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The 4As of Motivation

What is Motivation?

Psychologists define motivation as the process by which activities are started, directed, and sustained so that certain needs are met.

Needs?  What are these needs?  Well, we all have needs. Maslow identified a hierarchy of them.

Basic needs of food, water and rest will apply to us all.  As we move through the pyramid the nature of these needs impacts us all in different ways.  Some matter more to you than the next person.

If we consider the current Co-Vid 19 situation we can see in ourselves, and many of those around us, how it is having an impact on our behaviours and levels of stress and motivation. 

How are you feeling at the moment?  Are you Tired? Angry? Sad? Frustrated? Calm? Lonely? Empty? Anxious? Happy? Content?

All these are perfectly normal feelings and you may find yourself experiencing one or more of them over one day, a week a month.

The next question is to ask is WHAT is causing these feelings?  If you are fed, watered and sleeping then it is not a lack of Basic Needs.  Do you feel safe?  Are you worried for your health, that of your family and friends.  Are you worried about your job or paying the bills?  These again are basic needs that could be feeling the pressure and making you feel something.

What we have to consider next is HOW can you help yourself deal with this.

You need to understand your own Psychological needs.  The behaviours that you use to be the best version of yourself. 

So which of the following would you say are important to you? Rank them from most important to least.

The order is yours.  As we are all different it could be that all the above are at some point important to you.  It could be that one or two are more essential for you than the others. No right or wrong.

If Accuracy is important to you, are you getting time to reflect and are you getting enough or too much information?  Are you FEELING something because you have too much or too little information? Are you enjoying the time away from work and getting some quiet time?

Is Action your thing? Do you need to be in control of your decisions, tasks and diary?  Do you need to be constantly getting things done?  Are you feeling as if control has been taken from you?  You are being TOLD to stay in, not go to work.  Do you need a project or set of tasks?

Activity- simply put, are you missing the buzz of interaction with others, the random chats, the bouncing of ideas?  Is isolation making you FEEL that something is missing?  Is it making you feel tired or sad?

Altruism- Are you feeling helpless?  Are the people you normally support and look after out of reach because of isolation?  Have you missed birthdays for family and friends?  Are you missing your quiet chats with close friends and family?

If you are feeling de-motivated at the moment it could be because one or more of the 4 As for you is not getting what it needs.  So ask yourself these questions.

  1. How am I FEELING?
  2. What is MISSING?

So if ACCURACY is important to you and you feel its missing try switching off all social media, news and radio for a while.  Go for that walk and take time to think and reflect without all the background noise.

ACTION needing a boost? Take control of what you CAN control.  Get a routine that works for you, start making plans, do something each day that you can finish.

ACTIVITY – Start to spread your wings in the virtual world.  Make use of the technology to have virtual coffee chats, arrange quizzes, have a meal night with everyone invited.  Turn off the news for a while. Treat yourself.

ALTRUISM – Remind yourself that you can still be of service and help others by simply being there for them.  Make a few phone calls and check in with people.  Offer family, friends and colleagues your time.  And equally make sure you make time for yourself to recharge.

If you imagine all of these Motiv-Ators are your own personal light bulbs, try and keep them lit. If  you see one starting to dim ask yourself those 3 questions and give the bulb the energy it needs.

Staying Motiv-Ated will help you stay healthy during this time and beyond.