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The Mysteries Behind Motivation and How To Manipulate Them

The Mysteries Behind Motivation and How To Manipulate Them

Have you ever wondered what motivates people to do certain things? Why some people are just “gung ho” about an idea while others couldn’t care less? Or why you constantly find yourself repeating certain activities again and again? Without pulling Sigmund Freud into the picture, we can understand some of the basic motivations that we’ve all experienced from time to time in an effort to understand the motivations of not only others, but ourselves as well. Understanding our own motivations gives us the information we need to turn our personal potential into our own guaranteed success.

One of our basic motivations to do things is based on physical needs, like food, water, clothing, and shelter. Being the most obvious, the need for these things (food, water, clothing, and shelter) is the prime motivation that drives people to work in order to earn an income and get them. Without these items, we can’t survive – thus survival becomes a basic motivation that enables us to continue living.

The motivation to survive of course, goes without saying. It’s our need for self-actualization or self-validation that drives us to acquire the “best” food, “best” water, “best” clothing, and “best” shelter. Since employment gives us the means to acquire our basic needs, we then seek the “best” employment to validate our wants for the best of them. Very few of us volunteer to accept what we already have and despite what psychologists or sociologists may say, our drive to have the “best” may in fact be a factor of human nature more than social or cultural conditioning.

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We also have another motivation – one that drives us to adjust our behaviors and choices. And that motivation is to belong. The motivation to belong has captivated American society for ages and is responsible for our shopping habits, the schools we put our children in, and the clothing that we buy.

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But the motivations that make us especially interested in things that are separate from our survival needs or our desire to belong are our inborn inclinations to do things. These motivations are unknown forces that defy all explanation. One may even interpret this type of motivation as habit or natural talent – an invisible force that wakes us up early in the morning to work our hardest and perform our best. As an example, a comedian may be motivated to put on the best show possible and succeed out of habit or a natural talent for telling the funniest jokes. In other words, the guy just might not be able to help his own success!

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Can you “suffer” from the same inclination to succeed? Sure! Simply take a few minutes (or longer if needed) to evaluate the things that you can not stop doing. These are your own mysterious motivations (or natural talents). Our example comedian found success by failing to stop making others laugh. Others who can not stop talking (in other words, are motivated to constantly speak) can find success in writing or working as a phone support consultant. Or how about a person who can’t stop fixing things? Certainly this person can find success in almost any occupation. See how it works? What are you naturally inclined to do? Once you find out what you just can’t stop yourself from doing – you’ve found your own unique motivation for success and you can turn that inborn motivation into a career!

Nicole Miller is a developer and member of the Association of Shareware Professionals.

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Last Updated on October 9, 2018

How to Write a Personal Mission Statement to Ensure Peak Productivity

How to Write a Personal Mission Statement to Ensure Peak Productivity

Most of you made personal, one sentence resolutions like “I want to lose weight” or “I vow to go back to school.” It is a tradition to start the New Year with things you want to achieve, but under the influence resolutions are often unrealistic.

If you’re wondering when will be a good time to write a mission statement, NOW is the time to take a personal inventory to make this year your most productive year ever. You may be asking yourself, “How am I going to do that?” You, my friends, are going to write personal mission statements.

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A large number of corporations use mission statements to define the purpose of the company’s existence. Sony wants to “become the company most known for changing the worldwide poor-quality image of Japanese products” and 3M wants “to solve unsolved problems innovatively”. A personal mission statement is different than a corporate mission statement, but the fundamentals are the same.

So why do you need one? A personal statement will help you identify your core values and beliefs in one fluid tapestry of content that you can read anytime and anywhere to stay on task toward success.

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For example, Tom Cruise in Jerry Maguire came to the realization that he had lost track of what was important to him. After writing a personal mission statement, we saw him start his own business and he got the girl, Renee Zelleweger. Not bad, wouldn’t you say? A personal mission statement will make sure that, through all the texting, emailing and constant bombardment of on-the-go activity, you won’t lose sight of what is most important to you.

Mission statements can be simple and concise while others are longer and filled with detail. The length of your personal mission statement will not be determined until you follow this simple equation to create your motivational springboard for 2008.

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To begin your internal cleansing, you will need to jot down the required information in the following five steps:

  1. What are your values? Values steer your actions and determine where you spend time, energy, and most importantly, money. Be specific and unique to yourself. Too much generalization will not be as effective. It is called a “personal” mission statement for a reason.
  2. What are three important goals you hope to achieve this year? Keep your list of important goals small and give them a date. It is better to focus on the horizon and not the stars. Realistic goals are keys to ultimate success.
  3. What image do you hope to project to yourself? How you see yourself is how the world will view you. Think about this carefully. Your image should encompass what you look like and feel after you have achieved your goals.
  4. Write down action statements from each value describing how you will use those values to achieve your three goals. Start with “I will…”
  5. Rewrite your statement to include only your action statements. Make portable copies for your wallet, car or office.

If you followed the steps above, congratulations! You have just written your first personal mission statement. Your personal statement will change over the years as your goals change. You can have more than one statement for the different compartments of your life such as your career, family, marriage, etc.

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Writing a personal mission statement is an effective method to ensure your productivity is at its peak. It is an ideal tradition to start so that when next year rolls around, the outdated practice of resolutions will be something you permanently left in the past.

Featured photo credit: Álvaro Serrano via unsplash.com

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