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Motivation

Positive Motivation vs. Negative Motivation: Which One Works Better?

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It’s not uncommon to struggle with motivation. It’s a tricky beast to tame, but it’s also incredibly powerful. A bout of motivation every day is all you need to sustain a career move or pursue a personal goal over the long-term.

For most people, motivation is fleeting. It drives you to complete a whole week’s worth of work over the weekend without realizing it, but disappears on Monday when you really need to get started with something new at work. It’s hard to control and keep alive when you need it most.

Scientists seem to define motivation as the willingness to do something. It’s a very intrinsic and natural drive to take something new on and complete it successfully. Digging deeper it seems every action and thought we have is guided by our built-in motivations. Psychologists believe that the basis of human behavior is the sticks and carrots the mind associates with different activities. Every decision and behavior is rooted in the mind’s perception of pleasure and pain.

It appears that the mind and body will simply not act till the pain of not doing something outweighs the pain of doing it. Similarly, the rewards of doing something must outweigh the temporary reward of not doing it. This means there are two forms of motivation – negative and positive. But which one works better?

Positive Motivation

Positive motivation comes from an internal drive to seek out pleasure. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs explains this well. You’re more likely to act when the results of an action are a direct impact on one of your needs – like the need for self actualization or self esteem.

Some people respond very well to positive stimulation. Thinking about the pleasures of being financially independent or well recognized within an industry can push people to achieve impossible feats in their career.

You can create positive motivation by either reminding yourself of the benefits of a task or by setting up rewards for yourself for completing something. It’s the equivalent of setting up carrots or thinking about the carrots as you go about doing what you need to do.

For example, visualizing a thinner, better looking version of yourself could push you to get up and exercise in the morning. At the same time, you could probably reward yourself with a bottle of wine if you meet your weekly targets at work. Both these methods are positive and can really get you to meet the targets you set.

“Ability is what you’re capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it.” – Lou Holtz

Negative Motivation

Negative motivation is about punishment and fear. It’s the sort of motivation that gets you to quit smoking because you’ve witnessed someone struggle with cancer. Of course, not every motivation needs to be dramatic or dreadful. You could be motivated to stay at your job because you don’t want to lose the house, or could be paying the bills on time because you want to avoid the penalty.

Negative motivation is likely to work just as well as positive motivation, but for some people it’s a lot more effective. Certain people are driven by fear and anxiety. The looming threat of loss is too much to bear for some individuals and they tend to take action more quickly in such scenarios.

You can apply negative motivation by reminding yourself of the consequences of not doing something. You could also apply this sort of motivation by setting up punishments for not completing some task. Working over the weekend because you didn’t complete an assignment over the week or seeking out criticism from friends to help you improve your work are both examples of negative motivations that propel action.

“Success is not built on success. It’s built on failure. It’s built on frustration. Sometimes, it’s built on catastrophe.” – Summer Redtsone

Which one is better?

So, which of the two types of motivation work best? The good news is this is an area of psychology that has been well researched and there is a definite answer. In the 1940’s B.F. Skinner published a number of academic studies that showed the effects of what he called “positive and negative reinforcement.” Skinner’s studies were based on experiments on lab mice that indicated how human beings responded to reinforcement.

The research found that both types of reinforcement were abundant in the systems created to extract work. Some people responded better to positive reinforcements like rewards, while others responded better to negative reinforcement like punishments. Researchers Kelly J Bouxsein, Henry S Roane, and Tara Harper expanded on this study and found that a combination of the two types worked best. It seems the average person is best motivated when there is a little bit of reward and a justified amount of punishment for completing or not completing the task at hand.

You can apply this knowledge to better motivate yourself in the future. At work and in your personal life there’s likely to be a system of checks and balances that motivate you to do things. But you need to go beyond this and create a sense of personal motivation. Take the time to understand yourself and set up a system of rewards and punishments that will push you to achieve more.

Which type of motivation works better for you? Please leave your thoughts below!

Alan Morris is a blogger from San Diego,California. Alan believes that a positive mindset leads to a positive life. He enjoys talking about health, motivation, and personal development. Talk to Alan on Facebook or Twitter.

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2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Nicholas Marchwinski

    Apr 6, 2017 at 2:44 am

    Interesting Article Alan. I agree with the study in the sense that a combination of positive and negative motivation is typically the best answer. Everyone is unique so there will be cases in which an individual crumbles under the pressure of negative motivation while there are others who thrive from it. Those individuals who love to prove someone wrong are an example I can think of immediately.

