Motivation is everywhere in the world. People search for motivation. There are fitness motivators, financial motivators, lifestyle motivators, and so many other motivators. Some people are self-motivated: these are the people one can see running businesses and achieving their goals. A small percentage of people exist in the world who are like this. Most humans are highly motivated, they just need an outside force to pull or push them into doing something and they can still achieve their goals. Then there are those who are somewhat motivated. They need a lot of motivation and they will eventually do it and they could possibly achieve their goals. Then there are those who are not motivated. Anyone and everyone can tell them the goals they can achieve from working towards it and they still will not work towards their goals. The definition of motivation is as follows: the act or process of giving someone a reason to do something: the act or process of motivating someone. (Merriam-Webster) It is hard to explain what exactly motivates us and for what reason and there are several different theories behind it. The ones I find most interesting are the Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs Theory, the Herzberg’s Two-Factor of Motivation Theory, and the McClelland’s Theory of Needs. (Quigly)
The Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs is probably the most well-known theory. Maslow’s theory basically broke up the needs of humans into five different categories in order of what is most likely to be achieved to the least likely. They are physiological needs, security needs, social needs, esteem needs, and self-actualization needs. Physiological needs are the basics for life which is food, water, shelter, and sleep. Security needs are important, but not required for life which can be along the basis of keeping a steady job, secure shelter from the heat and the cold, and safety. Social needs are feeling we are accepted by our fellow human beings. This is where different trends and social status come into play. Esteem is where we feel good about ourselves and our choices we make. Self-actualization is where we stop putting ourselves first and put other before ourselves and seeing what their needs are. Humans wanting to achieve these different categories of needs are motivators of our everyday lives. We are motivated to make sure we get food so we are able to live, we are motivated to buy a certain type of car to fit into a social class, or we are motivated to start a non-profit organization to help the needy. Under all these motivators is Maslow’s theory.
The Herzberg’s Two-Factor theory simply states that satisfaction and dissatisfaction cannot be measured the same as there are different things that can cause satisfaction and dissatisfaction. He splits them into hygiene factors and motivation factors. Hygiene factors are the things that make up a job. Those are what the job is, who does one work with, who does one work for, what is the salary one is making at this job, and the work conditions and policies. These things are not necessarily motivators but they are factors in our everyday lives. They are not the things that push one out of bed in the morning and put a smile on our face to go to work. The other factors are the motivators. These are basically intrinsic rewards. This is recognitions, feeling accomplished, possibility of promotions, the work itself and how rewarding the tasks are, and the kind of responsibility one has. These are the motivators that push us to be the best we can be. These are the things that can shake us and move us to achievement and accomplishment.
The McClelland’s Theory of Needs is split up into three sections: achievement, affiliation, and power. Achievement is simply what we can and do accomplish. It goes deeper into seeing how different people can achieve their goals or tasks. It sees how big the risk factors are in achieving those goals and how it affects those that choose to achieve. The bigger the risk, the bigger the achievement. Affiliation is being associated or a part of a group that has achieved a big goal and they did not achieve themselves solo or had any participation in it. They want to feel the same achievement, but without the risk factor. The power part is power over themselves and others. Humans at some degree want to know they have some sort of power to control things. Power has a negative connotation most of the time and if too much power falls into one’s hand or the wrong hands for that matter, it can prove to be a negative turnout. Power can be for personal or for the organization. Some people just want to be in control of others for their own satisfaction. Then there are others who want to have power so they can help the organization become better. A lot of the times the two can intermingle with each other. Sometimes one has to have power over the people around them in order to help the organization become better.
In conclusion, there are several theories that delve into what motivates us and why. Sometimes motivators can be for pure survival as described is Maslow’s theory, things that help us motivates ourselves like in Herzberg’s theory, or the fact that we want to feel accomplishment, affiliation, or power as describe in McClelland’s theory. All in all, these things help us really figure out about motivation and help us learn and achieve our goals through it.
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