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Motivation – What it is and isn’t


Motive is that within an individual that incites him or her to action. Motive might be an idea, emotion, need, or state that prompts them to action. Motivation depends on what an employee values. Like other emotional states’ motivation may be developed.

Fear and desire dominate motivation. Fear tightens, panics, forces, compels, and inhibits. Fear is the most powerful negative motivator and ultimately scuttles plans and defeats goals. Fear plays on negative experiences of failure, pain, and disappointment. Fear is a haunting reminder that similar experiences will likely repeat themselves.

Fear induces negative tension, creates stress, anxiety, sickness, and hostility. Leaders acknowledge fear and go on in spite of it. Johnny Carson and Barbara Streisand are just two stars known for shyness and fear of crowds. Fear is possibly the largest self-imposed barrier individuals encounter when pursuing their goals. If you break through fear enough times, you will either conquer it or learn to control it. Sometimes we need to stretch beyond our comfort zones to grow. Plunging through our fears is just one of those needed stretches.

We can overcome our biggest fears by making smaller stretches on a consistent basis.

“I sought the LORD, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears.” Psalm 34:4

Desire, on the other hand, draws, opens, directs, stretches, and encourages plans and achieves goals. Desire spurs memories of pleasure and success. These memories bring about the need to replay these again and create new winning experiences. Desire is that emotional state between where you are and where you want to be.

Desire is the perfect answer for despair and fear. Desire sparks action, which burns up excess adrenalin in the system, keeps the mind busy and the hope of achievement alive. Inactivity breeds despondency, brings forth dark thoughts, and distorts situations out of proportion to reality.

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Continuous success drives motivation upward. The success-motivated individual is self-confident, optimistic, energetic, enthusiastic, and has higher self-esteem.


Describe with detail what the achievement looks and feels like when motivating individuals. This demonstrates your personal belief and confidence in their ability to accomplish the stated objective.

A successful leader will link the company objectives to the workers’ needs and values. He or she must also show workers how they can achieve their own personal goals by working together to achieve company goals.

Your best workers are generally high self-motivated individuals who will give their best every single day. However, the majority of workers will be in the good, average, and poor category. To achieve your maximum potential, you must find a way to motivate this group to do more.

Successful leadership requires an understanding of the workers and their needs, knowledge of company goals, and a connection between worker and company goals. A leader needs the support and confidence of his or her employees to be a success.

Imagine what might have become of Christianity if the disciples had not continued the mission after Jesus transcended to Heaven. Where they were somewhat cautious before Jesus died, they were relentless in their mission after he returned. In fact, many of them were later executed.

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Motivation energizes individuals to a perceptibly higher level. This increased energy, when directed at a specific target, through some type of medium (mechanism or process) will lead to improved results.

Motivated employees need the capability of the behavior. For example, a deaf person could not be a court reporter. Your capabilities shape the things you are motivated to do. The more capable you are, the more motivated you are, and vice versa.

Opportunity determines limits and plays a large role in what you can or can’t do. Opportunity is dependent on the environment and status (hostile, friendly, or neutral). Hostile environments will retard or suppress capability development, while friendly ones enhance it. A neutral environment offers the possibility of development, but fails to offer the encouragement a friendly, supportive environment does.

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Proverbs 20:5 - - The purposes of a man’s heart are deep waters, but a man of understanding draws them out.

Psalm 37:4 – Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart.

Does God give us anything we desire? – No. But he will give us our desires when they first are shaped by a delight in the Lord. To receive this promise, we must first meet the conditions attached to it: By loving God above all else, our desires will become what he desires for us. Then our greatest longing will be to conform our lives to his will.

Psalm 103:5 – who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

What desires does God satisfy? -- Desires that are rooted in what pleases him. We cannot expect God to answer prayers for sinful of selfish desires (James 4:3).

1 Timothy 3:1 – Here is a trustworthy saying: If anyone sets his heart on being an overseer, he desires a noble task.

What was an overseer? -- A secular Greek term for anyone who had oversight over any project or person. Paul borrows the term to refer to pastoral leadership in the church.


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