Motivate: to stimulate interest in, causing a person to act in a particular way. Concerned with movement.
Many of us can feel a lack of persistence, self-discipline, or courage in facing a task. Sometimes we feel the pay-off will be worth the effort… and sometimes we aren’t sure! But we can help ourselves act, which is what motivation is all about!
What makes us want to do something?
We usually act because of a reward that we’ll receive. Rewards are either intrinsic or extrinsic.
Intrinsic rewards are thoughts or feelings within ourselves: we may feel proud, satisfied, delighted, relieved, exhilarated, confident, encouraged, amazed, secure, intelligent, ambitious, intrigued, pleasantly surprised. Intrinsic rewards are very powerful motivators as they are under our own control, and they lead to increased self-esteem. “I said I’d do it… and I did!”
Extrinsic rewards are responses from the world around us: we may be paid, win the prize, achieve an award, graduate, take a holiday, be voted Most Valuable Player, have our photo in the newspaper, etc. Extrinsic rewards are also powerful motivators, as they make us feel valued and recognized by others. However, they are much less under our control (e.g., Who else is competing? How will I be compared to others? How many prizes will be given out?).
Motivated people cultivate an intrinsic reward system. The external rewards (e.g., prizes, money) are a bonus!