When it comes to motivation, you might think this requires giving something to someone else that pumps them up (like a pep talk, a bonus, an ultimatum, etc). But motivation actually comes from the inside of a person. It’s a person’s own desires and energy that fuels action.
You can’t actually motivate someone else. But you can influence the motivation that already exists inside of another person in order to help that person get something done.
People possess internal motivations like worthy causes, values, beliefs, interests, and fears. Everyone has a complex array of forces that steer them in a certain direction. As you learn each person’s internal motivations, you can speak to those issues in a way that encourages them to move forward.
“People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing – that’s why we recommend it daily.” –Zig Ziglar
You can also assist others by pointing out how they can be more self-motivated. Most everyone can be self-motivated as long as they know what to tap into. Oftentimes, people tap into the wrong thing. They misunderstand what truly motivates a person and go about it the wrong way. Seth Godin talks about how people are sometimes fooled into thinking that motivation comes from such things as:
- Waiting – they wait for a certain feeling or impulse to get motivated.
- Whining – they think if they complain long enough that something will happen on its own.
- Worrying – they wish circumstances were different because then they’d feel like moving into action.
- Wishing – they hope for something or someone to come along and motivate them or simply do it for them.
These are all bad choices when a person is trying to find the motivation to do something.
The thing that makes a leader motivational is when he or she touches a person’s heart. Discover what people are passionate about and you will find the very thing that moves them to action. You influence motivation when you fan the flame of something others are already passionate about on the inside. No one can actually motivate someone else, they can only influence the motivation that already exists. Motivation comes from inside of a person.