Motivation Answers

Are motivation and drive the same thing?

The Cambridge dictionary defines motivation as the willingness or desire to want to do something.  It defines drive as a planned effort to achieve something.  It is safe to say the outcome of both of these is very similar—something happens where a goal is achieved, or results are produced.  The difference is that one is a thought a person (motivation) has, and the other is the person's action (drive).  Motivation is also connected to a person’s emotions (desire) and can be temporary. For example, a person may be motivated to lose weight, get a promotion, or save enough money to purchase a car.   The motivation to do these things is internal, personal, and want or desire.  There are times that the motivation can be for the benefit of someone else as well.  An example may be a person in a relationship changing their behavior to benefit the other person and the relationship so the relationship can be healthy instead of unhealthy.  Motivation can be internal or external and can also ebb and flow; there may be times that the motivation is lower one day and higher the next. The drive is what keeps a person moving forward to accomplish their goal.  A person’s motivation may be below to go to the gym, but their drive has them go even if they do not want to.  Drive and motivation often go hand in hand, and while someone may be motivated to go to the gym once a week or once a month, the drive is what will keep them going several times a week to meet their fitness goals.  This is where the person will have the motivation to go periodically when they see a piece of clothing they want to fit into or a picture of how they want to look, but the drive will keep them going to work out even when they do not want to.  The drive is long-term and keeps the person focused on the result even when the motivation dips low or is non-existent at times.
(LISW-CP, LCSW-C, LCSW)
Answered on 05/17/2021

Who has ambition?

Ambition is a great feeling to have when we want to work hard towards something important to us.  However, ambition is not always easy to find, and as some of us might compare ourselves to others, it can be easy to question who has ambition and who does not.  One important component to people that have ambition is that they have specific goals in mind.  Goal-oriented people are more likely to have ambition than those not as goal-oriented because they have a direction.  That direction can help feel concrete and like you know what the ambition can be used for. Conversely, someone unsure about what direction to take in life will likely not have ambition present because there is a sort of aimless sense of what it would be used for anyways.  While being goal-oriented is important, it is also helpful for someone’s values to align with their goals.  Values are what help us feel comfortable with something, even when it is difficult to achieve.  When our values align with what we are trying to achieve, we are much more likely to have ambition.  For example, if I am studying to be a doctor and I hold the value that it is important to help others, I will be much more likely to have the ambition to reach that goal.  If I do not really value helping others, it is still possible to reach that goal, but I will be much less likely to have the ambition to get there.  On that same note, people that have a passion for a specific career and/or skill set are much more likely to have the ambition to follow through with that passion. Ambition can be really helpful for careers, but it is also really helpful for our relationships and friendships.  People that value their relationships and friendships are more likely to have the ambition to work through difficult times.  There will naturally be low moments in any friendship or relationship, and ambition can help people work through those low moments without losing the connection. 
(MA, LPC, NCC)
Answered on 05/14/2021

How ambition is important?

Ambition can be a useful feeling to help us go after certain goals and instill the motivation to get there.  Everyone’s goals look different, and people will have different perspectives of what life goals should be important.  Whatever life goals are important to you, ambition will be something helpful in getting you to those goals.  For example, if having a career is important to me, ambition will help me go through the necessary hoops to achieve that goal and hopefully get to the desired career.  Ambition will help to have a continued drive to achieve the important goals, and without it, the drive will be much more of a struggle.  When we are going after the things that are important to us, we are more likely to be in a positive mind.  Of course, achieving important life goals can be a struggle at times, but ambition helps us push forward and stay as positive as possible.  The low moments and struggles when going after certain goals are more difficult to cope with and survive if there is a lack of ambition.  For example, if I want to go to a doctor and I am running on very little sleep, stress at home, etc., my ambition will likely be what helps me to push through all of that and continue to push forward towards becoming a doctor.  The ambition would help me stay as positive as I could to keep going rather than getting into a really negative state of mind that would be more likely to lead to quitting.  Ambition is great for assisting us towards our goals, and it can also have a positive impact on those around us.  People can sense ambition and drive, and sometimes when they do, it can rub off onto them.  This is especially true for people that are close to and/or look up to you.  For example, if your children see ambition in you going after certain career goals, that can help set an example for them in their future careers. 
(MA, LPC, NCC)
Answered on 05/14/2021

What career to choose when you don't know what to do?

