Life

3 Hints Series: “What are the key aspects of self-motivation?”

5 August 2014

As the original texts are written in Turkish, English translation is provided for non-Turkish readers. The author apologizes in advance for any and all possible changes and losses in meaning due to translation.

Often I am asked how I motivate myself or what motivates me. The following is my understanding and experience on this topic in brief. Life teaches us that “motivation” is connected to ourselves and other people as well as our interests, excitements (stimulation) and satisfaction in a task that we are doing.

Those of us who have small children in the family will recall the process to motivate a child on a task (which is not always easy by the way): The child shows interest in a new interaction ( or a toy) as long as the object or interaction stimulates, entertains or gives him or her an emotional security. The same could be applied for us as grown-ups as well.

  • Stimulation
  • Entertainment
  • Emotional security

are the basic foundations of motivation which remain with us in different dimensions throughout our lives.

Stimulation:
We remain motivated in a task or interaction as long as we have the feeling that we learn or benefit from it. Once we mastered a task or interaction, the motivation / satisfaction remains or keeps increasing. As long as we have the feeling that by using the expertise we gained, we are able to reach new levels of benefits or recognition. The flip side is the stage of repetition or monotony which eventually leads to unhappiness / dissatisfaction.

Entertainment:
The shortest duration for motivation is that of entertainment. It is useful for gaining a quick distraction e.g. timeouts. It can also serve in social or business life to create an atmosphere for bondage between parties. However the life span of motivation through entertainment is considerably short lived since it usually does not create long lasting stimulation or emotional bondage.

Emotional security:
I believe that a key aspect of motivation is attaining emotional security for ourselves, both in social and business life. We keep objects or remain in a relationship even when we are not immediately stimulated or entertained by it. We develop an emotional bondage (security) towards a person or a task itself. The benefits are emotional in nature and have a different meaning for each of us, but for sure they connect the physical, material needs of humans with that what some call it “the inner-self of us”.

Hence, self-motivation for me is a balanced combination of these 3 basic aspects (I am sure for some, there are others too). The key however is to find the right balance between our social and business lives to compensate for any shortfalls in one or the other.

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