What is Motivation| Definition, Importance, Types, Theories and Factors

What is Motivation| Definition, Importance, Types, Theories and Factors

Motivation is the fuel that keeps us going and getting things done. It's what drives us to keep going even when the going gets tough. It's difficult to keep up the effort required to make progress towards our goals if we aren't inspired to do so. Keeping motivation strong requires a combination of a supportive environment and realistic objectives.

What is Motivation

Definition of Motivation

The term "motivation" refers to an individual's innate drive or disposition to take initiative and work towards a desired end. Motivation is the driving force behind people's efforts, keeping them focused and allowing them to push through difficult situations. Mental, emotional, and behavioural factors all contribute to the complicated concept that is motivation. Both internal and external variables have an impact on it.

The Importance of Motivation

Motivation fosters a positive mindset. When you're driven, you see possibilities where other people see problems. It lets you face problems with a "can-do" attitude, which can help you do better. People who are more driven at work tend to get more done. When you're inspired, you're more likely to set clear goals, keep your mind on them, and keep going even when things get hard. This can help you get ahead in your job and feel better about yourself.

Types of Motivation

The two main types of motivation are those that come from inside and those that come from outside. Intrinsic motivation comes from inside, like a desire for a job, a sense of personal pleasure, or a real interest in it. On the other hand, extrinsic motivation comes from things like money, praise, or respect from others.

Intrinsic motivation

Intrinsic motivation is the natural, internal drive that makes people want to do something just for the joy and pleasure it gives them, not because they want outward rewards or praise. It's that inner fire that makes you want to do something because you enjoy it or think it's important. People are more likely to be self-motivated when they think they can learn a skill or subject. This internal drive is fueled by the desire to get better.

Intrinsic motivation is based on the fact that you can choose what to do and have power over what you do. When you have the freedom to choose, you are much more motivated to do well at a job. Having a clear sense of why you're doing something can spark your own drive. When you think that what you're doing is in line with your ideals and long-term goals, you're more likely to keep going.

Extrinsic Motivation

Extrinsic motivation is when people do things or act in certain ways because of awards or incentives from the outside. Reward is the most important part of external drive. These rewards can come in many different ways, such as money, praise, fame, or physical gifts.

It can increase output, help people reach their goals, and get them to do what you want, especially in cases where intrinsic motivation may not be enough. However, it can sometimes make people only care about the reward and not the job itself, which can make their loyalty short-lived. Too much dependence on external inspiration can also make it harder to find your own motivation.

To use the power of extrinsic motivation, it's important to set goals that can be reached. People are more likely to keep going when they know what they are working towards.

Theories of Motivation

Several ideas of motivation have come up over the years as people have tried to figure out what makes people act the way they do. These ideas help us understand why people do what they do and give us a framework for understanding the complexities of what drives people. There are three prominent theories of motivation: Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs, Expectancy Theory, and Self-Determination Theory which we will study in this chapter.

Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs

Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs

The well-known psychologist Abraham Maslow came up with the Hierarchy of Needs theory in the middle of the 20th century. This idea is often shown as a pyramid with five levels. Each level represents a different group of human wants.

Physiological Needs

At the bottom of the pyramid are the physical wants, like food, drink, a place to sleep, and a roof over your head. These are the most important things you need to live, and they are the basis for all other reasons.

Safety Needs

Safety needs come before the body's wants. These include the need for safety, steadiness, and protection from harm, both physically and emotionally. In the end, people try to make the world a safe place for themselves and their loved ones.

Love and Belongingness Needs

The next level of the pyramid includes social wants like the need for love, friendship, and a feeling of belonging. People are social by nature, and meeting these wants is important for their mental health.

Esteem Needs

As we move up, we meet esteem needs, which can be split into two groups: the need for self-esteem and the need for the respect of others. People want to feel good about themselves, so they look for self-respect, confidence, and the respect and approval of others.


At the top of the tower is self-actualization, which is when a person reaches his or her full potential. This stage is about growing as a person, being creative, and looking for meaning and happiness in life.

Expectancy Theory

This theory, which was first put forward by Victor Vroom in the 1960s, says that people act in a certain way because they expect to get what they want.


The first part of this theory is expectation, which is a person's opinion that their hard work will lead to good results. In other words, people are more likely to do something if they think it will lead to a good outcome.


The second part is instrumentality, which is the idea that achievement will lead to a certain result or reward. People are more likely to be driven if they can see a clear link between their efforts and their benefits.


Valence, the last component, is how important people think the expected result will be to them. If the prize is a big deal, it makes people more motivated. On the other hand, if the prize is not appealing, drive drops.

Self-Determination Theory

The Self-Determination Theory, which was devised by Edward Deci and Richard Ryan, is based on the ideas of liberty and drive that comes from within. It says that people are most driven when they feel like they have some freedom and control over what they do.


Autonomy is the most important part of this theory because it shows how important human choice and will are. When people are free to make choices and follow their own hobbies, their motivation and enthusiasm go through the roof.


Competence is a belief that you can do what you want to do. When people feel like they can do a job or action well, they are more likely to do it.


Meeting the need for relatedness means making ties with other people that mean something. People are social by nature, and feeling like they belong to a neighbourhood or group can boost drive in a big way.

Factors Affecting Motivation

Motivation is the driving force behind our progress in a world where goals and dreams are our primary motivation. It pushes us to overcome obstacles, embrace challenges, and strive for success. Without motivation, we may lack the determination and perseverance needed to turn our goals and dreams into reality. There are various factors such as goal setting, positive reinforcement, autonomy, mastery, and social support which play pivotal roles in keeping us driven and focused.

Goal Setting

Setting goals that are clear and doable is the key to staying motivated. When you write down your goals, you make a plan for how to get there. This road guide not only shows you where to go, but it also helps you remember what you're trying to do. Your long-term goals can be less overwhelming if you break them up into smaller, more doable jobs. This method keeps you going by letting you celebrate the small wins along the way.

Positive Reinforcement

Positive reinforcement is a powerful way to get things done. When you give yourself a gift for getting closer to your goals, your brain learns that hard work brings pleasure. This makes you more likely to keep going with your efforts. Creating an awards system that fits in with your goals can change the game. When you hit targets, give yourself a reward. This reinforces the good habits that get you closer to your goals.

Autonomy and Mastery

Autonomy, or the feeling that you are in charge of your actions and choices, is a strong motivation that comes from within. When you feel like you're in charge of your path, it's easier to keep going. Mastery, which means always getting better and learning new skills, keeps people motivated. You want to keep moving forward because you want to get better at something.

Social Support

The people you spend time with can have a big effect on how motivated you are. Friends, family, or coworkers who are encouraging and hold you accountable can be a big help. Finding someone who has the same goals as you can help you stay on track. You can hold each other accountable for making progress when you work together.