Motivation Is Best Defined As – 9 Key Insights (2024)

Want to know what motivation is, and the best ways to access it? In this guide, we’ll look at what motivation is best defined as.

In my role as a life coach, I am often helping clients access the motivation they need to reach their goals. 

That’s why I’m excited to publish a comprehensive explanation on this subject.

So, let’s dive in. 

Motivation Is Best Defined As
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1. What Is Motivation In Educational Psychology?

The most basic explanation is that it’s a psychological urge – and this urge enforces certain behavior. 

But I like this more detailed definition:

The conscious and unconscious thoughts that focus a person’s behaviors and emotions in the same direction toward a goal.

Indeed, a common problem is when someone has the right emotions surrounding a certain goal, but feels unable to focus their behaviors in the same direction. 

In this guide, we’ll explore how to align both, so you can master these conscious and unconscious thoughts and actually put in the effort to move towards your goals. 

2. What Is Motivation? What Are The Sources?

The potential sources of motivation in this world are endless, depending on what you’re trying to achieve.

With that said, the two main types are usually split into categories: intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. 

  • Intrinsic motivation stems from how you’ll feel after achieving your goal. 
  • Extrinsic motivation stems from a desire for something external. You’re excited to receive a personal reward or to avoid punishment.  

3. Intrinsic Motivation vs Extrinsic Motivation 

There have been plenty of studies into intrinsic and extrinsic motivation.

Researchers are keen to study and expand upon the major theories about which of these two different types are more powerful.  

The answer is: it depends on the person and the goal.

The reward systems within an individual person tend to be very unique.

For example, let’s say there are four students in class training to be a life coach.  

  • Person A might be motivated by the internal satisfaction of helping people achieve their dreams (intrinsic motivation);
  • Person B might be interested in following in the footsteps of his life coach parents (intrinstic motivation); 
  • Person C could be excited by the money (extrinsic motivation);
  • Person D might want the lifestyle of a remote job (extrinsic motivation).

In this example, Person A & Person B are inspired by intrinsic motivation. But, if you were to try and inspire them to get fit, they might be respond better to the promise of external rewards (looking better in photos, more attention from the opposite sex etc) 

That’s what I mean when I say the particular manner of motivating someone should depend on the person and the goal. 

Without doubt, in their life coach training, these four students will learn how to identify what types of factors motivate people – and how to activate, direct and maintain behavior that sparks them into action.  

What Theory Says People Are Pulled By External Stimuli To Act A Certain Way?

This is the basic explanation of extrinsic motivation. The counter-argument is that people are pulled by how certain actions make them feel, rather than the external things they get. 

4. Motivation Is Best Defined As A Willingness To Exert High Levels Of Effort 

Motivation should be measured based on a person’s behaviors. That’s the only sign you need.

If someone says they’re motivated to get a new job, but they’ve taken few steps to achieve that goal, they are not motivated.

These are simple words for anyone to say. Anyone can act motivated. You need to pay attention to an individual’s efforts. 

If a person reasons that they’re either reading or watching videos about their goal instead of taking action, they are not motivated.

Motivated people find a way to act now. Unmotivated people find constant excuses not to get started. 

Related Content: Ways How To Measure Motivation

5. What Is Motivation In Physical Education?

Motivation In Physical Education
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Many studies have been performed on the link between motivation and improved athletic performance. 

How does motivation seem to help athletes find more energy? Is there a particular way the best teams access full motivation for an entire season – while others seem to lose it over time.

On numerous grand occasions, sporting minnows have been inspired to conquer rivals with more natural ability. What psychological forces are at play here?  

There are plenty of psychologists and sports scientists still looking for the answers, so they can activate, direct and maintain peak performance standards in athletes.  

6. How To Find Motivation

Many people look to others to help them access that magical feeling of motivation. The truth is: it’s far more powerful when it’s cultivated from within.

Yes, coaches and mentors can help people understand the various reasons why certain behaviors are important.

But if you still can’t see the worth of a particular action, it’s going to be tough for anyone else to inspire you. 

If you’re aren’t inspired by what you’re doing in life right now, it’ll be helpful to explore why that is.

What’s missing from these tasks that would spark that psychological arousal within you? Is it possible to add something to your existing tasks that light that fire? 

If so, perhaps there’s feedback you can offer to the higher-ups at your school or workplace. A good workplace should be open to these ideas, as an inspired workforce creates greater output. If you’re after more money or extra responsibility, they should at least be able to outline a path for you to get there.

If there’s nothing within your current day-to-day life that could create that psychological arousal within you, it’s still important to identify what you do want.

If you have no idea what would motivate you in life, that’s where a life coach can come in handy. Often, they’ll be able to help untangle your thoughts and direct you towards a pursuit you’re more interested in.  

The answer might be to go out and try a bunch of new activities. That’s the best way to find that one thing that would make you excited to wake up every day.   

7. How To Improve Motivation

Motivation fades over time. This is one of the most frustrating factors of it.

It’s also a core reason why coaches are hired to activate, direct and maintain behavior within their students.

If you’ve found something you want to do, but still suffer from drops in motivation, here are ideas to help you turn things around.

  • Adjust the difficulty of your goals. If a task is too easy or too difficult, your will to keep doing it drops rapidly. If a task is achievable, but forces you to focus and work hard to succeed, that’s your sweet spot. 
  • Work on your self-confidence. When you believe you’re good enough to achieve your goals, it becomes easier to motivate yourself to work towards them. 
  • Remember your past achievements. Turn back time to remember when you achieved something great in the same field where you’re now feeling unmotivated. How inspired were you back then – and what’s stopping you from being able to access those feelings again?
  • Remember your ‘why’. Sometimes when the ultimate personal reward of your actions is too far away, motivation levels can drop. So, try and focus on your big goal whenever you can. Better yet, create smaller goals to keep inspired along your journey towards that finish line.     

For more ideas to reignite that physiological and psychological arousal within you, check out these 21 Secrets Of Motivational Coaches.   

8. Motivation Is Best Defined As Discipline

No matter how motivated you are, no matter how much money or status is on the line, no matter how many coaches you have to help you, this feeling still fades over time.

The secret of the world’s most successful people isn’t motivation. It’s discipline. 

Discipline is the quality of being able to maintain behaviors every day, whether you feel like it or not.

If you can build discipline, you don’t have to rely on motivation. For more guidance on this, check out this list of 21 great self-discipline books

9. How To Motivate Other People

Motivating other people can be harder than motivating yourself. 

You could have studied all the best resources on the motivational process, but if your student can’t see the worth in what they’re doing, there’s little you can do to help them. 

They need to want to put the effort in. It doesn’t work if someone forces certain behavior on them.   

That can be a tough fact to process, especially if you’re trying to direct a family member or someone else who is really close to you.

But it’s true. There’s only so much you can do to activate an individual’s efforts. 

With that said, you may find the following guide on Secrets To Motivating Your Intelligent But Unmotivated Teenager useful.  

Any More Questions On What Motivation Is Best Defined As?

Thanks for reading my detailed explanation of motivation. Hopefully it helps to activate that physiological and psychological arousal inside you!

You can learn more about how a coach can activate, direct and maintain behavior within you in this guide on inspirational coaching

If you have any questions surrounding this topic, feel free to leave them in the comments section below. 

It will be great to hear from you.

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About The Author

Bijan Kholghi is a certified life coach with the Milton Erickson Institute Heidelberg (Germany). He helps clients and couples reach breakthroughs in their lives by changing subconscious patterns. His solution-oriented approach is based on Systemic- and Hypnotherapy.