An old adage—a healthy mind stays in a healthy body.
How do we ensure this? We all are aware and have the understanding that different people are motivated by different things and the stage of life they are at. When we understand what motivates us, and get the conditions in place for that, our overall wellbeing improves.
In the organisational context, for example, two people can be motivated by the need for approval. They both want to be recognised and appreciated by their respective supervisors. For one, this might be a quiet word of appreciation from the manager, and for the other, this might be standing on a stage in front of everybody, receiving an award. Imagine the situation when these are reversed. The motivation may actually end up causing anger, frustration or even embarrassment.
Motivation can be both positive and negative. It could be the desire to do well, or the desire not to be punished for doing badly. The desire to eat, or the desire to avoid hunger. If we can understand a little bit more about this, we can improve our wellbeing.
Before we proceed further, let’s know some truths about motivation.
● It is enduring
● It doesn’t change in an essential way throughout life
● It is an internal force
● It controls behaviour
● It is how we do what we do, not the job description
● It is irresistible
● If it is blocked it leads to frustration and if we are using unmotivated skills, the result will be an average performance. Because we will have too little investment in the work that we are doing.
Many of us don’t really know what motivates us. Let’s explore.
What motivates us?
● Taking responsibility
● Achieving personal goals
● Developing a sense of worth
● Leadership that provides a focus for energy and employees
● Gaining recognition
● Making good use of skills and abilities
These are some of the things that motivate us. It is crucial to align the direction of work and life goals. This helps you to feel a sense of purpose and a feeling that your values are matched, leading to greater emotional energy, giving life the necessary flow to find success.
Be clear with yourself about what you want from yourself professionally and personally. What you want to develop and what the outcomes are that you would like to achieve. Being able to visualise how your motivation influences your success leading to wellbeing can have a potent effect to move further and remain motivated to achieve higher level of wellbeing.
There’s a famous story. During a visit to NASA in 1962, President John F Kennedy noticed a janitor sweeping the floor. He asked him, “What are you doing?” The man replied, “I’m helping put a man on the moon.” He wasn’t just a janitor, or just cleaning the building. He was helping to make history. That is motivation, leading to emotional wellbeing.
If we want to continue working together in any sphere i.e. workplace, society, NGOs, it’s on all of us to understand what motivates others. Practice on others—give recognition for going the extra mile, celebrate successes and achievements, work out what drives those around you. The same can be replicated at personal front at home. This would allow the people at home wanted, understood and motivated. This triggers the flow for achievements leading to success in every form people are trying to achieve.
Think about your own motivations within the prism of your own values. If you don’t know what they are, it will be worth finding out. While understanding the motivations of individuals is necessary, exploring the values that will make people feel better and motivated, brings them together, unites them for the cause of wellbeing of individuals, workplace, society and the nation.
The writer is a motivational speaker and master coach