  2. Ewen Munro

    Feb 3, 2017 at 11:14 pm

    Great read, Alan! 😉 #keepgrowing #keepcreating

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Motivation

Follow This 2-Step Process to Stay Motivated When You Feel Like Nothing Is Going Right

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Image Credit: Unsplash

The dialogue in your mind is the battleground where your motivation lives and dies every day. In every moment, your words are either lifting you or sabotaging your success. Unfortunately, most people are losing this battle within themselves. They are using their most powerful asset — their mental energy — to beat themselves up, play victimization games, or stop themselves from sharing their passion. (more…)

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Motivation

6 Surefire Ways to Motivate Marketers in 2019

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If your company did well in 2018, you must be sitting there challenged with a thought inside your head – How can I continue the streak and keep up my marketing game this year? You have knocked yourself enough to meet your 2018 goals, and all you need now is a boost of morale to face all that 2019 has in store for you. (more…)

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Motivation

This Is How An Ordinary Person Can Make Their Country Better.

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Someone asked on the internet how they can make their country better.
They considered themselves ordinary and felt that they had to be someone special to make a difference in their country, India.

Their question made me feel a bit emotional because I can relate. I too have also dreamt of making my country better.

The most common answer to this question is to get involved in politics.

Many of you reading this find politics really boring including me. I’ve learned through my own experience that politics is not the only way you can make your country better.

Here’s how you can make your country better:


Use your voice

When I was faced with the question “How do I make my country better?” I decided to use my voice.

It was this decision that changed everything. I spent every day using my voice to stand for something. I wanted to inspire the world through entrepreneurship and personal development.

So, I started using my voice by posting on LinkedIn. I used my voice and transcribed it into words to tell the citizens of my country what I think they needed to hear.

Using your voice is incredibly scary at first. As soon as you start sharing your thoughts, many people will say nothing. You’ll get almost no feedback. As your voice starts to get louder over time (probably years) the opposite will happen and you’ll attract trolls and critics.

The hardest part about using your voice is having the courage every day to use it and not being obsessed with the outcome.

By using my voice online through blogging and LinkedIn, I managed to get a 35,000 person bank to start talking about my ideas with staff and customers, and I was voted LinkedIn Australia’s Top Voice that year.

Using the power of your voice is the number one way you can change your country.

It’s in your experiences, ideas and thoughts that you can find what it is that can help your country.

In my country, Australia, we are quite well off, but we still lack a positive mindset. Some of us work jobs we hate and we like things that only money can buy. There’s a competition to get the biggest house or the most expensive car.

It’s not a problem everyone in Australia suffers from, but it’s widespread. I believe by using my own voice to inspire people to seek alternatives, I can change my country.

The results thus far suggest I’m well on the way to changing my country.


Be kind

Changing your country seems like a huge task. It sounds like something only a Nelson Mandela sort of fella can achieve. That’s not true.

A simple understanding of the power of kindness can change your country.

There was this guy I read about online that changed his country by giving out free hugs because he couldn’t run in the local marathon. He embraced his kind nature and ended up impacting millions of people in his country.

Being kind is infectious because we’re wired to do it. When we see one person be kind, we want to do the same.

The problem in my country (and many others) is that we’ve sacrificed kindness for greed.

We’ve let our country’s economy become the most important factor instead of measuring the way we treat people and the ability of a country’s nation to overcome adversity together.

Kindness is so important because every one of our countries will face adversity, and kindness is the solution to that inevitable problem.


Pick up the trash

This one seems even smaller in impact. It’s not.

I found that by picking up the rubbish I saw in places like my apartment lobby, I was able to show myself that I care about my country.

When we care about our country, we choose to make it look beautiful so others can enjoy it. Something simple like picking up the trash can take you a long way towards helping your country.

Every country has an environmental problem and picking up rubbish can help solve it. If we all picked up one piece of trash, then each of our country’s would be a hell of a lot cleaner.


Don’t think you can’t make your country better

A lot of what I’ve learned, by trying to make my own country better, has come from the belief that I can have an impact.

There are so many people who want to do nothing more than complain which wastes time and energy and doesn’t make anyone’s country better.

The way you make your country better is by believing you can and taking one or two small actions to start the process.

The people that change their country believe they can.

<<<>>>

If you want to increase your productivity and learn some more valuable life hacks, then join my private mailing list on timdenning.net

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Motivation

50 Cent Scored Half a Billion Dollars – How 50 Made a Killing Off Water

Joel Brown (Founder of Addicted2Success.com)

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Image Credit | The Source

In “The Big Payback: The History of the Business of Hip-Hop,” author Dan Charnas traces how rap grew from its obscure roots in the ghettos of 1970s New York to its culmination as the world’s predominant youth pop culture and a multibillion-dollar industry.

The event that epitomized just how far hip-hop had come was the headline-grabbing partnership between the rapper 50 Cent and the upstart beverage company Glaceau, the maker of VitaminWater. It may well have been the biggest deal in hip-hop history, propelling 50 Cent’s personal net worth toward a half-billion dollars.

In this excerpt, Charnas outlines how it happened. (more…)

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