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Saturday, May 26, 2018


                        . . . So What's the Big Deal About Motivation?
By Ruth Douthitt

I have to facilitate a presentation about motivation at work soon, so I have been deep in motivational videos, theories, and podcasts in preparation for it. 

The results? I am super motivated!!

I'm motivated to share motivational tools, and ideas that I have found so helpful for me.


What's the big deal about motivation anyway? Why do managers attend such presentations about motivation?

Well, what are the benefits?

Improved productivity
Strong work culture
Reduced absenteeism
Achievement of Objectives

But why is motivation important for the rest of us?

As I have blogged before, I run and train for races. I am also an author with many projects set for 2018. Motivation is key for me to meet all my goals for the year.

There are so many motivational theories out there. I lean toward Maslow's Motivational Theory because it's simple:

If your very basic needs aren't met, then everything comes crumbling down. In other words, if you have no food in your belly, shelter over your head, and clothes on your back, you won't be motivated to do much of anything let alone achieve your potential!

But once those needs are met, then you move on to the other needs: Socialization, belonging and love, respect and acceptance, validation of ideas, challenging yourself...all of these can help you reach your potential, and then self-actualization.

What does that level look like? Let's use Oprah as an example. She reached stardom through hard work and innovation. She started the "daytime talk show" trend by restructuring it and making it more personal. That achievement led to her challenging herself by trying new concepts: Acting.

After receiving an Academy Award nomination, she had the self esteem to venture out into more challenging roles on TV and in film. She began her own studio and cable network.

But one thing keeps knocking her off the top of Maslow's Pyramid: Her weight.

Oprah's constant battle with her weight has always brought her down a few levels on the pyramid, but she has learned through the years how to get back up to the top.

And that's what self-actualization looks like. When you have reached autonomy (meaning, you no longer rely on others to reach your true potential because you know how to get back on top on your own) you have made it to the top!

No, becoming a billionaire is not the requirement of "self-actualization" or "transcendence." Gandhi reached that level without being a billionaire and you will, too. 
Being able to carry on without relying on others for your happiness is key for success. Your definition of success might differ from mine.

What's your definition of success?

The big deal about motivation is that we all need outside motivation to inspire our inner motivation so we can reach our definition of success. But knowing how to get back up again after falling down is what Self-Actualization is all about.

Motivation is a Big Deal

I strongly feel that our calling is to know how to stay motivated so we can motivate others around us. And by "others" I mean not just employees, but family and friends, too!

As a writer, I feel called to motivate my readers and students of writing. I have learned (and continue to learn...) how to get back up again after rejection and delay. I want to share my knowledge and wisdom. I'm a teacher, that's what I do!

Some motivational theories and tools you can try are:

Four-Drive Theory

Goal Setting Theory

These tools can help you assess your needs and learn how to help motivate others in business or in your personal life. We'd be crazy to think everyone knows how to motivate themselves. It's important for us to share our knowledge with others. That's how things change for the better.

What about you? How do you motivate others? Why is it important for us to do so?

R. A. Douthitt is an award-winning author of books for middle grade readers. She is now working on a contemporary inspirational novel, Leaving Eden for release later this fall. She is also an educator and speaker with a Masters degree in Education.

For information about my books, please visit my website:
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