Choosing a career path can be quite stressful; there is so much pressure to choose the “right” career.  But how does one define what is the “right” career?  Some will have confidence in what path they want to choose, but there can be a great deal of ambivalence with making such a choice for others.  When it comes time to make that decision, here are a few suggestions to help you choose a career: Considering taking an aptitude test.  There are numerous types of questionnaires that you can take that will help guide you in what career to choose.  You should be able to find some of them by doing a simple google search; there is the ASVAB/battery test, and there is a RIASEC test.  The battery test will list many different options based on the response you answer to a list of questions.  The RIASEC is a test that will break down your different types of personalities and what careers would match based upon the personality results. You may consider doing something to help determine what career path you want to choose to identify your values system.  Create a list of your top, let us say 10, values that rank from most important to leave important.  Do you consider financial stability to be most important?  Do you consider flexibility to be important?  Do you consider innovation and creativity to be a necessity?  Once you have a good understanding of your values, you can create a list of jobs that best fit the items that are most important to you.  Another way to help you make a career decision is to complete a decisional balance worksheet.  If you are stuck deciding between two (or more) different options, you use a decisional balance worksheet to help you organize your thoughts on the different options.  Or creating a pros/cons list will work just as well.  Either way, this activity will help you clarify if you are uncertain about what career path to choose.  Consider also having that values clarification list as part of this pros/cons exercise as well. It is important to remember that absolutely no decision we make in our career is a permanent choice.  We will always have the option to redefine our career paths as we choose to.  Putting too much pressure on ourselves can be unproductive; try to look at it from a perspective of opportunity and excitement!
Answered on 05/11/2021

Why Motivation Doesn’t Last?

If you find that you lose motivation quickly, a few points to consider can help you stay focused on what is important to you. Evaluate Goals And Rewards People lose motivation because they do not feel like they are making progress quickly enough. The end reward seems too far away, and they are not receiving rewards along the journey. Make sure you break up long-term goals into several short-term goals and reward yourself for accomplishing each of these. Delayed gratification is a bigger challenge for some people than others. Still, we all need to feel good about what we are doing. Remind Yourself Of What Is Important Are you less motivated to accomplish a goal than you were in the beginning? Try to remind yourself of why you started working towards the goal in the first place. Also, look to see if you are distracted by too many other less important goals. Trying to do too much can cause us to feel overwhelmed and to give up on projects. Value Self-Care When we don’t take care of ourselves, we limit our potential to accomplish our objectives. Take time to relax, express your feelings, spend time with people you love, enjoy nature, be creative, and develop relationships with your higher power. Recover From Setbacks A very common reason that people lose motivation is that they encounter a setback. Maybe everything had been going well, but suddenly, they are confronted with some disappointment. When this occurs, make sure to utilize your support network. Focus even more on self-care, and focus even more on recognizing what has been going well and the progress you have been making. Recognize Your Strengths Not only is recognizing your strengths important when dealing with setbacks, but it is also important to be aware of your strengths from the very beginning. Knowing that you have the ability to accomplish the objectives can give you confidence, and confidence can increase motivation. Know When To Take a Break You may be someone who becomes bored easily with projects. You may get distracted easily. For instance, maybe you are motivated to read a book, but you quickly lose interest and want to engage in other tasks. Limit distractions that are present while working on the task while allowing yourself to take a break when needed. Some people start tasks and get bored quickly (this is common for those with ADHD) but taking breaks frequently can help them remain focused and motivated.
(MRC, LPCC-S, LICDC)
Answered on 05/06/2021

Will vs. ambition?

Imagine a toddler trying to get to a cookie. They will do whatever they can if they want the cookie bad enough, including lining up stools and playing a balancing act of getting up on the counter to reach that cookie! They may even hurt themselves trying to get to the cookie, which does not deter the will they used to get to it. Will or willpower is the behavioral side of a larger concept of ambition. It’s very inherently basic in that people can utilize their strong will to win an argument, which doesn’t necessarily reflect that the person is also ambitious. Will power can be so strong that it can also be blinding to opportunity and open-mindedness and other areas that might bring them success. It’s a very singular kind of thinking that works very well in conjunction with many other behaviors. Another analogy is the gas that we put inside the engine to make the car move. Will power should not be deterred but rather directed into good outcomes for the person trying to achieve. On the other hand, ambition is an overarching sense of thinking and feeling that brings forth a stronger conceptualization of success. Ambition doesn’t always breed success but using the same car analogy, ambition can insight a person’s desire and wherewithal to design the car and think about goals, ideas, dreams, and clear concepts, following through with them using various skills like a strong will. The best combination is incorporating a strong will towards getting the job done and having a certain ambitious quality of whatever their goal is trying to be accomplished. A strong will can help a person stay very focused at times, even hyper-focused to accomplish. Coupled with ambition allows the will to have some direction and to be able to be directed into a goal that makes sense. Conscious ambition helps see the broader picture of what the willpower is attempting to get done. Ambition and willpower put together is a force to be reckoned with, and as children grow, mentors and caregivers need to direct those energies into positive outcomes.
(M.Ed., MA, LPC)
Answered on 05/05/2021

