Motivation is the desire to do things. What I want to know is this, why is it that some people seem to have bundles of goal orientated behaviour in their make up and why do others feel like staying in their pj’s and binge watching Breaking Bad on Netflix on their days off? Personally I am an all or nothing kind of girl, I have no motivational middle ground. I’m either going at it like a jack rabbit enthusiastically ticking off every element on my to do list with pure delight or I become the queen of procrastination, managing to stay in bed for 24 hours straight whilst devouring family sized bags of crisps and those pouches of chocolate that are labelled ‘made to share’ all to my greedy self.
One Theory – Incentive
After reading up a little on motivation, one of the theories I stumbled upon is that we are driven to do things by yearning the reward involved. These rewards/incentives push people to work towards and complete their chosen goals.
I can relate to this in some respects, call me materialistic but money seems to be my motivator, however I also have a strong desire to be a size eight but struggle to get up at 6am every morning to get my sweat on. Mainly because I despise any kind of cardio. Much to my dismay I don’t seem to receive this rush of endorphins that fitness fanatics thrive off. So can people only truly be motivated by the tasks that they enjoy?
Another Theory – Intrinsic
Intrinsic motivation is something you do for it’s own sake, the task is the reward itself.You find enjoyment in working towards achieving the end goal. When you find something pleasurable you don’t tend to look at it as a chore. This theory I find a little harder to swallow, is this motivation or just a hobby?
We have all seen or read those amazing success stories where ‘obese person turns hot by eating clean’ but I’m pretty certain that in most cases someone who weighs 500lbs doesn’t tend to relish the dieting process. In this scenario intrinsic motivation obviously doesn’t come into play however the external reward/incentive of loosing weight and becoming healthier clearly did.
Wrapping it up
Perhaps I will never find my motivational middle ground, rather than feeling guilty about not completing my daily tasks list or fulfilling my life goals as quickly as x, y and z, I’m starting to accept the fact that it’s fine to do things at my own pace. Life is not a competition.
Does this make me lazy? Hell no, I know I work hard, and I believe what motivates a person and their incentives is personal to them. Who am I actually hurting by not making the most efficient use of every minute of my day? Yes I want to live life to it’s fullest but who is to say that taking a hour out to finish reading that book I’m loving instead of going to that spin class isn’t a productive use of my time? It’s my bloody time!
As well as incentives being personal our indicators for motivation change over time, and the rewards that would of driven us 10 years ago are now completely different to what they are today.
My 19 year old self was motivated by boozy holidays, nights out and a cute wardrobe. My 29 year old self is motivated to save enough money to get my size five feet onto the property ladder. I wonder what my 39 year old self will be motivated by?