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Motivation: What moves you?

Updated on May 15, 2012

Learning to ride a bike, becoming a teacher, professional sports player, or even writing an essay requires having a goal. The motivation to obtain that goal differs for everyone. Some of us want to be praised for how well we perform. Other want to be known for their intelligence. There are others that are motivated by greed, power, or justice. The following will discuss what types of goals there are and suggestions on how to achieve accomplishment.

There are many motives behind accomplishment. Immortality, knowledge, justice, power, and greed are a few of these motivators. Weather big or small, all humans make goals for themselves, What moves us to achieve these goals is the question. Wade and Tavris suggest that a critical factor behind a person motivation is weather or not they perform well in front of others, or to learn the task for the satisfaction of it. (Wade and Tavris, 2000) Claudia Mueller and Dweck conducted a series of experiments with young children. Research concluded children praised for their intelligence rather than for their work performance lost pleasure in learning. Performing well in front of the other kids was what mattered most.(Mueller and Dweck, 1998) However, if we base our goals souley on what others think of us, we could easily become discouraged and give up. There are more key factors involved in reaching our goals.

In American society today, there is an assumption that intelligence and ability are fixed traits you cannot change.(Mueller and Dweck) Often this makes it hard for people to avoid emotional reasoning. If failure occurs, then there is no need to try again. As children we learn we should never give up. Parents and teachers often use the quote; "Practice makes perfect". This is where mastery goals come into play.Mastery goals increase ones competence and skill.(Elliot & Mcgregor, 2001 Grant & Dweck, 2003) These learning goals can be great motivators. Performance and mastery goals go hand in hand. For example; your performance goal might be to not make any errors on a test. This way you can obtain a good grade. However, in order to get that grade you must have the mastery goal of understanding the class materials. The better you understand, the less error rate you will have.The reward for studying hard is your performance is better than your classmates. In order to achieve any goal, a person must have determination and ambition. These two attributes can help you succesfully blend performance and mastery goals.(Barron & Harackiewicz, 2001)

How hard we work at succeeding depends upon the expectations of ourselves. To achieve the task at hand, a person must believe in their capabilities.Praise and reward play a role in building a person's self worth.However, praise and reward alone will not always keep us motivated. We must keep a positive view and have faith in what we can achieve. If we tell ourselves, "I can't" or say "thats too difficult", more than likely we will fail at reaching the goal. Being certain that you will succeed will help you work harder at attaining your goals. Once success is achieved, expectations become higher pushing us to move ahead to reach the next goal. This can create a self-fulfilling prophecy.(Merton, 1948)

Making goals for yourself will most likely improve your motivation and performance if the following three conditions are met. The goal is specific, challenging but achievable, and the goal is framed in terms of getting what you want rather that avoiding what you do not want.(Higgins, 1998;Locke & Latham, 2002) Approach goals always produce better results than avoidance goals. (Elliot & Sheldon, 1998) No matter what goal you want to achieve, big or small. never give up.If you don't succeed the first time, find a more positive approach that works for you and try, try again. If you put your mind to it you can achieve anything you want in life. You can become a successful teacher, writer, pro sports player, or even a great psychologist. “It is important that when we make a resolution, or establish a goal, that we take the ACTION necessary to accomplish that goal.” ( Steve Maraboli, Life, the Truth, and Being Free) For me, I think that we should let the accomplishment of our goals not only bring forth great rewards, but also let it be our greatest motivator.


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    • RANDOMTHTS4ALL profile image

      Daniele Paulson 5 years ago from Redding CA

      Your very welcome. Hope you have a great day! :)

    • Kadmiels profile image

      Kadmiels 5 years ago from Florida

      thank you i needed a little motivation this morning your hub helped :)