Can motivation affect perception?

Motivational states or our wishes and preferences (conscious or subconscious) influence how we process or perceive certain things. Essentially, we see what we want to see. This may be a concept that comes with an immediate internal argument of, “No! I see things as they are!” Researchers have studied the way that our underlying motivations may shape the way we perceive and see things. Their findings show that we see things how we want them to be, rather than how they truly are.  Our brains are always guessing. In a 2006 study, participants were shown an ambiguous figure, which could be seen as either the letter B or 13. Participants reported seeing the interpretation that came with outcomes they personally favorited. Researchers concluded that the motivation or subconscious preference for a particular outcome influences the perception and interpretation of visual stimuli. Another famous study examined people's views at two major universities following a hotly contested football game between the schools. There were injuries between players on each team and violence. Debate after the game involved discussion over who had been at fault, who had started it. Scientists at each of the schools involved, Princeton and Dartmouth, collaborated to understand why and how each group of viewers, having watched the same game, could have a different perspective of what had happened, how, and why. Ultimately, through their attempts to determine that, the researchers concluded that Princeton fans wanted Princeton to look good, to be blameless in the event, and the same applied to Dartmouth’s fans. They saw and perceived what they wanted to.  What can we do with the understanding that we see things as we may want them to be for whatever reason, rather than seeing things as they are? We can learn to understand ourselves and others better. Recognizing that our perceptions aren’t the absolute truth of reality can help us see past areas of disagreement for others. When we know that two people can see the same image or have the same experience and come away with different takes on it, we can take time to understand our own underlying motivations and ask ourselves important questions. We can also pause and try to understand what the reasoning behind someone else’s perception may be.
(MS., CMHC., NCC.)
Answered on 05/04/2021

Are motivation techniques applicable to students?

Motivation absolutely applies to students and learning. Motivation affects how we pay attention to information and what attempts we’ll make to understand the presented material. If you’ve ever been in a class where checking your cell phone and counting the minutes was your routine, and rote memorization was what you relied on on order to pass tests or make it through essays, you’ve been in a situation where your motivation to learn was low. Think back to a topic you were inherently interested in, where you engaged in discussion in classes, where you went the extra mile, read ahead, or grabbed extra books to further your learning. This is a time you experienced high motivation in your learning. While some may be motivated by grades or outcomes like obtaining a great report card, a certain GPA, or finishing a degree, it may not be that simple in each course, in each situation, or for each person. Researchers, course facilitators, and teachers have studied ways to increase students' motivation to help students achieve better outcomes. Motivation can come from either intrinsic or extrinsic factors. Intrinsic motivation describes a desire to learn that comes from within, and extrinsic motivation describes external forces involved in encouraging learning. Adult learners are often able to choose what they are learning and can therefore have some say in focusing on topics they may desire to learn. Younger learners may be forced to follow a particular curriculum that dictates what areas of study they focus on. For this reason, adult learners may be more likely to draw on intrinsic sources that motivate learning, and younger learners may be best motivated by extrinsic rewards based on performance. There are many ways to increase motivation in learning, and what works best for you or another person may depend on unique factors, but in general, breaking down tasks to prevent overwhelm, allowing students to decide what and how they learn to the extent possible, praise for effort rather than a final result, and encouraging engagement with topics through translation from the classroom into real-world situations are some ways of supporting motivation in learning overall.
(MS., CMHC., NCC.)
Answered on 05/04/2021

Are motivation and emotion the same thing?

