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How to find motivation in life

Now we move on to questions about what we want. As we have said in other articles, the “I” is what gives things their meaning. Some philosophers and psychologists suggest that the one thing that makes a person (or a living being) different from a mechanical ingenuity is a person who gives meaning to things.

We give meaning to things because we have desires. Because of desire, some things have value to us, and some do not; some are relevant to us, some are not; and value or relevance is just another way of talking about meaning. In this Psychology-online article we will talk about motivation and how to find motivation in life. What is motivation?

There are several ways to view and psychologically treat motivation:Behaviorists and other theorists who take a fairly biological approach to psychology suggest that all our desires boil down to the desire to survive. So our most fundamental needs are: food, water, rest and avoidance of pain. The most complex motivations are seen as derived from these by learning.Freudians have a similar view, and refer to desire as libido. They, in any case, focus more on the need to survive beyond an individual’s life through reproduction. Since the survival of all the needs and instincts that serve you depend in fact on reproduction, it is quite reasonable to make sex the key desire. The sociobiologist agrees with the Freudians on this.Humanists use the word actualization, which means “the desire to maintain and improve the self.” So “maintenance” certainly includes survival, since it is understood that we are referring to the survival of both the psychological self and the physical self. And “improvement” means we do more than just try to survive.

Social creatures like us depend on each other for much of this “maintenance and improvement.” One thing we need, especially early in our lives, is positive reinforcement, which means attention, affection, etc. In principle, it is a matter of physical survival; later, a sign that we have support around us. The habit

Another aspect of motivation that is hard to overestimate is habit. If you think about it, almost every thing we’ve talked about includes returning to a de-stressed state. When we talk about physical needs, for example, we often talk about homeostasis: like a thermostat controlling an oven, we eat when we’re low on nutrients, and we stop eating when we have enough.

The same can be applied to psychological phenomena: when our understanding of things is scarce and we fail to anticipate, we try to improve our knowledge; once we understand something, and our anticipations hit the mark, we will be satisfied. In fact, it would almost seem like we spent our lives trying to be unconscious. After all, we feel distress when things go wrong and desire or pleasure when things get better. Habits: unconscious attitudes

Habits are things that are so thoroughly learned, that work so smoothly, with so little distress or desire, that they are unconscious. When habits refer to social behaviors, we call them rituals. Coronations, weddings, ceremonies, funerals, queuing, taking turns speaking, saying “hello, how are you?” (whether you want to know or not), they are all examples of rituals.

There are also always ways of thinking and perceiving that are so thoroughly learned that we tend not to be aware of them: attitudes, mental sets, norms, prejudices, defenses, etc.

The key to identifying habits and rituals is that the acts are essentially non-emotional and unconscious. Shower, for example: the strange thing is that you wash more or less in the same way every day, as if you were playing a computer game. You’ll object that things surrounding habits or rituals can be emotional (e.g., a funeral), but things that are done are also done almost automatically, like driving a car, until things go wrong. When this happens, you experience some kind of distress.

Either way, keeping things as they are, maintaining social law and order, is an extremely powerful motivation. In its most positive form, it is our desire for peace and satisfaction. In its most negative form, there is our resistance to nothing new or different. Higher motivations

On the other side of the spectrum, there are what we might call higher motivations, such as creativity and compassion.

There are times, when we are for a moment “transported outside of us”, or, to put it another way, when we feel an identification with something greater than ourselves, we feel something very great and indescribable inside us. Many people experience those moments when they are on the edge of the Grand Canyon for the first time, or enter one of Europe’s great cathedrals for the first time. The ocean, the acropolis, the redwoods, the hummingbirds, the music, even a great book or movie can do this too. We can call it a “top”,” spiritual or mystical experience, or just call it awe.

This kind of thing also happens with certain behaviors. Climbers talk about the flow experience, when their minds are totally occupied with the task at hand and feel “one with the mountain.” Dancers, actors, musicians and athletes mention similar experiences of involvement. Creative activities

Creative activities can also give us these feelings. Artists, musicians, writers, scientists and artisans talk about a point at which they are carried away by their creation, more than the other way around.

And we feel it when we are really in love with someone, when they become more important than ourselves. Albert Achweiter said that only those who serve others can be really happy. This is called compassion.

In all these examples, we not only see “maintenance and improvement of the self,” but a transcendence of the self, a loss of the self that paradoxically leads to an expansion of the self. Most religions and philosophies make this their highest values. Freedom

There is something very peculiar about people: while, from the outside, it might seem as if our behaviors are completely determined by the various forces that affect us (genetics, the physical world, social pressures) we seem to be able to “withdraw” it from time to time, for a moment or two, from the flow of events. We can stop to reflect on things. And we can imagine and think about things that are not immediately present.

For example: sometimes a part of us (say our inherited physiology) wants sexual gratification, and they want it right now. Another part of us (say our social upbringing) requires respect, security, virtuosity, affection, or whatever. If we are completely determined, we can simply go with the most powerful force, and life can be easy. Instead, we have the ability to weigh forces.

Sometimes this is an almost unconscious process. We can weigh two forces emotionally, in terms of relative anxiety and desire. But we can go back a little bit and add certain rational considerations, and consider things like the meaning of sin or the strangeness of being discovered. Worrying about things in this way can be unpleasant, but it is a sign of our freedom of choice.

We can also create new opinions. Only people face both possibilities and realities. When things seem to be a matter of either this or that, bad whether you do it or not, we can pause and reflect, and create a third (or fourth, or fifth…) possibility.

Even when alternatives seem to be totally absent, some freedom remains. The writer and philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre, after facing the torture of the Gestapo, discovered that he could always say no. At least, you always have the choice of the attitude you will take in the face of your suffering, no matter how hard it may be. A hierarchy of needs


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