All my childhood, I studied hard and got good grades because I was motivated to escape my mother’s disappointment and wrath on failure. Others in my class were motivated by their desire to excel and get into a good college. Still, others were doing it to maintain their social status and to be recognized as excellent students. The word “motivation” holds a different meaning for different people, as what motivates you may not be sufficient for me and vice versa.
Let’s dig deeper into what the term means.
What is Motivation?
The word motivation has been derived from the word “motive,” which means the human need that needs to be fulfilled to achieve satisfaction. This need can be acquired over time through the elements that surround people, such as the kind of culture, lifestyle, or the kind of environment that is around them.
Motivation is a diverse and varied concept because human beings are diverse and varied themselves. Generally, motivation is a repetitive behavior, something that helps keep us going. It is the driving force that builds within us to take on challenges.
Unsurprisingly, the concept of motivation has been of interest to sociologists and psychologists alike. Research in multiple fields, including business, psychology, and sociology, has tried to explain the concept of motivation in terms of human behavior.
“People Who Are Crazy Enough To Think They Can Change The World, Are The Ones Who Do.” – Rob Siltanen
What is Social Motivation?
Social motivation refers to the human need to connect with each other and their desire to be able to be accepted by each other. Humans are not meant to live on their own, because they are supposed to coexist with others, and the need to interact with each other is what sets the basis of social motivation.
In this article, we will explain the concept of motivation in sociology. We will explain it with the help of different theories presented by psychologists and sociologists to understand human motivation and its sources.
Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs
According to Abraham Maslow, a person’s motivation depends on his need level. His hierarchy of needs took a pyramidic shape where the lowest rung makes up the most basic level needs, and they keep moving upwards. Given below is the hierarchy of needs presented by Maslow.
- Physiological needs: These are the basic survival needs of humans, such as food, water, and a place to live. Once these needs are fulfilled, humans move on to the second phase, which brings us to the second stage of the hierarchy.
- Safety: The second most important human need is that of safety. It is human nature to protect themselves from any danger or anything that is a threat to them. Therefore, when humans are at this need level, they can be motivated by providing safety for themselves and their families.
- Social needs: When the first two needs are fulfilled, humans look for relationships in which they feel as if they belong somewhere, and they are loved.
- Self-esteem: All humans have self-esteem and dignity — they need to be respected and recognized as an important element that plays a role in human motivation.
- Self-Actualization: The last level of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is self-actualization. This is an opportunity for humans to develop and learn. It is the greatest level that humans can achieve. Once humans reach this level, they can only be motivated by their yearning for learning.
“Growth must be chosen again and again; fear must be overcome again and again.” – Abraham Maslow
McClelland’s Theory of Needs
The second theory we will be discussing is McClelland’s theory of needs. This theory is based on three motivating drivers.
According to McClelland, a sense of achievement helps motivate people to achieve greater things in life. Achievement is basically the feeling that humans feel when they accomplish tasks. People who aim for achievement are looking for tasks that would help them grow personally, and they receive their due recognition as soon as possible.
As humans, we all seek the need to feel like we belong somewhere and be socially accepted. Those people who seek affiliation are motivated when they are accepted in society. It drives them to work harder and achieve more. Such people are also happier when they are in social gatherings, and they want to avoid any conflicts with others.
The third driving factor is authority; some of us are motivated by the desire to be in a position of power. Those people who desire power are constantly looking for situations in which they would be able to exercise their authority. They seek situations or jobs in which they would be in a position of authority, which motivates them.
Let’s take the simple example of house cleanliness; some people are motivated to keep their houses clean because they feel a sense of achievement in maintaining a clean house. On the other hand, some may maintain cleanliness because it allows them to connect with their friends and peers. While others maintain a spick and span home so they can maintain control and power among their peers.
Herzberg’s Motivation Theory
This theory of motivation is based on two factors: motivators and hygiene factors. These two factors are motivators that motivate people to work harder.
These factors ensure people don’t get dissatisfied. They are not a part of the job, but they make the job preferrable. Examples include the working conditions and cleanliness of an office. Does the company follow safety protocols? Is there enough lighting on the premise? Is there enough space in the office for the worker to be productive?
These are factors that keep employees motivated. These can be different for different people, such as achievement, recognition, responsibility, or growth.
Implications of Social Motivation in our Daily Life
Applying the science of motivation in our daily lives can help improve performance at workplaces and even at our homes. Yes, many factors help people achieve happiness, but motivation is one of the biggest factors. Motivated human beings are more result-oriented and have clearer goals in life. A happy and balanced lifestyle may be maintained through the right amount of extrinsic and intrinsic motivating factors, as discussed in the theories above.
There are indeed different motivation factors for different people. No matter how many explanations there are, there will always be certain areas that are not yet covered since every human is different. There is still a vast amount of research being carried out on the subject to figure out human psychology in an in-depth manner.
As a leader, it is important to ensure that all the people working in the team are motivated. The motivation theories above give an insight into human psychology; managers and leaders can use these theories and motivating factors to motivate their employees according to their personality.