Motivation and emotion are different but related. It’s common to think about motivation as the “stuff” that creates the drive to action towards a goal and to consider emotion as feelings that come from the motive, as coming from actions toward the goal, and arising from attaining or not attaining a goal. It is a bit more complex than this initial glace, however. Motivation is a reason for acting a desire to achieve something. Motivation is an important component of any behavior. If a person chooses to enroll in college, there is the motivation behind it. Choosing to get married, go out for dinner, or head to a yoga class all involve some varying degree of motivation for the behavior. Emotion is a feeling that arises or is derived from circumstances. It’s a subjective experience that also involves biology; emotions have a physiological response in the body, and physical responses can occur aside from the unseen brain chemistry involved. A facial expression or even action or behavior can arise from an emotion. Emotion and motivation can propel behavior. Feeling happy can contribute to motivation towards a goal and further energize behavior. Emotion can also create behavior that may contradict motivation toward a particular goal. Experiencing a wave of sadness because of an interaction with a friend may leave you feeling as though the best option is to skip dinner and head to bed early, which may interfere with your goal of a nightly after-dinner walk. Emotions may be a result of motivated behavior as well. For example, having a goal of taking a walk after dinner each night may come with the emotion of happiness or satisfaction once the behavior is completed. Emotion can serve as a part of motivation. Feeling disappointed with the level of physical activity you get may lead to setting a goal of walking daily. The feeling may serve as a motivator, too – avoiding disappointment and encouraging the feeling of contentment attained after that nightly walk, for example. 
(MS., CMHC., NCC.)
Answered on 05/04/2021

Are motivation and inspiration the same?

Motivation and inspiration are two different concepts related to one another and, at times, complement one another. Motivation is an external force or drive that compels someone to do something. Meanwhile, inspiration is the internal drive that creates the urge to do something in the first place. Inspiration typically takes the form of an idea (whether that be an idea of what is to be “created” or an idea of oneself). Someone can be motivated and have inspiration at the same time. Or, someone can only be experiencing one and not the other at any given moment. Furthermore, just because someone is experiencing both motivation and inspiration simultaneously does not necessarily mean that they will move forward with an action. It is because motivation and inspiration are not inherently indicative of someone following through with performing certain tasks or moving forward with accomplishing certain goals that it is important to remember there are other factors at play that make a person more likely to “act” on certain desires, goals, or even essential daily tasks. The first being that mental health and mental well-being can influence one’s ability to experience motivation or inspiration. Mood disorders, such as depression, can cause people’s motivation to fluctuate significantly. In this case, a person can be inspired to do things but physically or mentally lack the external push needed to fulfill their inspiration. Likewise, inspiration, especially inspiration that surrounded creative endeavors, can be impacted by mental health issues. Decreased energy and mental “fogginess” can cloud a person’s mind and ability to access the internal push often associated with inspiration. Another factor to consider is that not everyone achieves satisfaction by acting on their inspirations or motivations. Some people remain content with their current state and do not attempt to follow through when they have an inspiration or experience a “burst” of motivation. Furthermore, although both have different primary definitions, both these concepts share that they are often used to describe what makes a “successful” person.  All too often, motivation and inspiration are conflated with what it means to achieve what society has defined as greatness rather than what can be individually defined as happiness.  The most important thing is that somebody remains true to themselves and only acts on inspiration if they feel like it will contribute to their overall joy. Likewise, they are being motivated more by individual factors rather than what they feel obligated to do.
(Masters, of, Social, Work)
Answered on 05/03/2021

Why Mindfulness should be taught in schools

Mindfulness should be taught in schools because it can help students practice taking the time to process their thoughts and feelings in the present moment. Mindfulness is effective research and evidence-based technique that children and teachers can use to decrease mental, emotional, and social problems, issues, and concerns. Mindfulness and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and or Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) can be taught in schools to help students recognize that their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are connected. Students can learn techniques and strategies to improve their behaviors by stopping to take the time to become mindful of processing their thoughts and feelings before they engage in a negative or unwanted behavior out of impulse. Taking the time to process emotions can also allow students to calm down and access the situation, issue, problem, and or concern that is causing them emotional and/or mental distress.  Students need to develop an understanding that all of our behaviors serve a purpose to manage our needs. Therefore, Mindfulness can be used at the moment to allow a student the tools to take a break to truly work on changing the behavior once they are given the time to process how they think and feel without judgment, ridicule, and or bias. Taking the time to process their thoughts can allow students to think about the pros and cons of their behavior. Students need to remember that all behaviors have consequences. Mindfulness is very similar to any other life skill, technique, coping skill, and or strategy; students need to be aware that they will get something out of Mindfulness if they practice and put forth the effort to take the time to stop and think before they act out of impulsive. With continued and consistent practicing, students can develop and implement effective coping skills to decrease negative and or irrational thoughts and thinking patterns that can lead to negative and or uncomfortable circumstances or situations for students. Change starts with determination and commitment, so Mindfulness should be taught in schools to allow students to take a break and work on changing for an overall healthy emotional and mental well-being.
(EdS, LPC-S, NCC, BC-TMH)
Answered on 05/03/2021

Why ambition is overrated?

