The word motivation comes from a Latin word meaning “to move”. Do you ever wonder why some people achieve lofty goals? It is motivation, pure and simple. Once motivation has been created, commitment takes over to help realize the goal.


Here are 3 components to teach your students about motivation:

  1. Extrinsic motivators
  2. Intrinsic motivators
  3. Five steps to increase motivation

Extrinsic Motivators

Extrinsic motivators come from outside ourselves. They may be such things as money, power, influence or achievement. Researcher David McClelland developed a theory of motivation in the workplace during the 1950’s. His theory states that because society places such high value on achievement, power, and affiliation, employees will be motivated by opportunities to achieve these needs in the workplace.

Have your students write a list of things that extrinsically motivate them.


Intrinsic Motivators

Intrinsic motivators are the things that people simply enjoy, such as doing hobbies, playing sports, or spending time with friends and family. To identify this type of motivation, ask: “Why do you do what you do?” If the response is, “I do it because I enjoy it,” it fits in this category.

Ask your students to reflect on their intrinsic motivators.

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Five steps to increase motivation

Here are five steps to teach your students to increase their motivation and success:

  1. Associate with positive, motivating people. Look at other people—either in your workplace, your home or in your community—who appear to be positive, motivating people. Observe them carefully. Watch how these positive people motivate themselves. Learn to model their behavior.
  2. Communicate in a positive manner. As mentioned before, communication skills are the key to understanding yourself and others. By creating new, positive habits and choosing to move to the positive side, you will provide motivation not only for yourself, but for others you will encounter.
  3. Use positive affirmations whenever possible to motivate yourself. Positive affirmations are statements about yourself such as, “I am a goal-oriented person,” “I am a goal-achiever,” and “I am always eager to learn.” These types of statements will help you move from the negative to the positive.
  4. Learn to understand what motivates you. Every person is different. Some people are motivated by money, while others are motivated by personal growth, gratitude or service to others. So whatever it is, learn what truly motivates you and put yourself in situations where those motivators are present.
  5. Learn to set goals and obtain them. Research has shown that one of the best ways to create motivation is to learn how to set goals and then achieve them. Remember, success breeds success!

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