Where Does Your Motivation Come From?

You know you’re supposed to be motivated. You’re told it is the only way to get ahead. So if it’s that important, where do you find motivation for yourself? It’s not for sale at the corner store and it seems in short supply at most gatherings of co-workers, so where do you get yours?

I ponder this on a regular basis. How to find the motivation I need to complete certain goals, assignments, or required tasks. Looking at each of these items leads me to different answers.

For most, goals are a personal set of accomplishments you desire to achieve (yes, I’m aware of company goals). The money for that next great vacation, or a new set of golf clubs. Some personal aspect you want to improve, or at least, upgrade.

Goals generally make it easy to get motivated, because they offer their own reward. They are your goals and reflect where you have a strong desire to grow or achieve for your own well being. Most goal setting exercises concentrate on this aspect because it is one the individual can control.

Typically, this is something that is work related and is more difficult to gain motivation to accomplish. These are handed out to different individuals or departments and have certain requirements and time lines for completion. These can have a range, but as examples: You must complete this evaluation by Thursday noon for a meeting or finish a cost analysis on a recommendation for the CFO by tomorrow.

Motivation here can range from the challenge of the assignment, to the fear of loss of job. Much of this can be traced to your attitude and how you view your job at this given moment. If you like running cost analyses, the challenge of the assignment is enough to get you motivated, but if you hate this type work, it is more difficult.

This is, for me, the hardest motivation to find. Something that has to be done, and you can’t argue, because you know it has to be done. This can be at home, like mowing the lawn, fixing the leaking faucet, cleaning out the garage, or at work, such as, writing those weekly reports, evaluating a co-worker, or keeping that desktop clean.

The way that keeps coming to mind is to do it from a sense of duty. You know it has to be done, and you are the logical person to do it, so you just do it, as the commercial says. In the work scenario, it is usually defined in the job duties, so, like the household duties (see, even the word is a form of duty), there is no option, you must do them.

How do you see these different components? Where do you get your motivation from? Share your thought in the comments. I really want to know.

[tags]motivation, leadership, work, job, duty[/tags]

13 Replies to “Where Does Your Motivation Come From?”

  1. I get much of my motivation from inside my guts, as I was told when I was youngster that I “couldn’t do” something. Ever since then I have set out to prove that naysayer wrong, so much of my motivation from defeating that inner voice. It’s a big driver for me.

    I also get much of my motivation from the desire to be the best. While sometimes this is driven by a goal I set, again my guts drive me to be the best.

    Also, I get motivation from people, and my desire to help people. When people ask me for help, it spurs me to do things I wouldn’t normally say yes to, especially if it’s someone I respect or care about.

    And yes, goals, tasks, and assignments can temporarily motivate me as well.

  2. Phil, Good stuff and I agree. I’m not sure the biggest motivator in history doesn’t come from the fact that someone was told they “couldn’t do it.” I have experienced that myself several times, also.

  3. Motivation is part of my day to day activities. I am in the military as are most or were. With everday we have to wake up and do what gets tiresome after awhile. With the military we all have different jobs but are one in the same. We do physical duty as well as emotional and with some of the things we have to sacrifice we gain little from. The one thing I know that gives me the motivation to keep of driving forward is that I am out there protecting the greatest nation on earth. There are those that feel the military is not needed but its like a lock on your door, without one your inviting anyone in. I am here to help those our there grow up safer and to prove even though im not the toughest looking guy I can still do ten times more then the next guy.

    Follow your dreams and they will show you where you want to go, only question is whats your drive to get there?

  4. Thanks for the great input, Robert. Following your dreams has always been a good way to stay motivated. Also, the desire to be just a little better than the next guy is a fabulous way to stay motivated.

    In sales, becoming the top salesman is the motivator of choice. If someone doesn’t want to be the best salesman on the team, a conversation may be needed to determine the desire of an individual. Like in the military, if the desire to excel is not there, it is tough to inspire that person.

  5. Having the conversation of ‘what actually inspires or motivates you?’ is a powerful thing. It has the potential to break a lot things that hold people in servitude to someone or something that isn’t actually helping or serving them.

    For me, there’s the things that I’m good at, my giftings, and everyone just gets a kick out of doing them things. Then there’s the things that duty compels one to do – these are the things that should be minimised if at all possible. I’m not really motivated by competitiveness – well sometimes I am, and sometimes not – there’s plenty to go round for everyone to have a slice of the cake – if I’m aware that I’m being competitive in a way that is detrimental then I try to stop behaving in the way that is energizing it. There’s also other motivations – sometimes, something is just the right thing to do, even if it doesn’t immediately and directly benefit me.

  6. Well said, Charles. I love your input.

    I think communication is an important aspect of business and personal motivation. In business, it helps understand the ramifications of an assignment and in personal, it keeps us honest with ourselves. That’s an important part of the equation.

  7. I think, Motivation comes from your willingness
    to do something. And willingness to do something comes from your heart. You
    have to be comitted to yourself to become
    somebody, and visulize that hard work you are doing right now is being paid off later on.
    Setting Goals, lines keps motivation going.

  8. funny thing motivation…I found this site because I feel like none of my 7 adult children are motivated and was asking myself why? Why didn’t they finish College, why didn’t they take on their adult financial responsibilities, etc. I think I have come up with at least one answer…I believe myself and my husband did not “expect” enough of them. I realized that as I pondered my own motivation that I really do”expect” a lot of myself. That’s what motivates me.

  9. Jackie, I can’t pretend to understand the issue you’re describing. I do think you are correct in the internal motivation you’ve brought up. Most of us do expect a lot from ourselves and I’m not talking about self-esteem. I talking about a built in drive to do our best in all situations. Are we frustration free? NO. Are we always upbeat and smiling? NO. Are we always successful in our aspirations? NO. We just don’t give up until we succeed. Now the $64,000 question. How do we pass that on to our children?

  10. My motivation comes from inside me. It is the desire I feel to accomplish, the drive to live, the horizon I chase. Motivation is the tool I use daily to become enthused about whatever task I am geared towards that day.

    Motivation for me is developed through ethical living, desires to improve, and personal religious philosophies. Using this three-pronged approach, I do not find myself ‘running out’ of motivation on a daily basis.

    Great insights. Thank you.

  11. I think motivation can be concidered in defferent way; that is motivation for employed one and motivation for self employed.
    Motivation for those empolyed at the cirtain organization must consider two things internal and the environment, the internal may be the individual goal, the commitment at work and the need to achieve the set goals. For the environment or external factor this consist of working enviroment, wages , appreciation and safety. For the self employed motivation can be driven by the individual goals formulated as many business man they have their own goals to accumulate wealth so their motivated by accumulating wealth.

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