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Motivation

The 7 Driving Forces Behind Human Motivation

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Motivation

Motivation is the ultimate force that causes you to take action. Not only does it initiate and drive goal-oriented behaviour, but it also sustains it. The actions can be as simple as eating healthy, or as complex as winning a Nobel Prize; every action has a certain motivation behind it. The driving forces behind human motivation can be biological, emotional, social, or personal in nature.

A lot of research has been carried out to explain motivation, and many researchers have come up with a number of theories to explain it. While every theory tries to explain the driving forces behind motivation within a limited scope, all of them have certain common elements.

Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is perhaps the most famous theory which explains motivational needs at different levels. Other theories speculate that motivation is caused due to internal instincts, to quell internal tension, to satisfy biological urges, or to get incentivized.

 

Here are the 7 driving forces behind human motivation

 

1Self-actualization

Everyone will try to accomplish what they can, as long as they feel that they have the capacity to do it. Some individuals may have the desire to be a wealthy businessman, while others may want be a successful musician or an athlete.

Self-actualizing needs are a great motivational tool for people to do what they desire.However, for you to realize your full potential, it helps to have mastered all the other needs detailed below.

 

2. Self-protection

Once the physiological needs have been met, an individual craves for safety and security; this is borne out of a desire for self-protection. While early humans had a completely different idea of staying protected; today, security needs can include safe neighbourhood, access to healthcare, steady employment, and protection from environmental forces. Fulfilling these needs can be a great motivation factor.

 

3. Love and Belonging

Once an individual has satisfied both their physical and self-protection needs, they crave for social needs; this can be love, affection, and belonging. Humans are social animals, and they are motivated to form meaningful relationships such as friendships, family relations, romantic attachments, and other interpersonal needs that give you a sense of belonging. This is one of the main reasons why humans form social communities, whether it is a family, a friend group, religion, or any other interest group.

The need to be accepted and belong to a social group is a strong driving factor behind motivation.

 

4. Status/Esteem

Every human has a need to command respect and status in society; this also includes self-esteem. It is an important driving factor behind what people do, as they want to feel valued and respected by others. Social recognition, personal worth, and other accomplishments are some of the factors behind driving you to fulfil your self-esteem needs.

A low self-esteem or an inferiority complex can also drive one to stay away from the things they want to do; it is a form of negative motivation. However, just being accepted by others isn’t enough; one has to accept his or her worth internally to have a high self-esteem.

 

5. Mate Acquisition

One of the main driving factors behind human behaviour, or any other animal behaviour for that matter, is the need to satisfy one’s sexual urges. While sex can be classified under physiological needs, a mate is someone who you want to have an offspring with; one who will help you take your genes forward to the next generation.

A male will try everything in his power to attract a female, while a female would do the same to attract a suitable male. This is one of the main driving factors behind the cosmetics industry, driving the consumer’s motivation to purchase through the need of a higher status and self esteem.

 

6. Mate Retention

While it is very easy to attract a mate, it is very hard to retain him or her. We present ourselves as an ideal person for our partner to realize that they are worth staying with. In earlier times, a male was expected to provide for his family, while a female used to take care of the family at home. However, this doesn’t apply for all partners in this current age, nowadays you can even expect to see a role-reversal. Nevertheless, mate retention is still one of the driving factors behind human motivation.

 

7. Physiological Needs

Physiological needs are the most basic needs that are extremely vital for human survival. These include food, water, air, shelter and sleep. As long as a human hasn’t satisfied their most needs, they won’t be motivated enough to seek the others. Hence, these basic needs are the most crucial driving forces behind human motivation.

 


Human motivation is a very complex thing, and the driving forces behind it can be quite hard to discern. However, if you learn about the link between the different needs and the urge to satisfy them, then you can understand the main driving factors behind human motivation.

Havard is a certified coach, teacher and speaker with the John Maxwell Team. He coaches company directors helping them maximize their strengths. He helps leaders discover how to reach new dimensions in their lives and brings enthusiasm and a renewed vision to every team he teaches.

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6 Comments

6 Comments

  1. Nicolas Buis

    Nov 21, 2016 at 6:49 am

    Slice it and dice it however you want, it all comes down to acceptance of our core being and that is why love conquers all. Love is acceptance with appreciation and then some.

