noun. a reason or reasons for acting or behaving in a particular way.
Motivation is the experience of desire or aversion. As such, motivation has both an objective aspect and an internal or subjective aspect.
What motivates you? Who motivates you? How do you motivate yourself?
I get asked a lot what motivates me and what keeps me motivated.
Knowing my why. Knowing my purpose. Knowing my values. Knowing my impact.
Plus a strong work ethic instilled in me by my self-employed parents and a growth mindset. My parents instilled a sense of self-discipline in us when it came to home learning, reading and independent work was part of our routine. There were high expectations at school and home. No caps were placed on us and our aspirations, anything was possible. But I was feistily independent and self-motivated, I didn’t need anyone to motivate me.
I don’t mind challenges, I like being stretched.
I don’t mind failing, I like the learning opportunity.
I don’t see problems, I see solutions.
I don’t look back, I look forward.
I don’t think small, I dream big.
I have always been a planner. I am hyper organised and I write everything down, I track things. I have personal and professional goals to work towards, they are stretch goals. My goals have become more audacious in time.
When I have read up on motivation as a teacher for engaging learners it is split into two categories – intrinsic motivation and extrinsic motivation, but I have read further and found two more categories of motivation that relate to the internal and the external, in relation to action and non-action:
Intrinsic motivation is done for internal reasons, for example to align with values or simply for the hedonistic pleasure of doing something.
In work, people are intrinsically motivated by working for an inspiring leader or in areas where they have a personal interest.
Extrinsic motivation comes from outside us. We do it because we are impelled to, for example because we are told to by someone who has power over us.
Many employment motivation systems work on the principle of extrinsic reward, where people are ‘bought’ and then commanded. Whilst this is effective for simple activities, it is less useful when you want a person to be self-driven.
Introjected motivation is similar to intrinsic motivation in that it is internalized. The distinctive aspect of this is that if it is not done, then the person feels the tension of guilt.
Identified motivation is where a person knows that something needs doing but has not yet decided to do anything about it.
So when we are reflecting on what motivates us and others we need to take these factors into consideration.
If we take #DiverseEd as an example to work through these types of motivation:
- My extrinsic motivation is to create a space to amplify diverse voices because the system does not do this.
- My intrinsic motivation is to value everyone and celebrate diversity.
- My introjected motivation is to check my privilege and to do something to make a difference as an inclusive ally.
- My identified motivation is to create a platform and to curate a book.
Each commitment has a different relationship with internal and external motivators, and taking action or non-action.
I not only talk the talk, but I walk the walk. My motivation translates into tangible actions that speak for themselves.
Motivation needs resourcing though. Motivation is something you need to flex and nurture. Motivation takes up time and energy. Motivation needs to be sustained.
Motivation also needs focus, perspective, conviction and commitment to see it through to fruition.
Motivation needs to be intentional and purposeful.
10 Self-Motivation techniques you can develop into habits:
- Setting goals to work towards
- Scheduling your goals with time allocation
- Remembering your why
- Eliminating distractions
- Learning more to deepen understanding
- Approaching the task with enthusiasm
- Visualising your goal
- Rewarding yourself
- Talking to yourself positively
- Taking care of yourself
There is a lot to be motivated about right now. There are opportunities to take. There are glimpses of hope. There are wrongs to be made right. There are actions that are required. There are a sense of collective agency.
However, there are also a lot of obstacles standing in the way: Time. Energy. Exhaustion. Frustration. Stress. Naysayers.
Some quotes to finish off with:
Dream big and don’t limit yourself.
“If you can dream it, you can do it”.
Be courageous and keep perspective.
“You can never cross the ocean until you have the courage to lose sight of the shore”. Christopher Columbus
Be focused and keep going.
“Go as far as you can, when you get there, you’ll be able to see further”.
Be resilient and be prepared to stand out or break away from the crowd.
“If people are doubting how far you can go, go so far you that you can’t hear them anymore”.
Be the change we need to see.
“Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does”.
Be focused on the end goal and make strides towards it each day.
“Always ask yourself if what you are doing today is getting you closer to where you want to be tomorrow”.