Motivation – A Pat on the Back

Perhaps the most essential aspect of living a successful and happy life is the concept of motivation; without it, we, as humans, would become complacent and unproductive and have a negative feeling of self-worth. Motivation is as much a verb as it is an emotion. To motivate somebody or yourself, you must be able to see beyond what is in front of you and envision what you wish to obtain. When envisioning these goals or dreams, an individual has a sense of excitement as he or she draws closer to obtaining these goals. It is this sense of excitement that spurs the person to be motivated to keep pushing forward to obtain the rewards of their efforts.

Motivation is driven by rewards; not always tangible rewards such as financial gains or certificates of achievement; but also by the rewards of knowing you have accomplished the goal and the satisfaction of that is the reward within itself. In the spectrum of your career and the job you are employed to perform, motivation is extremely important; it is the key aspect to how satisfied you are with your job and your desire to continue to do better. If an employer commends you for a job well done, this type of motivation helps you to want to continue to please your employer. If, however, your employer never recognizes your accomplishments, you may begin to lose the desire to please your employer due to your employer not motivating you to work harder to achieve the goals assigned to you.

It is important to remember that motivation begins with you. It is an emotion that propels us to do even the most simple of tasks. Getting up in the morning; doing the laundry; washing the dishes; mowing the grass; all these things require you to be motivated to do them; if not, none of these tasks would be accomplished. Some people are more motivated than others; some individuals have to constantly motivate themselves to move forward and complete the task at hand. Almost everybody, at one time or another lacks motivation to tackle a problem or task that they would rather not do; it is at these times that you must remind yourself of the reward awaiting you when the task has been completed.

The question many people ask is, “How can I motivate myself to do something I’d rather not do?” I have found the best way to motivate yourself is to follow these examples:

  • Make a list of the task or tasks you have to accomplish.
  • Break each task down into sub-categories; step one, step two, step three, etc.
  • Deal with each step individually and as you complete that step, mark it off the list. This shows you that you are accomplishing the task and getting closer to the end result.
  • Give yourself a reward for completing the task. The reward is the key to motivation; without it, the task would seem pointless and not as satisfying in the end.

I use these examples because many times if you look at the task in its entirety you may become over-whelmed and thus unable to find the motivation required to complete the task. Much like climbing a mountain; if you look at the entire mountain you will think it impossible to make it to the summit. But, if you break it down in stages, with the reward of the summit in mind, the climb become more possible.

As children we find motivation from our parents and teachers; the reward being a cookie or a gold star. As adults, we seek to be motivated by our peers, our family members, and employers. The results are the same; if motivation is used properly, it results in a satisfaction in your self-worth and in the outcome of the goal you are working towards.

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