The definition of motivation is to give reason, incentive, enthusiasm, or interest that causes a specific action or certain behavior. Motivation is present in every life function. Simple acts such as eating are motivated by hunger. Education is motivated by desire for knowledge. Motivators can be anything from reward to coercion.
There are two main kinds of motivation: intrinsic and extrinsic. Intrinsic motivation is internal. It occurs when people are compelled to do something out of pleasure, importance, or desire. Extrinsic motivation occurs when external factors compel the person to do something. However, there are many theories and labels that serve as sub tittles to the definition of motivation. For example: "I will give you a candy bar if you clean your room." This is an example of reward motivation.
A common place that we see the need to apply motivation, is in the work place. In the work force, we can see motivation play a key role in leadership success. A person unable to grasp motivation and apply it, will not become or stay a leader. It is critical that anyone seeking to lead or motivate understand "Howletts Hierarchy of Work Motivators."
Salary, benefits, working conditions, supervision, policy, safety, security, affiliation, and relationships are all externally motivated needs. These are the first three levels of "Howletts Hierarchy" When these needs are achieved, the person moves up to level four and then five. However, if levels one through three are not met, the person becomes dissatisfied with their job. When satisfaction is not found, the person becomes less productive and eventually quits or is fired. Achievement, advancement, recognition, growth, responsibility, and job nature are internal motivators. These are the last two levels of "Howletts Hierarchy." They occur when the person motivates themselves (after external motivation needs are met.) An employer or leader that meets the needs on the "Howletts Hierarchy" will see motivated employees and see productivity increase. Understanding the definition of motivation, and then applying it, is one of the most prevalent challenges facing employers and supervisors. Companies often spend thousands of dollars each year hiring outside firms just to give motivation seminars.
Another place motivation plays a key role is in education. A teacher that implements motivational techniques will see an increased participation, effort, and higher grades. Part of the teachers job is to provide an environment that is motivationally charged. This environment accounts for students who lack their own internal motivation. One of the first places people begin to set goals for themselves is in school. Ask any adult: "What is the main thing that motivates you." Their answer will most likely be goals. Even the simplest things in life are the result of goal setting. A person may say, "I want to save 300.00 for a new TV" Well, that is a goal. School is where we are most likely to learn the correlation between goals, and the definition of motivation. That correlation is what breeds success.
So, as you can see, motivation is what propels life. It plays a major role in nearly everything we do. Without motivation, we would simply not care about outcomes, means, accomplishment, education, success, failure, employment, etc .. Then, what would be the point?