What Is Motivation In Psychology And Why It’s Important

If you’ve ever wondered what is motivation in psychology, this article is for you.

Motivation refers to the totality of all motives (motives) that lead to the willingness to act, i.e. the human pursuit of goals or desirable target objects based on emotional and neuronal activity. The transformation of motives into actions is called volition or implementation competence.

I’m motivated, you often hear. Or the opposite: I don’t have the motivation. But what is motivation anyway? According to a simple definition, motivation is a feeling that moves people to do something specific.

What Is Motivation In Psychology

The word motivation comes from the Latin word motus, meaning movement. The definition of motivation is often different in many cases. Depending on whether it is based on a philosophical or scientific consideration. It expresses the definition in the dictionary most simply: Motivation is “the motives that determine a person’s actions”. But basically the translation of the original word already indicates what it is about: movement. Not about physical exercise, but about getting yourself or someone else to do something.

Internal drive controls our behavior

If you are highly motivated to do something, there is usually a positive effect behind it. So you can consciously increase your own motivation by rewarding yourself after successfully completing a task. Some things need more motivation than others.

The fact is that motivation is always present in principle. In most cases, however, you use them unconsciously. When you eat, you are motivated to satisfy your hunger.

The motivation is more or less in your subconscious. If you want to use them consciously, you have to set yourself goals. You must want to achieve this goal firmly. And you have to imagine again and again what positive effect it has to achieve this goal. It is at this moment that motivation comes into play: you have a fixed goal that is worth achieving. Consequently, you are motivated to make the journey there.

SEE ALSO: What Is Positive Thinking And What Is Not [And Why You Need It]

Realistic goals motivate and bring success

First of all, it is important that you formulate your goals correctly. Always set yourself positive goals. Say to yourself “I want to have a positive attitude to life” instead of “I don’t want to think so negatively anymore”. Your goal may be set high. But they must be able to reach it. If you notice on the way that you have no success with your objectives, your motivation decreases.

In order to be able to set realistic goals, you must first become aware of your current situation. Only if you know where you stand can you estimate what you can achieve in what time. For example, if you want to learn Italian, but your current situation is limited to a few words, you know that it is impossible to master Italian like your mother tongue within three weeks.

Avoid frustration

It gets more difficult when it comes to losing weight. Of course, you’d like to lose a lot of pounds in no time. So you set yourself a high goal and are highly motivated, because after all you always see your success in front of your inner eye. But then you realize that you don’t lose as much weight as you thought and you are frustrated. The lack of success reduces your motivation.

It is important that you recognize the following: You didn’t fail because you weren’t motivated enough, but because you misjudged your current situation. When setting your goals, it is better to stay a little below your means and divide the way into small stages. You will achieve this somewhat faster, which in turn will lead to increased motivation for the next stage.

Order in the household is a matter of motivation

If you are working, have children to look after and also want to have free time, order in the household quickly falls by the wayside. Motivation to tidy up is lacking anyway if you have little time. First of all, you should consider how best to motivate yourself to clean up. Is it enough if you imagine how beautiful the apartment looks afterwards?

Does the thought of a good book that you read in the cosy atmosphere of your home after tidying up help? Or does it have to be something more? There is nothing to be said against the reward principle: If you are a real lackey of order, you can do something good for yourself after cleaning your house. Treat yourself to a cup of coffee with your best friend or go to the cinema.

It is important that the reward is in proportion to the task done. Rewarding yourself for tidying up with an expensive DVD player or designer dress is not a reward. Instead, use the reward procedure as an excuse for the expensive purchase.

Go for it!

You are highly motivated, can see the reward for your efforts in front of your inner eye and still can’t start? The first step is the hardest. Try to outsmart your reluctance. Put on some cheerful music to cheer you up. Even housework is fun with the right music. And if there’s no other way, work in stages. Today the living room, tomorrow the bathroom, the day after tomorrow the hall and kitchen.

