Motivation (noun): the reason or reasons one has for acting or behaving in a particular way or the general desire or willingness of someone to do something.
I’d like to explore two dimensions of motivation:
Extrinsic and intrinsic. This is about whether the drive is external or internal. An extrinsic motivation comes from outside of us, for example, money or praise: if you pay me enough money to do a job, I’ll do it. An intrinsic motivation comes from within us, for example, personal growth or feeling good. I accept an assignment because I want to develop a new skill. Intrinsic motivation is sustainable.
Strategic and tactical. Strategic is longer-term and our most important life decisions and actions. For example, I’ll go back to school to get an advanced degree because I can provide a better life for my family. Tactical is the short-term and necessary, for example, I need to get the car to the shop for an oil change this week. The long-view is essential but balance is needed; it can be challenging.
I believe that doing one important thing every day will change your life. The motivation to do so takes vision and discipline. Vision provides a WHY for the things we should do and intrinsically compels us to action. We should ask enough questions on any task to get clarity on the WHY and then we can fit our choices into a larger and longer-term context. Discipline then helps focus the competing priorities for our time and attention.