Staying motivated can be difficult. But on your journey to success, motivation just might be your greatest ally. But what is motivation, and how exactly does it impact success? And most importantly, how can we improve our motivation?
What is motivation?
Motivation is the set of reasons why you act or behave in a particular way. It combines your values, desires and what drives you to complete particular tasks, thereby playing an important role in your everyday decision-making. Unsurprisingly, research by Psychology Today has found that motivation is the most important predictor of success.
But did you know there are two types of motivation?
Extrinsic and Intrinsic Motivation
Extrinsic motivation is all about completing tasks when influenced by external causes, such as receiving rewards or punishments for exhibiting particular behaviours. These then motivate you to act a certain way. Such extrinsic motivators include fame, money, or competitive environments.
Intrinsic motivation involves completing tasks because they make you feel personally rewarded. It comes from within and is usually determined by interest or enjoyment in a given activity.
For instance, a runner might be intrinsically motivated to exercise because it makes them feel good, whilst extrinsic factors might motivate their desire to win a competition and be recognised as a great runner.
Why is motivation important?
Being motivated is crucial to achieving success, pushing you to work harder and perform better. Visualise motivation as a pathway that, when followed, can lead you to a better way of feeling, thinking, and behaving.
It is now well established that motivation can help us understand human behaviour – why we set certain goals, experience certain emotions, and even why we are driven by particular desires. Generally, we know that being motivated makes us happier, more energised and incentivised to achieve positive results, all of which result in higher success levels.
So, if you want to be successful, competent, creative, and talented, and if you want to change for the better and boost your engagement with life and your personal goals, then you should focus on improving your motivation. You will start to notice that motivation also helps you become more adaptable, productive, and happy in the face of adversity and stress.
Perhaps that’s why, time and time again, people have turned to motivational speakers and quotes to try and increase their motivation.
“Today is your opportunity to build the tomorrow you want.”
- Ken Poirot
How to Increase Motivation to Achieve Success
Below are five tips that will help you overcome obstacles, increase motivation, and become more successful in whatever personal or professional goal you are setting out to achieve.
1. Realistic Goals
Set clearly defined and realistic goals – write down objectives so that you can be sure that you know exactly what you are working towards, and how you plan to do this.
2. Positive Mindset
Work on creating and maintaining a positive mindset, one that will enable you to increase your productivity. The more positively you think, the easier it will be to overcome those feelings that make you unmotivated to work, thereby helping you to achieve success.
As you grow and improve, make sure your goals are evolving alongside you. Regularly review your goals and focus on your progress, as this will improve your self-esteem and further motivate you. Set high standards (whilst maintaining realistic expectations) to ensure that you are always moving forwards.
4. Accept Failure
Accept that failure is part of the process. Failure is inevitable, and being afraid to fail will only hinder your progress. Work to look beyond your fear to the goal you so badly want to achieve. By being able to see the bigger picture, you will successfully banish your fears away. Keep in mind that it can take up to three months to develop a new habit that feels more automatic and natural – be willing to accept that staying motivated will be tough until this happens.
Surround yourself with positive, productive people who will support you in achieving your goals, and with their support, strive to improve yourself every single day.
Using these five tips as a framework will help you clarify your objectives, figure out what your priorities are, and slowly build up your confidence and perseverance – all because you’ve worked on improving your motivation.
Because without motivation, success is unachievable.
Caroline Winter is a current MA student in Creative Writing, based in London. She has experience working as an editor, translator, and writer on a series of different projects and topics. She is excited to be collaborating alongside
The Industry Leaders as a content creator, and can be found on LinkedIn.