Ambition refers to the desire that one might experience in relation to achieving success or accomplishing long-term goals. Ambition can be extrinsic in focus (motivated by external rewards) or intrinsic in focus (internal, individually defined rewards). Ambition is often associated with the idea that this trait alone creates a “successful” person. The common narrative within society is that someone with high ambition will achieve all things that they put their mind to. However, ambition can be an overrated trait that is oftentimes conflated with who among us in society “has what it takes” to pursue and achieve happiness and stability. We live in a society that places hard work on a pedestal and believes that all people should constantly strive for “better things.” Sometimes, it is seen as weird or strange when someone isn’t interested or desires to “move up the ladder” in their life. But, lower ambition (or even no real ambition for anything other than what a person already has) is oftentimes overlooked as an option that can yield a happy life as well. Everyone is different, and some people are perfectly content working a job with steady hours, consistent pay, and just enough to get by if it means that they do not have to work as hard. These people might prioritize their free time and hobbies or even time with their loved ones over a career. They do not find pleasure in chasing after long-term goals or rewards if it means sacrificing these parts of their lives. For people like this, the balance of consistency and flexibility results in long-term happiness. The important thing about this is to remember that wanting an existence like the one described above is not strange or something to be ashamed of. Because society places such heavy emphasis on people having high ambition and working hard all the time, when someone wishes to focus more on finding happiness with what they have instead of striving for more, it can leave people feeling ashamed or lead to actual shaming. But, it is perfectly normal to want to be comfortable and not want to work more than 40 hours per week. It is normal to have time for yourself and prioritize this over career goals or perceived success. Ambition can be a very positive trait, yes. But, sometimes, it is overrated when we start to conflate ambition with long-term happiness and stability.
(Masters, of, Social, Work)
Answered on 05/03/2021

Why ambition is important

Ambition is a strong desire to do or to achieve something, typically requiring determination and hard work.  Ambition is a characteristic that is highly desired.  When working with clients, I often hear them say they find this attractive in friends and partners.  But, why is it important?  I’m so glad you asked!  Visualize this for a moment:  I want you to picture two people.  For simplicity, we are going to call them person 1 and person 2.  Person 1 has a great idea.  He has thought of the world’s 1st dog chewing gum---and it’s fully digestible!  He also happens to be a chemist and has created said gum. However, he lacks ambition.  So, instead of doing anything with the idea, he shrugs his shoulders.  He decides to see what’s new on Netflix. (This is hypothetical.  Please do not give your dog chewing gum…even if you think it is digestible.)  Now, on to person 2.  Person 2 has the same great dog chewing gum idea!  He is also a chemist and has created said gum (Again, please do not give your dog chewing gum.).  But, this person has ambition.  So, he calls a few pet food companies.  He goes on Shark Tank.  And, in a year—he sells his idea!  As you can see, ambition is the driving force that gets us to do things.  It’s more than having an idea.  It’s what moves us forward. Ambition is also important because we can choose to be ambitious about anything we want (see above).  You can put your energy into your passion with ambition.  When we are ambitious, it naturally leads us to be persistent, gain experience, be determined, and focus on our objective.  Ambition sees a goal and finds a way to meet it. When we are ambitious, we build character.  Though we may be ambitious about something, passionate about it, and want to achieve it…it may not always work out.  Let's be honest, the dog chewing gum?  It probably wouldn’t have won on Shark Tank.  However, it most likely would have shown someone that they could work hard, be determined and come up with an original idea.  Without ambition, we are merely a head full of ideas without bringing them to fruition.  Why might ambition be important for you?
(LPC-S, LCPC-S, MS)
Answered on 04/30/2021

Why ambition is bad?

