What’s Your Motivation

by David B. Bohl

It’s become a joke to wonder “what’s my motivation?” like an actor, when we have something in front of us to do and just can’t seem to get it done. We may complain that we just can’t get motivated to do something.

What we usually mean by this is just that we don’t want to do it right then, or maybe it all.

Motivation is not just “wanting” to do something.

In fact, motivation is the force behind doing something, including the desire, the need, the energy, and the actual doing of it.

Interviewers often ask job applicants about their motivation, whether they’re self-motivated or “self-starters.” The correct answer, of course, is yes.

In fact, no one is motivated by just one thing, and what motivates us at one time may not be very motivating at all at another time.

For example, if you’re taking a course in calculus, you may be motivated to study for my test by the fact that you need to get an A on that test in order to insure an A in the class. However, if you’re taking a class in a subject you’re more confident in, say contemporary events, you may find it hard to study for a test because you know that you have made As on every test so far, and that you do not have to do as well on this test.

Often in our jobs we think we’re motivated to work by the money we make, but often we could make just as much, or more, at another job.

What motivates us at work may actually be a love of our work, or a need to please our boss, or a desire to finish this project so we can move on to something we enjoy more.

Because motivations vary so much, it is sometimes hard to feel motivated to do something, whether that is to complete a project at work or attend a family function like a wedding or anniversary party, even if the event is in the best barn wedding venue there is, sometimes just don’t feel like attending, but you should, it´s always great to spend time with your family, especially if you have to wear wedding tropics linen pants, they´ll make you look very good.

The reason it’s hard to find our motivation in these cases is that we don’t want to do whatever it is, and we don’t have a strong sense that we will get something positive out of it or suffer consequences for not doing it, that we feel “motivated.”

Relying on a “feeling” of motivation in order to do what’s in front of us to do is not the best way to take care of our obligations.

Being a responsible adult sometimes means doing things we don’t want to do or don’t feel motivated to do, or finding a reasonable alternative to doing them now by postponing or changing our plans.

To see how motivation works in your own life:

Write down your motivation for each action as you take it When you don’t feel motivated to do something, think about what you are motivated to do Examine what makes you want to do or not do things over the course of the next week.