What motivates you in life? Share your thoughts with us below!
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Motivation is something we all strive to have, but can also be one of those feelings that’s hard to keep. Whether we’re attempting to reach a new fitness goal or trying to stay motivated in our role at work, sometimes that motivation just isn’t there. You feel motivated for a while – you’ll listen to podcasts, read books, keep yourself accountable – but then it’s lost. You feel so much energy at the start, then feel yourself slowly losing that inspiration. Don’t worry, you’re not alone. (more…)
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If you’d like to learn how to consistently motivate yourself so you can achieve any goal you want, sign up for the free 90-Day Master Class hosted by the founder of Addicted2Success.com, Joel Brown.
People are always waiting for motivation to strike them before they start working on their goals. However, waiting for motivation to come to you before you start working is an unreliable method if you want to consistently work on achieving your goals. (more…)
8 Things You Can Do Right Now to Get Your Motivation Back
Welcome to our new normal. A time in our lives that a year ago we certainly didn’t see coming that most of us probably wouldn’t have chosen for ourselves; but here we are. As the days away from each other carry on and more and more bad news comes our way, it’s easy to lose your motivation and waste energy doing things that aren’t helpful like worrying and fighting with people on the internet instead.
Nearly half of Americans report the coronavirus crisis is harming their mental health, according to the Washington Post. While many of us had routines set up to deal with stress in the past, the stress we are facing during this time is unlike anything we’ve experienced before. It’s easy to find yourself in a downward spiral, and that’s the most challenging time to stop the momentum and turn things around. If that’s the case, keep it simple and start to reach for little things to help you feel better and climb your way out.
Here’s a reminder of a few simple things you can do right now to start getting positive momentum going your way:
1. Find someone who was in a similar place and made it to the other side
Whether you’ve been unmotivated to workout, eat healthy, make sales calls or simply do anything, you can find someone who has been there and made it to the other side. Look up some great TED talks, go on YouTube and look up people that motivate you, google them to find their websites. There are short speeches and much longer talks all over the internet, you just need to find someone who you relate to that speaks to you.
2. Do something that you love
When we’re unmotivated, it’s easy to get out of the habit of doing what we love. Sometimes just getting out of bed or away from the tv feels like a chore. Think back to a time in your life when you felt great – what were you doing? What do you absolutely love to do that if you had the time, you would do all day and not realize any time had passed at all?
Figure out a way to do whatever that is, or a modified version of it if it is something that you aren’t able to do at the present time. Spending time doing what you love will get your mind off of anything that is wrong and allow you to find inspiration.
3. Don’t overcomplicate it
Keep it simple. When we’re stuck in a rut, we’ll give ourselves every excuse to not do something. Say you’ve gained some weight; you might tell yourself you need to find the perfect trainer and wait until you have time to cook your meals from scratch each night before you do anything else. Stop trying to overcomplicate it and keep it simple by finding one thing you can do right now, however small that may be. You don’t have to wait until the timing is perfect and the stars align for you to start moving in the direction you want to go.
4. Get up and get moving
This is probably the last thing you want to do right now, but once you are up and moving, your blood will start flowing. The hardest part is getting started. Day one, get up and do anything to get moving. This is the hardest day if you haven’t in a while because getting up is really the hardest part. Day two, do a little more. Once you start, you’ll build momentum and get back in the habit.
5. Reset your focus
It’s so easy for worry to set in and for our minds to wander to places of what we can’t control. This is not motivating or helpful and we always have a choice to redirect our attention. There is always something we can do right where we are, so bring your focus to the solution instead of the problem and figure out the next step of what you can do.
One step at a time. Step one, take your attention away from what you can’t control and what you can’t do. Step two, ask yourself questions like “What can I do?” and see what comes to mind. Follow through with the answers you find.
6. Listen to your favorite music
Not much can lift our spirits and put us into a positive vibration more than our favorite music. Feel free to sing along. Find a song that pumps you up and make that your theme song. Put it on anytime you feel down or unmotivated.
7. Expand your knowledge
“In times of change, the learners will inherit the Earth, while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists.” Quote by Eric Hoffer. In times of change, there is great loss but also great opportunity. Continually learning opens you to new opportunities and leads you to paths you may not have otherwise found.
If you’re already a meditator and got away from it, take some time to come back to it. If you’ve never tried, it can be as easy as setting a timer for five minutes (or less, feel free to start with one or two minutes) and focusing on your breath. Listen to the inhalations and exhalations. Silently say to yourself “in” as you inhale and “out” as you exhale. Even taking a few minutes to do this can help you to calm down and allow your mind to refocus.
When we’re unmotivated, our momentum starts moving in the other direction. Slow down that momentum by trying one of the ideas above. Once you’ve slowed down the momentum, get it moving in the right direction and you’ll be well on your way.
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If you’d like to learn how to increase your motivation so you can get more done during the day, sign up for the free 90-Day Master Class hosted by the founder of Addicted2Success.com, Joel Brown.
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