Ambition itself is not a bad trait to have. Ambition can help people achieve great things and lead to some of the more innovative and creative solutions to the world’s problems. However, too much ambition or the wrong type of ambition can have both internal/personal consequences and external consequences. If someone’s ambition reaches a certain point, they might implement any means necessary to achieve their goals and, thus, harm others or themselves along the way. When one is tapping into their ambition to obtain or achieve certain goals, one needs to be intentional about analyzing what the key underlying desires are driving a person. Will someone be willing to violate other’s boundaries or undermine another person to get what they want? Do they have an attitude of “whatever it takes?” Where does that attitude come from? Is achieving these goals strictly for the individual’s betterment, or are there other factors, such as a family driving the person? All of these questions could contain very critical answers as to whether or not someone is even aware of the possible external consequences that high ambition could cause. Another concept that relates to this is that of “success.” Success can be a very subjective concept because it can be individually defined by the person seeking it. Sometimes, success is very rigidly defined and is only perceived as “achieved” if all of the goals set for themselves have been accomplished. This is very typical when people have what is referred to as “extrinsic ambition” (goals and desires focused on external rewards). Someone could perceive their success as not being achieved unless or until these external rewards are obtained. So, ambition, at its core, is not necessarily bad. However, ambition can turn into a negative attribute under different circumstances. Suppose someone has a high level of ambition. In that case, it can create a “blind spot” for a person who does not recognize (or even care) if they have to hurt others to achieve their own goals. Ambition can transform into a negative or potentially sinister attribute. Additionally, if someone is not flexible or resilient in their definition of “success,” then ambition can create many internal issues, such as a person feeling as though they are a failure.
(Masters, of, Social, Work)
Answered on 04/30/2021

Why ambition can be bad?

Ambition is a trait that, typically, is not bad or dangerous. Ambition can be what helps someone achieve their life goals or cultivate resilience for someone when things don’t work out the way they planned. However, just like with most personality traits, too much of something can be bad. Furthermore, all it takes is just a slight tweaking of one’s circumstances to transform one harmless ambition into something more sinister and hurtful. The first thing to consider is what exactly ambition is. Ambition refers to the feeling of desire that is often associated with setting and achieving goals or obtaining success. This is different from the drive, the actual “push” that one intrinsically possesses that helps them take the necessary steps forward in accomplishing short- and long-term goals related to their ambitions. Ambition can take the form of either extrinsic ambition (goals and desires that are focused on external rewards) or intrinsic ambition (goals that come from a place of internal individualized meaning that is based on/defined by the person). So, how can this go awry? Ambition can sometimes cloud a person’s judgment when taking strides and making moves that they perceive as necessary in bringing them “closer” to their goals. Someone might not have any issues with undermining or being deceitful towards others if it means that they can accomplish what they have set out to do. This person might not be someone who, under normal circumstances, would do things such as lie or manipulate. But, if heightened ambition geared towards accomplishing their goals becomes the central attribute that they rely on in this situation, they might find themselves doing “out of character” or even dangerous. Ambition can also cause someone to doubt themselves and fixate on their “failings” when their definition of success derives from extrinsic ambition or external validation. For people who are very strict and inflexible in their definition of success (such as situations where the obtaining of money or fame is essential to their perceived achievement), a high ambition that is motivated by these factors can turn into a trait that leaves a person constantly questioning their decisions and their abilities. So, is ambition bad? The answer is more complicated than “Yes,” or “No.” Ambition can be a very positive trait if it is implementedhealthilyy. However, if the right set of external and internal circumstances present themselves, ambition can turn into something with potentially harmful consequences.
(Masters, of, Social, Work)
Answered on 04/30/2021

Which ambition suits me?

Firstly, before diving into what ambition might be the best fit for you, it is important to distinguish between the two most common types of ambition. Ambition refers to the desire to accomplish goals or achieve success and can be, typically, broken down into two categories: extrinsic ambition and intrinsic ambition. With extrinsic ambition, the goals and desires are more focused on external rewards. These can be material (money, a position at work, the ability to afford expensive things) or non-material (fame and notoriety). Meanwhile, when referring to intrinsic ambition, the goals come from a place of internal meaning that is individually important to the specific person setting them (such as the desire to help others or to feel “accomplished” in one’s achievements). To figure out what ambition would work best for you, it is important to ask yourself some pretty critical questions about your goals and the desires surrounding them. Ask yourself: What is motivating me? Can it be conceptualized into different “material” rewards, or is it more ambiguous? Do these rewards fit into either of the two categories of ambition? Once you have determined what category these motivations and goals might fall into, it is critical to question the “why” behind the ambition. Look back on your history of achievements or goal setting and reflect on how you might have come to achieve or fail to achieve these things. Did you focus more on extrinsic ambition or intrinsic ambition at this time? Was that maybe the reason you did not achieve what you would consider “success” around these different ambitions? Another way to look at which type of ambition is best for you is to think about how you are as a person in general. Sometimes, people have a hard time using their intrinsic desires or motivations to move forward, and they need an extra push from the outside to accomplish their goals. If you think you are one of these people, you might find that extrinsic ambition is more appropriate. However, some people don’t rely on external rewards or motivators to accomplish their goals. These people are typically described as those who “march to the beat of their own drum” and are flexible in how they define “success.” If you think this is more of who you are as a person, then intrinsic ambition might be the better fit for you.
(Masters, of, Social, Work)
Answered on 04/30/2021

