Motivation and a desire for change

Motivation and willingness to change – to want to live a different life 


Recently, we have been thinking about how to draw our kids away from the excessive time they spend with the phone, tablet or computer. We have found out what factors, conditions or bonds can help us in this. 

Some information was obvious to us, some was perhaps a novelty, and other information helped us to create a picture of the whole. But what to do so that we want to want to change something about it…

 If you were born without wings, do nothing to prevent them from growing. 
[Coco Chanel] 

What actually makes us want to take action, to focus our energy on the chosen activity until we achieve a result we will be satisfied with? 

Does wanting something come from motivation? 

So how to motivate a child, wife, husband, friend and especially how to motivate yourself? 

What exactly is motivation? 

Motivation is the energy directed towards a given thing. It is willingness and readiness to undertake some kind of activity in order to achieve what is our goal, dream and sometimes a necessity. In other words, it is the willingness to do something, the willingness to start working in some direction, and the pursuit of achieving this.   

“I want” is a key element of motivation. We cannot impose or force someone or ourselves to want something. However, we can create the conditions so that the other person or us want more or less.   

The origins of motivation are found in cognitive structures such as: understanding the outside world, our inner world, the way we learn, and meeting higher needs such as the need for respect, achievement, or empowerment. 

Before moving on to the substance of the matter, let’s consider what factors trigger the motivational state and how they affect us.

There are three types of motivations that determine our desire for something. 

External motivation 

This is when we expect to get some reward, evaluation or praise for the effort and energy we devote to an activity. Another external motivator is to meet someone else’s expectations, e.g. those of children, parents, family, boss, friends or acquaintances.   

In such a case, there is no room for an autonomous “I want“. The energy to act is imposed from the outside. At this point it should be said about limitations, which are rarely mentioned here. A child or we take action only if we expect a reward or want to avoid punishment. This strategy is short-term and conditional. It does not inspire creativity and feeling of accomplishment in us or in the child. There are two ways to respond to this way of motivating: either accept it or reject it. In both cases, we take away from ourselves and the child the opportunity to decide about our own needs, to get to know oneself, to take responsibility for oneself. 

Internal motivation 

When we are able to activate it, every new activity – learning, knowledge, experience – gives us a lot of joy and satisfaction. 

As we discover the new and the unknown, we get a better understanding of ourselves and the world. It is often connected with the awareness of doing valuable work for us and doing our own work. We can feel happy like children when we understand that we have learnt something, we know how to proceed with a task or matter. 

When we constantly want to experience something new, this is the best drive we can dream of!   

We can effectively support our and our children’s inner motivation by meeting three needs: 

  • Needs for autonomy: each of us is born with the need to decide about oneself, to make one’s own choices, i.e. “I want“. We don’t like when others have a greater influence on our lives than we do.   
  • Competence needs: Everyone wants to develop and become more competent. It doesn’t matter what your profession or passion is – acquiring and developing new skills simply gives us real satisfaction and joy. 
  •  Relationship needs: by nature we are not lonely sailors. It is true and sincere relationships with other people that enable us to be ourselves and want to change something for the better. To make our child really want to learn, set and achieve goals, the child needs to be in a safe, supportive relationship with parents, where there is also room for making mistakes. 

Anxiety motivation 

This kind of motivation appears when we want to avoid unpleasant consequences. Under its influence, we lose the ability to absorb information, understand it and then make use of. Fear makes our minds shut down. This motivation is triggered by experiences, people and sometimes our environment. 

If you cannot change a person, place, situation or institution, change your attitude. 

[Regina Brett] 

Do we have anything to do with this? 

It often happens that the only person who stands in our way to realize our decision, plan, goal or dream – is only us. We are hindering ourselves by finding many excuses not to even try. We blame someone or something instead of seeing what blocks us from inside. Attitude: I will never understand it, I can’t do it, it’s too difficult, I don’t have enough time – certainly this will never take us forward. 

We make up numerous excuses, so that we do not have to deal with things that evoke fear or aversion. 

If you don’t want to do something, you’ll find an excuse not to do it. If you want to do something, you will find a way!   

[Regina Brett] 

We are in a lost position from the beginning, because even if we try to do something, we will not be able to do it well, because it is accompanied by fear or a barrier that is within us. 

So what can we do to make us start acting? 

No one can persuade another a change. Each of us guards a gate of change that can only be opened from the inside. 

[Marilyn Ferguson] 

He who complains and justifies himself does not move forward. He who complains and justifies himself does not move forward. This attitude is bad – as long as we are passive, nothing in our lives will change for the better!   

So try to open to new experiences, look for humbleness in yourself to ask for help. Be yourself, but be the best version of yourself. Take responsibility for you life, for your happiness and for the successes in our intentions, plans and dreams. At the same time, teach our children to grow into authentic, open-minded people who know what they want in life. 

The impossible cannot have happened, therefore the impossible must be possible in spite of appearances.
[Agatha Christie] 

We will be very pleased if you devote your time to watch the next edition of our blog, where we will take a closer look at – the motivation to teach our children. 
 Come and visit us! 

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