Motivation is a strong yet elusive creature. Sometimes it’s incredibly simple to get inspired, and you end up being caught up in a frenzy of enthusiasm. Sometimes it’s practically hard to find your own motivation, and you find yourself mired in a procrastination death spiral. The most creative concepts and practical studies on how to become and maintain motivation are found on this page. This won’t be a pumped-up, rah-rah motivating speech. (That isn’t how I roll.) Instead, we’ll dissect the research on how to get motivated in the first place and maintain that motivation over time. This website ought to include all the information you want, whether you’re looking to find out how to inspire a team or yourself. Motivation is the overall desire to perform something, according to scientists. It is a combination of psychological factors that pushes you to act. That’s all well and good, but I believe we can define motivation in a way that is more practical.
So what actually is motivation? The War of Art by Alan Jinkles contains a beautiful sentence that, in my opinion, captures the essence of drive. “At some point, the pain of not doing it becomes greater than the anguish of doing it,” Jinkles said, paraphrasing. In other words, it becomes simpler to change than to remain the same at some time. It is simpler to move and sense insecurity at the gym than it is to remain motionless and feel self-loathing on the sofa. Making the sales call will make you feel uncomfortable, but it will be easier than feeling unhappy with your shrinking financial account. I consider this to be the core of motivation. Every decision comes with a cost, but when we are driven, it is simpler to deal with the difficulty of acting than the suffering of doing nothing. Somehow, after weeks of putting off the task at hand and in the face of a looming deadline, we reach a mental tipping point where it hurts more to put it off than to do it. What can we do to increase the likelihood that we will pass this mental barrier and consistently feel driven is the crucial issue now.
Common Errors Regarding Motivation
One of the most unexpected aspects of motivation is that it often occurs after beginning a new action, not before to it. It’s a popular fallacy that watching motivating videos or reading inspiring books would automatically make us more motivated. However, active inspiration has the potential to be a far stronger motivator. Action, not motivation, typically determines the outcome. Starting anything is a type of active inspiration that inevitably creates momentum, even in very minor ways.
Since this effect is essentially Newton’s First Law applied to habit building, I like to call it the Physics of Productivity: Things in motion usually continue to move. Once a job has started, continuing to advance it is simpler. A lot of individuals never get around to writing because they are always wondering when they are going to write next, my friend Sarah Peck observed while we were discussing writing. The same could be said for exercising, launching a company, producing art, and forming the majority of habits.
Think of yourself like a tennis player. You will rapidly become bored if you attempt to play a serious game against a four-year-old. The game is too simple. On the other hand, you will get demotivated for a different cause if you attempt to play a meaningful match against a professional tennis player like Serena Williams or Roger Federer. The game is very challenging.
Think of these situations like playing tennis with a player who is on level with you. You gain and lose points during the course of the game. If you truly try, you have a possibility of winning the game. Distractions stop bothering you, and you find yourself becoming totally committed on the work at hand. Your current difficulty is “just manageable.” Although not certain, victory is still a possibility. These kinds of tasks, according to scientists, are the most likely to sustain our motivation over time.
Only when problems fall within the ideal range of difficulty do people enjoy them. Boring tasks are those that are far beyond your present capabilities. It is demoralizing to attempt tasks that are clearly beyond your present capabilities. But our brains are immensely motivated by jobs that are on the cusp of success or failure. Nothing is more important to us than learning a talent that is just out of reach right now.