What ambition is the best?

Ambition refers to the desire to achieve success. When speaking about the concept of ambition, there are 2 common types that people typically refer to extrinsic and intrinsic. With extrinsic ambition, the goals and desires are more focused on external rewards. These can be material (money, a position at work, the ability to afford expensive things) or non-material (fame and notoriety). Meanwhile, when referring to intrinsic ambition, the goals come from an internal meaning that is individually important to the specific person setting them. With extrinsic and intrinsic ambition, the satisfaction and validation derived from the pursuit or achievement of these goals come from different sources. Extrinsic ambition relies heavily on whether or not external rewards are obtained. Intrinsic does not rely on outside sources of validation but, instead, on the individual’s satisfaction with their efforts. Furthermore, extrinsic and intrinsic ambition take different routes when referring to achieving and obtaining these goals and rewards. Typically, people with extrinsic ambition will focus on the paths to “success” taken by others before. They might tweak or individualize these pathways, but, ultimately, there is a formula to them. For example, someone might have the extrinsic ambition to become a doctor for the sake of notoriety and the money/security that this occupation provides. This person will, most likely, complete college/undergraduate, get into a medical school, complete a medical internship/residency, and then move into whatever specialized area of practice they wish. Intrinsic ambition, and the means to which someone goes about achieving success related to this type of ambition, tends to result in people following whatever path “feels right.” Because the rewards are so individualized and personal to the individual, the pathway to achievement might look a lot different. Using the same example from above, someone might have the ambition to help others with medicine, but they might not take the traditional path to become a doctor. Let’s say that they start by doing something that does not require as much time, is less of a monetary investment, and can get them started right away, such as an x-ray technician. During this time, they might find that they want to continue their education and move in the direction of becoming a doctor. They might transfer to a job affiliated with a college or medical school and, therefore, makes access to education easier and more obtainable.   As to which one of these is the best, that is up to the individual. Some people do really well just following extrinsic ambition, while others do perfectly fine following intrinsic ambition. It might be best to have a healthy combination of both. When someone does not have the intrinsic ambition to move forward with achieving their goals, falling back on extrinsic ambition rewards might help. Likewise, having more intrinsic ambition at times could help someone “think outside the box” and not get as fixated on how things “should be done” to achieve their extrinsic ambition-related goals.
(Masters, of, Social, Work)
Answered on 04/30/2021

Why Motivation is Important in the Workplace?

We spend a large portion of our lives in the workplace. Some people have jobs that they very much enjoy, while others dread going to work each day. A high level of motivation is correlated with a high degree of productivity. Feeling that we are productive can improve the quality of our lives and how we view ourselves. Celebrating Victories One way that we can maintain motivation in the workplace is to celebrate our successes. Some of us work in positions where others compliment us for a job well done, while others work in a position where the achievement of tasks goes unnoticed. Accomplishing goals can be motivating, and in turn, that motivation can help us accomplish more goals. By accomplishing even seemingly mundane tasks as achievements, we can increase our motivation and sense of pride—and if we are proud of our work, we are more likely to put forth greater effort. Notice progress rather than demanding perfection. Recognizing our Potential It is easy to feel stuck in a position. You may tell yourself that you do not have the education, skills, knowledge, or reputation to advance. Over time, if you do not feel that there is a chance to learn new things and grow, regardless of whether this comes with a promotion, you may become disinterested in your work. You may be capable of much more than what you think. Still, fear of rejection, low awareness of your strengths, and being overly critical of yourself can prevent you from utilizing the opportunities you have to advance. Motivating Others at Work Motivation can be contagious. If you are in a position in which you supervise others, or even if you have a coworker who seems unmotivated, here are a few tips: Give praise often. If someone is not celebrating small victories or recognizing their potential, let them know what they are doing well. This is especially important when someone frequently receives criticism. Show appreciation. Let the coworker know that you appreciate the hard work that he is doing. Even if you think the appreciation is implied, be vocal about it. Be understanding. You do not always know what the person is dealing with at home, so there may be times when the person struggles to make it through the workday. Listen and try to accommodate the needs of the other person when possible. Help with goal setting. Again, working toward goals, especially those that are SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-measured), can help us maintain motivation. When going over a coworker’s work performance, make goal-setting just as important as a task as offering feedback, and check on the progress toward the goals frequently. Model motivation. If you show others that the work is important to you and that you are willing to invest extra time and energy into it, others may also feel it is important and increase their efforts.
(MRC, LPCC-S, LICDC)
Answered on 04/30/2021