  2. ken

    Dec 13, 2013 at 4:43 am

    Great just would’ve wrote the list from 7-1 since psychological is the most basic and bottom of Maslows pyramid

  3. isaac

    Dec 2, 2013 at 6:20 am

    interesting points i love to read them over and over .

  4. Harry @ GoalsOnTrack

    Nov 7, 2013 at 5:06 am

    One of the best ways to motivate oneself is to go out and make some progress on your goals.

  5. Sebastian

    Oct 23, 2013 at 12:25 pm

    Most of it boils down to attracting a mate. Do you know why men invented the wheel? Built the pyramid? Flew to the moon? They were trying to get laid. They were trying to be better in order to impress the ladies.

  6. Ragnar

    Oct 22, 2013 at 8:42 am

    Interesting points, and I definitely agree with putting self actualization first. But I would argue that status/esteem is part of seeking love/belonging/better “access” to and retention of mates.

    Hopefully empathy is something that can motivate some of us, although whether or not the motive behind good actions matters is another discussion.

    Peace!

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Motivation

It’s What You Do On A ‘Bad Day’ That Matters.

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Last Friday was a bad day for me. I woke up late, missed the gym and didn’t meditate.

None of this was intentional.

I then turned my computer on to do what I do every day: blog. I was not prepared for the whirlwind that followed.

As I opened up my social media channels, there were a lot more than usual, direct messages. I started reading each one and they were from colleagues and friends who wanted to warn me that I had a large amount of hate-fuelled comments on social media. I’m usually pretty good at dealing with hate comments. Not on that day, though — I was having a ‘bad day.’

I turned off the computer and didn’t respond to anybody. In the same week, I’d been told I was now a LinkedIn Top Voice for 2018.

I should have been celebrating and I didn’t because I didn’t feel worthy. If anything, I wanted to give up there and then. Luckily I didn’t follow through with any of these ideas. I knew it was just noise in my awful day.

I went away to sit on the couch and think about what I’d just read. Without really thinking about what I was going to do for the rest of the day, I began thinking about my team at work. There were several leadership challenges that I had to solve.

One was from a customer that was being abusive to female staff. Another was a rejection I had to deliver to someone that wanted to work with us. The hardest part about delivering the rejection was that I’d already said yes.
Despite the day being bad, I made a fundamental decision — to keep doing what I do and not stop. I said to myself “How can I inspire people while simultaneously solving both these challenges?”

I’m a big believer that it’s not what you say that matters; it’s what you do. Talk is cheap. I came up with a bold plan to address both challenges.

I was going to do something that made me see the good in the people involved.

Even if the people in both situations had let me down, I was going to assume they were still good.

I concocted a plan to help both people and try and show them a more positive way to move forward. If I break down the plan, it was about being an inspiration in both situations.

I didn’t feel like being inspiring.
It was not the day to be inspiring.

But it was the only way I could motivate myself to finish off this bad day and wake up the next morning fresh. It’s funny how a good nights sleep takes away all the pain and negativity from the day before.

So, by the end of the day, I enabled both plans. I set out to release inspiration in both scenarios and that was my only focus. I didn’t look at anymore hate fuelled comments or go near social media.

On that bad day last Friday, my actions helped me keep moving forward and not give up.


It’s not about necessarily seeing the good in your bad day.

I’ve read this sort of advice heaps, but it requires a lot of willpower.

Using your actions to make the day better rather than trying to think your way out of your bad day seems to be a lot easier to implement”


It’s not about the bad day.

Bad days will happen.

It’s what you do on a bad day that determines if you’ll feel the full effect of all the negativity that can potentially knock you out like a Tsunami that comes your way when all you wanted to do was lay on the beach and soak up some sun.

I’ve learned to find situations during a day that’s not working out well for me, to do something good, and often that’s not something that benefits me. If I was to look at it another way it would be “How do I not focus on my own bad day?”

Trying to make someone else’s day good distracts you from your own bad day.

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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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how to stay motivated
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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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how to motivate marketers

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.

<<<>>>

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