What Is Motivation?

What Is Motivation?

The term motivation finds its roots in the word motive, which means an impulse that leads to action. This impulse can be caused by a number of external or internal factors. Motivation in particular, is an internal impulse that leads you towards a goal or an achievement. Similar to intelligence, motivation is a factor that cannot be gauged, observed or analyzed externally. It can only be understood by a person’s actions or behavior. There are two theories on motivation and the impulses that drive people to take action – hierarchy of needs and drive reduction.

Drive reduction theory suggests that humans act to reduce the inherent need for something. A common example cited for this theory is eating. People regularly eat to reduce the need for food and achieve a constant state of equilibrium. However in many occasions, people are known to be motivated by external factors and continue to perform actions that are inconsistent with the drive reduction theory. In many cases, people are motivated by external and internal incentives.

The second theory surrounding motivation is called Maslow’s hierarchy of needs that states that humans have multiple levels of necessities. The most basic need in the hierarchy include physiological ones like security, food, safety and water while the second level includes need for social interaction. The third and fourth levels of needs include self-esteem, self-respect, self-actualization, and fulfilling your potential.

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