Your motivation depends, in large part, on whether you look upon your activity as a source of enjoyment or just a source of drudgery.
The labels we put on activity seem to have something to do with this. The word “work” stimulates an unpleasant response. Then we listen to the word “hard” in front of it and it becomes even more unpleasant. “Hard work” seems to imply there is something distasteful about human effort applied over an extended time to an activity for which there is compensation rendered.
Medical experts say that the reason people become tired is not that they do too much but rather because they do too little. Dr. James Montague said he never knew a person who suffered from overwork. There were many, however, who suffered from too much ambition and not enough action. Dr. Charles Mayo found much the same thing. “I have never known a person who died from overwork but there were many who died from doubt,” he said.
But the greatest benefit you derive from doing just a little more than you have to is that, for some strange reason, you just feel better. No one seems to know why. But it is a fact that on those days that you get an early start and fill your day with a busy activity you end up feeling good about it.
Here are some important factors that affect your motivation your ability to work.
- You will work for rewards:: primarily money.
- You will work for a leader… a person.
- You will work for something in which you believe, a cause, an activity that satisfies your purpose in living.
- You will work for things that satisfy you psychologically: recognition, security, friendship, fulfillment, etc.
All of them involve your attitude. You need money to buy the necessities of life. But beyond that point, it is your attitude about how much more you want that determines the degree to which money will motivate you.
It is your attitude about your boss as a leader that will determine if the boss can affect your motivation; no one is a perfect leader. You can find fault with the best if that is what you are looking for.
Believing in what you do is the source of the strongest work motivation there is. Your attitude towards your work determines if you can believe in it. This is the “secret of motivation”–having the ability to believe in what you are doing. Some call it “cause” motivation. It is the ability to find cause and purpose in what you are doing.
You will work for a reward. You will work harder for a leader or for recognition, security, or other psychological satisfaction (psychic rewards). But you will work hardest for a cause, a purpose, something in which you can believe.
In fact, if you can believe in what you are doing, this type of motivation will tend to eliminate the effect of the unpleasant factors of work such as physical discomfort, poor working environment, people problems, etc. People have been known to endure almost unbearable physical hardships (even risking their lives) to pursue an activity in which they can believe.
“Whether we find pleasure in our work or whether we find it a bore, depends entirely upon our mental attitude towards it, not upon the task itself.”
So the secret of the motivated person is the ability to BELIEVE in a job, a purpose, a goal. There is nothing one cannot achieve if one has the ability to believe.
Psychologists have discovered that people will work for money, but they will work harder for a leader or psychic satisfaction, but they work hardest for something in which they can BELIEVE.
So, to become motivated in the way you spend your day, learn to believe in the activities in which you engage. If you are a salesperson believe in your company, your product, your job. If you are a teacher believe in the students you are helping, the purpose and worthiness of your work If you are a student believe in yourself and the investment of time you are making in your education. Perhaps when you spend your time in this fashion you are fulfilling a bigger purpose for your life.
As Thomas Carlyle wrote: “What is the use of health, or of life, if not to do some work therewith?”
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