What association do you have with a word ‘motivation’? When I think about motivation, the picture of a dog performing a trick for a treat appears in my mind. The same with people, adults behave themselves as dogs waiting for a reward.
Have you ever thought about motivation as a negative term? Motivation seems to be beneficial asset that makes us act. In this post, I claim that people do not need a motivation. Moreover, I will try to convince you that motivation can be even harmful for an individual.
At the first onset, I would like to note that in this post the intrinsic motivation is not being discussed, which is motivation coming from inside, or in other words, when you do something in accordance with your personal will and feelings. My focus is on extrinsic motivation that comes outside. External motivators can be money, recognition, grades or punishment. These motivators are widely used at schools and workplaces. And the approach which uses reward and punishment motivators is called “carrot and stick”, where carrot stands for a profit and stick is for a sanction.
“Carrot and stick” method can be very beneficial in terms of achieving results, but can be very destructive for an individual and work itself. People by being motivated by “carrot and stick” are not happy, since the work can be done under the pressure or fear of being punished, or person does not enjoy the process of work since his or her only concern is to get a reward. In both cases, the quality of work suffers. Also, we see this situation every day, when adults justify their unproductivity or just laziness by a lack of motivation, which needs to be introduced by outer world. So some people are not ready to make decisions and take actions by themselves, but wait for a ‘treat’ from their surrounding, boss or government, forgetting that, first of all, people themselves are architects of their own fortunes. Thus grown-ups should stop behaving as kids and be responsible for their lives.
What do you think about being motivated by external factors? What kind of motivation does work with you well?