Why Motivation Doesn’t Work?

Motivation comes from one’s desires. So, it is based on you either do it, or you don’t. While being motivated is important, it can only get you so far in life. Motivation will come and go and is not something that is a constant in life. There are also many variables when it comes to motivation, and each person will respond differently. Motivation comes from our ever-changing emotions. One day you may feel tired and sluggish and don’t want to do anything, while other days, you may feel full of energy and ready to conquer the world. This makes motivation inconsistent and unreliable, as there are many outside factors out of your control. Some people rely on motivation to start something. Have you ever said to yourself, “I will just wait until I am motivated to start that project” The problem is, you may never find that motivation to start that project, and you need to get up and get it done. Odds are, once you start it, you will realize it wasn’t that bad and didn’t take long to complete. We all lack motivation at times, and that is normal. However, you should not rely on motivation alone to complete tasks. When your motivation comes from extrinsic things, you are excited at the moment, and your motivation comes from the reward you will earn. But what happens after you earn that reward? Your overall motivation is temporary and no longer means anything because you got your reward, and now you moved on. This cycle will continue to repeat itself often for those that are constantly chasing extrinsic motivation. So, what are some things we can do instead of just relying on motivation? You can focus on building habits in your daily routine. When something becomes a habit, it takes the motivation factor out of the equation, and it just becomes part of your daily goals. If you are working on making goals for yourself, make sure they are obtainable and working on the journey of meeting that goal and not just getting caught up in meeting the end goal. There is a big difference between the two. It is important to honor the promises that you make with yourself. It is easy to get down on ourselves when we don’t meet our goals or expectations. If you find yourself in this pattern, I would suggest going back and looking at your goals and maybe re-defining them so you can set yourself up for success. 
(M.ED, LPC)
Answered on 04/30/2021

Who Needs Motivation?

We all struggle with needing motivation at some time in our lives. Motivation comes with the desire to complete a goal. When it comes to meeting goals, we are driven either by intrinsic or extrinsic motivation. Depending on the type of motivation you are seeking and how you respond to both positive and negative motivation will depend on your outcome. Those who use intrinsic motivation vs. extrinsic motivation tend to be more successful long term in obtaining goals. Intrinsic motivation is based on something you want to do. This comes from within yourself. These are often things you can control, such as your emotions, behaviors, etc. So, when you want to accomplish something for yourself, and you find intrinsic motivation, you are more likely to accomplish it. On the other hand, extrinsic motivation comes from outside sources such as a reward or something tangible. For example, doing something to get money, or a prize of some kind. While you have the initial motivation to get the tangible reward, that motivation is most likely gone after you receive it. The factor that impacts motivation is how you respond to that specific experience. If you are positive about your goal and your motivation, you are more likely to enjoy the experience, and therefore the outcome of your desired goal will be more positive. If you start working out because you want to improve your overall health and fitness, it would be an example of positive motivation. However, if you work out because you don’t want to gain weight, negative motivation would be an example. You are doing this only to avoid an outcome rather than for the experience of getting healthier. Motivation is an important part of our lives, and everyone needs motivation to help us achieve our goals. When we use motivation in the right way, goals can be very obtainable and rewarding. When setting up goals, it is important to be sure they are realistic and something you can achieve. If you are setting goals that are not obtainable, you will struggle with the path leading to those goals and most likely will lose motivation altogether.
(M.ED, LPC)
Answered on 04/30/2021