Do you often find yourself struggling with motivation? Whether it’s because you don’t have enough or you have too much with no clear target to aim it at, understanding ‘motivation’ from an evolutionary and psychological point of view could be the key to helping you find your drive.
In this article, we will examine what motivation is from a ‘drive theory’ perspective and provide practical advice on how to channel it towards a consciously chosen and desired goal. When it comes to motivation, choosing a goal that you truly desire, connecting that end goal with your inner power, talent or skill set and taking actions that inexorably lead to the goal becoming part of your experience, comes under the umbrella of ‘alignment’. You can tap into your manifesting power and concentrate it towards your desired outcomes simply by changing your thinking.
The concept of alignment is not just about forging ahead blindly with any pursuit but understanding your emotional connection to your motivations and whether there is a disconnect. Are your motivations aligned with who you want to be? Are they really serving you or someone else? Let’s find out together!
First of all, let’s understand what we mean by a ‘Drive Theory’. The term ‘drive’ as it pertains to human behavior was first used by R.S. Wordsworth in his 1918 book, Dynamic Psychology. American philosophers J.B. Watson and J.J.B Morgan published a paper in the April 1917 issue of the American Journal of Psychology entitled Emotional Reactions and Psychological Experimentation. Close to Wordsworth’s ideas, they centered their thesis around three fundamental emotions: fear, rage and love (using love in approximately the same sense that Freud uses sex).
The emotional states that are built around an absence of something lies behind a specific human behavior which is conducted to serve an end goal. With regards to motivation, the drive theory of motivation is the most fundamental of all drive theories because it lies at the heart of everything we do.
The Role of ‘Time’ in the Drive Theory of Motivation
Time is fundamental to how our motivation plays out. It is the problem because we are starting in one place and want to end up somewhere else. The whole reason why we’re motivated to take action is so that our future is different from our present. For example, we may wish to build a degree of certainty into our future in terms of financial or emotional security. Therefore, we are motivated to pay into a pension and do a masters degree with better job prospects. We take action now, in order to reap the assumed rewards in the future. The emotional engine which drives us towards this particular future is fear – fear of ending up in a space where we lack.
Finding Your ‘Why’
Our relationship with truth is often lost as adults, and we seek efficiencies which makes perfect sense, but it can catch us out through short-cuts that can get us lost on paths we don’t actually want. Therefore, really interrogating the reason for our motivation, whether it is aligned with our desires, is the crucial first step to finding our ‘why’. It is possible that your lack of motivation, tendency towards procrastination and apparent self-sabotage may stem from the fact that you don’t really want what you think you want!
The Drive Theory of Motivation and a Midlife Crisis
Most midlife crises arise when we realise we have been living our lives motivated by someone else’s drive, whether it’s a real or an assumed one. We have spent most of our lives dancing to someone else’s tune, and the scales of time have tipped against us. A midlife crisis is the point where the truth can no longer be tempered by our narrative, and what we really knew all along bursts out. By doing the work of consciously engaging with what’s driving us, we can avoid reaching this point.
In conclusion, understanding ‘motivation’ from an evolutionary and psychological point of view is key to helping you find your drive. Knowing your ‘why’, choosing a goal that you truly desire, connecting that end goal with your inner power, talent or skill set and taking actions that inexorably lead to the goal becoming part of your experience, is the pathway to alignment. Aligning your manifesting power with your desired outcomes is possible through changing your thinking. It is also important to ensure that your motivations are aligned with who you want to be and not serving someone else’s drive. By being aware of what drives you now, you can avoid reaching a point in life where you realise you have been living someone else’s dream.