Motivation is a difficult thing. It’s a slippery as an eel to define, my dictionary says it can mean either ‘supply a motive’ or ‘be the motive of’. It then goes on to suggest that it could mean either ‘to cause (a person) to act in a particular way’ or ‘to stimulate the interest…’ Now I don’t know about you, but that sounds a little paradoxical.
I’m going to give you a definition of my own…. I believe that motivation cannot be external. It has to come from within. Others can help you to motivate yourself, but they cannot do it for you – you cannot be motivated by a third party. It’s impossible. Why is it impossible? Well I reckon that you need to consider Newton’s Laws of Physics.
His First Law states that a ‘body will persist in a state of uniform motion or of rest unless acted upon by an external force.’ On the face of it, this seems to blow my definition apart. HOWEVER, think about it. If we say that motivation is our force, then this force is required CONSTANTLY. As soon as it is stopped being applied then our body will come to rest. This is borne out by the Second Law which states that ‘Force is equal to Mass times Acceleration.’ If there is no acceleration then there’s no Force.
The Third Law is the clincher. ‘To every action there is an equal and opposite reaction’. Even if motivation (Force) could be applied externally, the reaction to it would be negative. So it HAS to come from within. The motivation for us doing anything has to be personal, otherwise we will only react negatively against it.