How does anyone get anything done? How do you build new skills and break bad habits? Motivation is the driving force that gets you to your goals and dreams. Without motivation, it would be very challenging to change or accomplish much of anything. There’s extrinsic motivation, which is the motivation to do something for gain or to avoid another undesirable outcome. Intrinsic motivation, on the other hand, is an internal drive based on a sense of purpose or your identity. When you learn a new language “just because” or make time for friends because you enjoy their company, that’s intrinsic motivation. Here are ten reasons why motivation matters:
#1 Motivation helps you get healthier
Exercise and healthier eating are essential to better health. While we’re creatures of habit, we’re also capable of changing our behaviors. We need motivation. Without something driving you to form healthier habits, it can feel impossible to make a change. It takes time and effort to form new patterns, and we need something that fuels us. Motivations for a healthier life can include wanting to feel better physically, achieve certain fitness dreams, or be around to watch your kids grow up. With these drivers, you can build healthy habits and reap the benefits.
#2 Motivation improves your relationships
Relationships can be challenging. We all have to work through misunderstandings, conflicts, and setting boundaries. Relationships also require a lot of time and energy. If you lack motivation, problems go unaddressed, distance is created, and everyone involved feels neglected. If you’re motivated to improve or maintain a relationship, that relationship is better for it.
#3 Motivation helps build new skills
Developing a new skill depends on two things: motivation and habit. When you’ve done something for a while, you don’t always need to “feel” motivated; you can power through and just do the thing out of habit. However, while you’re still forming those habits, you need motivation. You need a reason to stick to a new skill or hobby when you’re still bad at it. Keep thinking back to why you started all this in the first place, trusting that eventually it will become a habit.
#4 Motivation helps you learn more
Whether you want to become an expert on a topic or just learn enough to talk about it without feeling lost, you’ll need motivation. Most things are more complicated than they appear on the surface, so you’ll need to do more than read one article or book. Motivation helps you weed through what can seem like countless resources, absorb and analyze the information, and keep learning.
#5 Motivation increases your productivity
If you want to be more productive, think about your motivations. Do you have any? If you’re doing something on auto-pilot and not thinking about why, it’s much easier to get distracted or procrastinate. There isn’t anything fueling your actions. If you’re motivated by something, even if it’s a reason as simple as wanting to put away work and have dinner right at 6 pm, you’re more likely to be more productive.
#6 Motivation can advance your career
Do you have big career goals? Many people think about 5-year or 10-year plans and what they hope to achieve in that time. Advancing a career is a very common dream. There’s usually a lot of work involved. Motivations can include the desire for a bigger paycheck or responsibilities that are more aligned with your passions. Many people hope to move into a role that gives them more flexibility. Whatever your goals, you’ll need to stay motivated to get there.
#7 Motivation inspires others
They say happiness is contagious. Motivation is, too. If you hang around motivated people, you’re more likely to feel inspired. That doesn’t mean you should kick “unmotivated” people out of your life. People go through different things that affect their motivation and it isn’t fair to expect someone to be chipper and productive at all times. That being said, if you’re looking for some extra motivation and encouragement, think about the people you know who’ve committed to forming new healthy habits and changing their lives for the better. They can be good people to talk to about meeting your goals.
#8 Motivation gets you through hard times
When things are going well, it’s not too difficult to stay motivated. When things get harder, however, it’s easier to lose sight of the finish line. The stress of your situation can overwhelm you and make you feel like you’re failing. Intentionally thinking about what motivates you is a great way to stay afloat. You can own your feelings, but still remember that you’re capable of getting through this time. Your motivations compel you to keep trying.
#9 Motivation is essential for good leadership
Leaders have a lot of responsibilities, but one of the most important ones is motivation. If a team isn’t motivated, their work will suffer. The leader needs to rally everyone, provide encouragement, and keep them motivated through good times and bad. Leaders need to study the best ways to motivate a group and avoid strategies that aren’t as effective.
#10 Motivation fuels social change and justice
There’s a lot wrong in this world. Tackling issues like poverty and equality can seem overwhelming, but activists have been doing it for centuries. The arc of humanity seems to bend towards justice, even when there’s opposition. How do people deal with these seemingly impossible dreams? They want a better future for coming generations. Without this motivation, it would make sense to give up. Motivation lights a fire in people and has led to huge wins for the world.