What makes us do what we do? Why do some of us excel at writing, some at managing tasks, and some at building consensus?
The answer is motivation.
Whatever we do at any given point is driven by a motive. But sometimes, we don’t know our own motives. When that happens, we have less knowledge of who we are and cannot control how we feel. All our actions can be traced back to six motivations:
- Need for certainty
- Need for variety
- Need for love and belonging
- Need for significance
- Need for growth
- Need for contribution
Let’s take some examples.
If someone works at the same company for 10 years, we tend to label him as ‘unambitious.’ However the person may have a high need for good work AND security which the company provides. And it is these twin motivations that compel him to stay.
Now let’s take another example. Have you met people who are always complaining? I call them energy vampires. They drain you of your energy with their talent to always look on the dark side. These people will have you believe that they are faced with insurmountable difficulties. But the truth is their complaining serves a need: staying where they are, not taking the responsibility for change.
Now look at yourself. Why do you do what you do? What drives you? Do your motivations serve your goals? If not, you either need to recalibrate your goals or your motivations.
For example, if you’ve always nurtured a desire to start a restaurant then you may be driven by the need for growth and significance. But if you haven’t yet started the restaurant (and money is not an object) then ask yourself if your need for security is greater than your need for growth?
There’s nothing wrong with that. But once you know your motivations, you’ll be able to channel your energies better and be more at peace with yourself.
About the Author:
Sandhya Reddy is a leadership & transformation coach based in Bangalore, India. She is the Founder and Principal Coach at Chapter Two Coaching, a coaching consultancy that enables everyone from CEOs to work-from-home parents to achieve their goals by replacing self-imposed limitations with enabling stories. Sandhya’s services include Executive Coaching and Life Coaching.