“Motive, Motivation and Goals”- 23 June 2019

‘Why should I do this? Why should I exert? Why should I study hard? What will I do when I have a good life? What will happen if I become the best? What will I achieve if I become successful?’

One youth is constantly obsessed with the thought -why should I live?

Such questions are important to give us the reasons and the purpose for doing something -they give us the motive. A clear motive or motives gives us the clear goals to set in our daily lives and our long-term existence. If the reasons are known and the purpose of life is clear the mind moves with direction and force. Motive is the direction and motivation is the force. Motivation comes from the word ‘to move’, ‘movement’, which means action. Motive and motivation both are important to understand and implement. They help us set our goals, short-term and long-term and help us achieve them.

An unclear motive is like a man on a ship without a rudder who does not know where he is sailing to and for what. Or a man on horseback who knows not where he is going and says ‘wherever the horse takes me’! A clear purpose gives you the energy and the fuel for action. Motivation is the energy and the fuel to do something and move!

A ten-year old is full of energy and enthusiasm. He has been labelled as a ‘hyperactive’ child which is fine but does not solve anything. He needs action all the time and is inexhaustible. He must do something and if nothing, he will tease and bully the classmates and disturb the class. He will fidget with things or shake his legs. Give him a task and he completes it fast for he is intelligent too. He is motivated enough but has no proper motive in life. He does know what he has to do and gets on his horseback so to say! He needs a proper purpose and goal in life. Guided into that systematically he will be a star child for all to appreciate. Many times proper and systematic guidance is sorely missing from the lives of children.

A college youth is pursuing a specific degree course but is not sure if that is what she wants to do all her life. She wants a creative and artistic occupation and not the mechanical one she is doing currently. She feels frustrated, irritated and depressed. She has been pushed into it by family. She has clear motives, high motivation but her goals depress her. She loves doing something else. Her heart lies elsewhere. Here comes the setting of right and proper goals where your passion lies for that will fuel the actions. She feels demotivated for she feels she is in the wrong path. She is an achiever, she is clear with her purpose of life, she has the ability but the wrong goal demotivates her.

Take another example. A teenager has stated clear goals for future- he wants to be rich, successful and different in life but is not motivated enough to achieve them. He has the ability, a somewhat goal in mind but is casual in approach to achieving it and putting in hard work. Such a child if not motivated enough will not be able to achieve much and remain at the mediocre level. And there is a problem here- the goals stated may not be the true goals to suit his temperament -it may be superimposed or not thought through in detail. It may a fashion or herd following of peers or just a fanciful thought with no true love for it. Motivation is energy and action and that comes when the emotions are strong to push it. A lazy mind finds excuses to avoid and escape. The underlying emotional base of any personality adds fuel to the desire. Whatever may be the emotions- the love for the task, the desire to earn pots of money, the fear of dying of hunger, the anxiety of losing out in life, the green streak of envy and jealousy to do better than the other, the desire to compete and beat the other, the passion to innovate and create, the anger against injustice experienced, the struggle to overcome disability, the desire to set things right, the wish to serve the poor and do good for society and so on. The emotional quality of the mind rules all the other factors which form the superstructure. This emotional base is different for each individual as they grow up in their respective homes and environment and the set of parents and significant family members that nurture them and impart the right kind of training. This is called the family background.

However, an ideal combination one should work on is clarity in motives, high goals and high levels of motivation. Nothing could stop such a person in life whatever may be the family background and ever dynamic circumstances. Of course not to forget the mighty power of emotions!

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