binding them- “weak motivation”
Let us examine the concept of “motivation”
 

Understanding Importance of Motivation in Life

For a hungry & thirsty man food & water are very strong motives to work.  It is the lowest order need (physiological).This is often not the case for most of us in middle class. As per Maslow’s theory there are other motivational needs as we progress up in the need hierarchy- namely- “Safety”, “Social”, “Esteem” & “Self Actualization” What experience shows is that SELFISH MOTIVES are weaker than  ALTRUISTIC MOTIVES– Any mother will tell you that her motivation to teach her children is much stronger than pursuing her own higher studies. Similarly a committed teacher will find motivation to teach his students stronger than pursuing his higher studies. In my own case, I could keep awake and work for long hours at night when I knew that the lives of my troops & civilian population were endangered. I could not have done so for self study.

Intrinsic & Extrinsic Motivation

When I do a job, solve Math problems, read History, play a game, which I like, irrespective of any external reward I am ‘Intrinsically Motivated’. When I do the same activities but the ‘Motivation’ is the reward, like salary, marks in exams, earning from game, the Motivation is Extrinsic. INTRINSIC MOTIVATION IS MUCH STRONGER THAN EXTRINSIC. Like the protagonist in “3 IDIOTS” movie said that he is studying mechanical engineering because he loves machines- INTRINSIC MOTIVATION. INTRINSIC MOTIVATION also links up with Maslow’s theory-(SELF ACTUALIZATION). A combination of INTRINSIC & ALTRUISTIC MOTIVES is a very strong force. E.g Tendulkar, or Leander Paes playing for India. They both find the game INTRINSICALLY MOTIVATING & combined with the MOTIVATION TO PERFORM FOR THE COUNTRY (ALTRUISTIC MOTIVE), THE FORCE IS VERY STRONG.

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