Motivation part one of eight

I am going to present my way of thinking about motivation into seven parts.
They are:
1.• What is motivation?
2. Can our motivation save the world from destruction?
3. How your motivation can make you a winner and a loser.
4. The luck of motivation not to be needed.
5. To be motivated for learning, education, and work.
6. Motivation to choose between the good and bad.
7. Is it possible to create motivation? Let’s try.

What is motivation?

My two amazing grandchildren, Sigrid and Ofelia, taught me that you could describe motivation with two words; aaha (yes) or neehe (no). I want, or I don’t want. Their response to a question or suggestion comes straight away with no frills. You never have to think about whether they are motivated or not. As long as they are interested and experience joy, the motivation is there.
Can it be that simple? Probably. Children carry a fantastic natural intrinsic motivation characterized by positive emotions, joy, and satisfaction. For children, the journey is more important than the destination.
Many of us aren’t children anymore and have another relation to motivation. I’m sure you sometimes wake up in the morning feeling like a zombie and want to go back to sleep again. But instead, you go up, brush your teeth, and go to work. Are you motivated? Yes, but not so much through spontaneous joy and satisfaction. The motivation you get is that work leads to money that leads to better living conditions, or opposite that, you can lose your job and a lot of opportunities.
Usually, motivation is something we perceive as good and a door opener to a positive future. But motivation can also lead to destructive behavior, rule breaking, violence, and inhuman acting. Therefore, it is essential to know you must take responsibility for how you intend to use it.
We get better and better knowledge about motivation which also opens the door to a commodity where many actors’ can offer a quick fix to success by copying others. If you go to a bookstore or shop, you can find volumes of literature with self-deception about how you can become both prosperous and happy using motivation.
How do we usually describe motivation?
Motivation is usally described as the will (eagerness) to do something or the refraining from doing something.
To be intrinsically motivated is to handle a need, something we do without significant notification. For example, if you are hungry and find the food you eat. This is usually explained as closely connected to physical needs like food, water, and sleep.
Intrinsic motivation will make you feel more substantial and fearless to satisfy your needs and intentions. The feeling is; I want, and I want now!
Let’s borrow a story from Ander Hansen’s book Brain Blues, where he describes happiness. I have put a little change in the story, trying to show how close our motivation is to happiness.
If one of our ancestors were hungry and found a tree full of fruit, that person would probably be motivated to climb and even try to reach fruits on the outermost branches. However, the motivation to climb will subside after eating and feeling great. Why? If the person were happy forever, they would stop looking for food and starve to death. We are therefore programmed never to be truly satisfied. Hungry again! Your needs will reawake, and you will get motivated to climb one more time.
Contrarily to instric motivation that happens automatically the extrinsic is to make calcultions the possibility to reach a goal. If we think it is possible, we will probably make a serious attempt; and if we are unsure, we will maybe refrain. A controlled (extrinsic) motivation is like a switch that can be turned on or off. We usually also popularly describe it as a carrot and a stick.
If your employer offers you a higher salary if you produce four mugs instead of three within the same time frame, it can motivate you to speed up. The reason is not that you enjoy making mugs, but maybe because an upcoming holiday can be a little more luxurious.
You will probably also speed up if your employer threatens to cut down your salary or replace you with another person.
We can also describe motivation from the following three perspectives; biological, social, and personal.
  • Biological motivation is about eating, sleeping, and breathing, which happens automatically.
  • Social motivation is about wanting to fit in.
  • Personal motivation refers to your goals, intentions, and interest.
Our biological needs are almost untouchable, and it’s difficult to manage our social. But personal motivation can we have reasonable control over.
Motivation and time
In Sweden, Italy, and Spain, 2022, are movements with a Nazism and Fascism background growing, which have not been possible in the fifties and sixties. But as time goes on, politics can clean the negative parts of the past and more or less cheat themselves and, in a circle, lead us back to a new negative situation. The reason is that we simply lose strong feelings over the wrong thing in the past.
Simplified, we can say that your motivation is more robust in the near term than in a longer time perspective. Therefore, it is possible to repress motivation to deal with a future life-changing decision when we have daily situations to handle.
A leading politician stated to a newspaper that the party’s intention and undoubtedly most important goal was to work for a sustainable living situation globally. The politician was after that asked how the party could contribute to lower fuel costs. Answer: People have to get to work!
Thinking that immediate issues take precedence over the long-term suits almost all of us well.
One political (2022) in a leading position whant us to take this one more step and has proposed that all historical things (facts) that do not include actual living humans should be presented in schools as a “theory”. In that way of thinking, for example, the curantly against the Jewish people should be simply considered soon as a theory.
Motivation can change in a blink of a moment.
When I was a headmaster, a teacher told me this story:
I had a drinking problem for many years, but when this happened, I had been sober for about ten years. It was just before Christmas, and I decided to take snaps (snaps is a Danish and Swedish word for a small shot of strong alcohol)
for the Christmas celebration and act like any regular guy. So I took on a backpack and went to the licorice store. In the queue, I repeated what I had decided to myself; two beers and a small bottle of vodka. After that, when it was my turn, without understanding anything, I ordered bottles more or less to fill up my backpack.
So what happened was that his extrinsic motivation and planning did change to intrinsic motivation in a blink of a moment. I want, and I want now did show it’s superpower!
We can be sure about two things; someone else can never control your motivation, and our motivations can bridge each other. A strong feeling can quickly change your motivated planning and goal to an unexpected decision.
Simplified schematic picture