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Quick Tips for Increasing Motivation

As I sit here and write a blog on motivation, I think about how it is has been difficult for myself to also find the motivation to write. So, I decided, why not write a blog about it?

Motivation is one of the driving forces behind human behavior. It increases our desire to be socially connected and when absent can lead to mental illness such as depression. Motivation encompasses the desire to continue striving toward meaning, purpose, and a life worth living. Motivation is often sourced extrinsically and intrinsically.

Extrinsic Motivation is inspired by outside forces, for example:

· Completing coursework for grades

· Completing work for money

· Helping others for praise

· Volunteering because it looks good on a resume

Intrinsic Motivation is inspired by internal forces, for example:

· Completing coursework because it makes you feel accomplished

· Going to work because you feel fulfilled

· Learning a new language to experience new things

· Participating in helping others because it makes you feel good

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

Building momentum to want to be motivated towards your goals can be difficult especially if you are battling depression. Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs shows that we are always working towards self-actualization. Self-actualization, in psychology, is the concept regarding the process by which an individual reaches his or her full potential. Maslow stated that for one to reach self-actualization we must have our basic and social needs met. Those levels, ultimately in Maslow’s eyes, heavily influence our sense of belonging and purpose.

Maslow stated that people are motivated to achieve certain needs and that some needs take precedence over others. Our most basic need is for physical survival, and this will be the first thing that motivates our behavior. Once that level is fulfilled the next level up is what motivates us, and so on.

1. Physiological needs is the first level in Maslow’s pyramid which includes the biological requirements for human survival (food, shelter, sleep, warmth, etc).

2. Safety needs is the second level in Maslow’s pyramid which include emotional security and financial security.

3. Love and belongingness needs is the third level of Maslow’s pyramid which include emotional connection, being apart of a group, and belonging.

4. Esteem needs is the fourth level of Maslow’s pyramid which include self-worth, accomplishment, and respect.

5. Self- actualization is the fifth level of Maslow’s pyramid which includes realization of potential, self-fulfillment, and seeking personal growth.


Tips on kickstarting motivation once your needs from Maslow's Hierarchy have been met:

· Breaking tasks down into small ones.

· Set a small achievable goal that aligns with your beliefs and values system.

· Increase positive self-talk.

· Try behavioral activation in therapy.

· Give yourself grace and compassion.

· Work on fulfilling your basic needs.

· Doing things that make you happy.


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