Have you ever stopped for a minute and asked yourself, “Why am I doing this?” It’s not a trick question. Come on, give it a shot. Think of any activity in your life and ask yourself “Why?”
You probably do your laundry in order to have clean clothes to wear. You probably take a shower every day so you don’t smell bad. You’re probably sitting here right now reading this post because you want to learn a little bit about self-improvement or self-employment … or maybe you just really like my website (wink, wink) and that’s fine too.
What’s the Incentive?
An incentive is anything that motivates us to take action. Enjoyment is actually a common incentive, but it’s not the only one. For example, some people are teachers because they honestly enjoy working with children; others just want to have the summers off. I have friends who eat well-balanced diets and hit the gym regularly in order to “be healthy and enjoy life,” but I know other people who do the same because they admittedly want to look good and be attractive to others.
When it comes to business or your personal life, if you can figure out what motivates you to do things, I’m willing to bet you’ll learn a few surprising things about yourself. If you’re aware of what motivates you, you might realize that you’re doing things for the wrong reasons or that you shouldn’t be doing them at all.
Four Common Motivators
- Achievement. You might do certain things because you love that sense of achievement you feel when you’re done. Taking on new tasks and setting goals because you love the thrill of achieving something is great in theory, but some people are only willing to try things they know they can accomplish successfully. If you’re afraid of failure, you might never get outside your comfort zone.
- Attention. Attention is another common motivator. Celebrities might enjoy their “work,” but my guess is that most of them honestly love the attention they receive because they’re famous. “Normal people” are like that too. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to hear “Good job!” every now and then, but if your internal motivation mainly comes from the attention of others you might in for a rude awakening should people grow tired of you, get angry at you, or simply move away. Some extremely successful people publicly win praise for their successes, but live very lonely personal lives.
- Fear. We do a lot of things out of fear, even though we might not realize it. We often do things the way we think society wants us to for fear of being an outcast. Using fear as a motivator isn’t necessarily a bad thing— when I’m back home, I pay my electric bill each month because I’m afraid of living in the dark with no internet should they turn off my electricity—but fear can also cause people to remain in unhealthy situations that they don’t enjoy but are afraid to leave.
- Money. Money is probably the # 1 motivating factor behind things related to business: we all work because we need money, but we all want money, too. The more money we have, the more things we can buy and do. Using money to motivate you to keep going at work or with your own business is fine, but keep in mind that it can go too far. If you only do things for the money, there’s always the slight possibility of turning into a greedy jerk that will do anything to get ahead—lie, cheat, or even steal.
What’s Your Main Source of Motivation?
We’re all motivated to do different things for different reasons, and in most cases we’re motivated to do things for multiple reasons: I run my own affiliate marketing business because I need and want the money that comes along with it, but I also enjoy being my own boss.
Finding your sources of motivation is essential. Whether it’s one of the few I mentioned above or something completely different, staying motivated is important in both business and your personal life.
If you didn’t take my little challenge when I mentioned it at the beginning of this post, do it now. Ask yourself why you do things; ask yourself what motivates you to do things. What’s your main source of motivation? Please post it below so we can all learn from one another!Take Action. Get Results.