The Why Behind Motivation

Xperience Growthblogposts

Why do we want what we want? What’s the reason behind why we’re motivated to get something?

Motivation is a force that comes from within us that compels us to act. To do something. To strive for something. If we want achievement, first we must be motivated to put in the effort to get it.

When we are motivated to get something, usually there are two main reasons that we want it. It’s called motivational direction. We can be motivated to move toward something that we want. Or we can be motivated to move away from something that we don’t want.

In short – moving toward vs moving away energy.

The most tangible example of directional motivation is money. You likely want to make money for one of two reasons:

  1. You want to make money so you can have it, spend it, invest it.
  2. You want to make money so you won’t be broke.

Notice the difference in motivation. The first wants to make money for the sake of making it. The second is motivated to make money because of the fear of being broke.

Both are motivated to make money. The difference is the motivational direction. One moves towards making money, the other moves away from being broke.

When your motivation has a high amount of move away from energy around it, it comes with two main problems:

  1. When you feel like you have achieved what you’re motivated to move away from, motivation drops.
  2. Whatever you’re moving away from is a source of stress. Which makes whatever you’re motivated to do a stressful endeavor. 

What we want is for our motivation and energy to be moving toward what we want, not away from what we don’t want. 

When our energy is driven by what we want, seeking it creates more joy, happiness & fulfillment. It’s those feelings that actually help us push through the hardships & obstacles that happen on the way to success. 

In fact, one of the main determining factors of success is our ability to push through obstacles. The more success you enjoy the more obstacles you’ve likely encountered. When we’re stressed to begin with, our capacity for more stress is limited. And that makes stressful situations even harder to deal with.

The good news is this, the direction of your motivation is not static. You can shift from moving away from energy to move toward energy. It takes a reframe of the why behind your motivation.

If you realize that you’re moving away from something that you don’t want, you can rethink your way to a different motivational direction. You can do it yourself through self-reflection on the source of the stress. You can also work with a trained coach to shift your direction.

Now, I trust you have a better way to figure out why you’re motivated so you can go out and truly get more of what you want.