If you can’t do everything, don’t pull yourself down by thinking “Others would have done more for sure” or “I’m incapable”. If keeping order is your weakness, even small stages are a success. You have the right to be praised or to be praised for it. Then you’ll be more motivated next time.

Motivated people learn successfully

Motivation is an important motivation for learning and decisive for learning success. If the teacher helps in the school by means of praise or reprimand, you do not get as much feedback as a student. The self-determination you enjoy has two sides: On the one hand, you can manage your own time.

On the other hand, you’ll also have to get yourself to it. Because you don’t get the receipt at the university during the homework check, but at the earliest during the examination – and then it’s sometimes too late. Especially for freshmen, it is advisable to enter the seminars and lectures in a timetable, similar to a school timetable. For now, there is a fixed frame that you can follow.

In addition, try not to exceed the specified time until the intermediate examination or the Bachelor examination. In order to motivate yourself, you should choose topics for the seminars and lectures that are of particular interest to you.
Motivate yourself by reaching stage victories

Unfortunately, it is not possible to deal exclusively with desired topics during your studies. The requirements of your subject will impose topics on you that are difficult to get to grips with. The distant student and a subsequent professional career are not a suitable motivation at this point.

Instead, set yourself intermediate goals. So you always have smaller successes, which help you not to give up. You can motivate yourself by choosing a seminar on your preferred topic after completing a compulsory seminar in the following semester. The prospect of this makes it easier for you to hold on. You can also keep in mind that you will have to repeat the compulsory seminar if you do not successfully complete it. In some cases a negative prospect, or the prospect of “punishment”, can also lead to higher motivation.

SEE ALSO: Everyone Is Manipulated: What Is Manipulation And How Does It Work?

Motivate your employees!

It goes without saying that you cannot always take a cuddle course in your professional life. But if you, as a supervisor, constantly exert pressure on your employees, you should not be surprised if their motivation sinks into the cellar and the working climate reaches arctic temperatures. Remember that you are dependent on your employees. A good working atmosphere also depends a lot on you as the boss. Of course, you set the tone and say what will be done. But not only the “what” is decisive, but also the “how”:

Please and thank you – you may also use these two magic words as your superior. It shows your employees that you value their work.

Even as a boss, you should apologize if you have made a mistake. This has nothing to do with weakness. On the contrary. Good performance by your employees is nice, but not a matter of course. Praise at the right time will motivate your employees. As a supervisor, you’re responsible. Do the same and do not delegate them to your subordinates. Your employees will also appreciate friendly and fair dealings.

You rank above your employees, so behave like this: Be a role model. If you are rude or unfair, don’t be surprised at the echo.

Before we devote ourselves to this coveted topic, let’s have a look at what a renowned dictionary has to say about it:

Motivation [Latin]: Sum of the motives that influence someone’s decision, action; cf. extrinsic, intrinsic motivation.

extrinsic: stimulated from outside, not by one’s own internal cause, but by external drives; Ggs. intrinsic (psychology); extrinsic motivation: motivation caused by external constraints, punishments; Ggs. intrinsic motivation.

intrinsic: from within, of one’s own accord through interest in the matter, caused by incentives inherent in the matter (psychology ); Ggs. extrinsic; intrinsic motivation: caused by incentives emanating from a task; Ggs. extrinsic motivation.

There are therefore two types of motivation, which are usually not comprehensively known or taken into account. The fact is, one can observe in very different companies that a lot is talked about about the topic and sometimes even more time and money is invested to motivate all employees.

It is interesting to note that a partially achieved motivation boost decreases when situations change.

This applies to the workplace and, without restriction, to private life as well. Motivation should increase effectiveness and give the company more momentum. Thus the team is more powerful and can not be thrown off track.

Przemkas Mosky
Przemkas Mosky started Perfect 24 Hours in 2017. He is a Personal Productivity Specialist, blogger and entrepreneur. He also works as a coach assisting people to increase their motivation, social skills or leadership abilities. Read more here