Understanding the Science of Motivation

The science of motivation is an interesting one and a person can learn a great deal about themselves and others by studying it. What is your motivation? Why do you do the things you do? What compels you to take action, make decisions, and continue on even in the tough times of your life. Motivation is a strong and driving force in the lives of all people. According to Psychology Today, motivation is “the process that initiates, guides and maintains goal-oriented behaviors”.

In order to meet goals and see dreams become reality, people need to have something that is driving them. In other words, they need to have motives and motivation. This is true both in people’s personal and professional lives. Relationships succeed, careers thrive, children are raised, and satisfying lives are built when people are motivated to make things happen.

People are born with motivation in them. It is a built in mental and psychological phenomena which is based on science. For instance, an infant who is crying is doing so because he or she is motivated to. The motivation may be hunger, pain, discomfort, fear, or some other bothersome feeling. No matter what the reason, in particular, the action of the crying is based on motivation of some sort. As babies, the motivation is not thought out, certainly, but it is there regardless. As people grow older, motivation becomes driven by more than just instinct. They become deeper and more personal. In some cases, they become more selfish, as well.

Motivation is composed of activation, intensity, and persistence. These three things are what gets motivation going and keeps it going until a goal is achieved. Activation is the thought or feeling that initiates a person to take action. Intensity is the level of determination that is given to the action. Persistence is the time, work, energy, finances, and anything else that is given to making something happen. With high levels of activation, intensity, and persistence, a person can achieve the things that he or she desires to achieve, even when the odds are against them.

There are both intrinsic and extrinsic motivators for people. Intrinsic motivators focus on the emotional, physical, and/or mental pleasures that a person gets. For instance, someone is hungry so they eat a meal. The motivation is hunger and that is internal to the physical body. Other motivators are based on external things, or extrinsic ones. An example of this is when a person is motivated to go to work in order to get a paycheck. The motivation to go to work every day is the paycheck because it is necessary to live a life that they want to live.

Motivation is a huge part of the lives of people. It is what causes people to behave in the ways that they do. Motivation can be good or bad, depending on the motivation itself and the action that it leads to. Taking the time to learn about motivation in general and your own motivations, in particular, can be fascinating and it can also enrich your life as you figure out why you do what you do, even those things that you may wish that you didn’t do.