Understanding what motivates us can be the key to unlocking performance, productivity and fulfilment. It can ultimately determine our success. I share below my best motivation tip for success in life and work.
Some people have a pretty good understanding of what motivates them. Others may have an inkling or not really understand at all.
But understanding our motivational drivers is only the first part. It’s even more important to understand how well these drivers are being satisfied, and if not to make some adjustments to enable this.
Motivation Tip for Success: Motivational Maps
I use a tool called Motivational Maps, which reveals both of these. I frequently use it with my clients as part of their coaching journey as well as, on an ad hoc basis with individuals and teams. It can be extremely insightful and very useful for helping to course correct. I’ve seen some spectacular results!
In my own experience, discovering what motivated me wasn’t a complete surprise. However, it helped me to fully appreciate what I’d been feeling. The exercise also validated that I was on the right path in terms of the changes I was making in my career. It also gave me a useful framework and terminology to talk to others about the changes I was going through. More about this below.
What motivates me?
In reality there is no single thing that motivates any of us – often there are a combination of different elements at any point in time. While we’re all unique, there are similar themes that motivate us.
Let’s look at why this is the best motivation tip for success in life and career! According to Motivational Maps theory, we’re all motivated by 9 motivational drivers to a greater or lesser extent. In no particular order:
- Meaning and making a difference
- Freedom & Independence
- Innovation & change
- Expertise and mastery
- Money & material satisfaction
- Power & Influence
- Recognition & respect
- Belonging & respect
- Security & predictability
I’ll bet that some of these resonate you as you probably have an idea what makes you tick.
What motivates us is likely to evolve over time for many of us.
Often at the start of our careers, we’re more motivated by money and recognition. As we advance we might become more motivated by being known for our expertise or making a valuable contribution to our customers or wider society.
In addition to evolving over time, our motivational drivers can also evolve within a shorter time period if we undergo significant changes. What may have motivated you a year ago, could have changed significantly under the current changeable circumstances.
How satisfied am I?
Knowing what motivates us is only part of the puzzle. It’s essential to understand our motivational drivers and how they might effect our performance. Let’s take a look at this motivation tip for success.
- Motivation Driver #1 Making a Difference: Do you see the value in what you do? Do you believe in the integrity of your organisation? If the answer is no, your motivation could well be misaligned.
- Motivation Driver #2: Independence & Freedom: Are you part of a large bureaucratic organisation? Does your boss micromanages you? This could result in significant frustration.
- Motivation Driver #3: Money: Do you feel that you are being fairly compensated? Do you know that others are paid more than you? This could make you feel disgruntled and less motivated.
Often we’re not able to pinpoint where the problem lies, we just feel unmotivated, disengaged or drained.
It is essential to know which motivational drivers are not being satisfied. When you have a clear view of where the motivation disconnects are, you can learn how to address them.
Often small changes are necessary to unblock us, resulting in a significant change in our overall satisfaction and motivation. This can have a profound impact on how we feel, and ultimately how we perform too.
I first discovered Motivational Maps two years ago. It was around the time that I’d given notice to leave my corporate role.
For me, discovering my motivational drivers wasn’t a complete surprise – meaning & making a difference and freedom & independence.
However, it certainly explained what I’d been feeling. Also, it validated that I was on the right path in terms of the changes I was making to my career.
It also gave me a useful framework and terminology to talk to others about the changes I was going through.
To put this into context, I was moving on from a corporate career to running my own coaching business – i.e. helping others, on my terms. This is completely in line with my drivers.
It had also been important for me to feel a sense of belonging and connection (I’d been used to being part of a large organisation and was establishing myself in the business community). Money was my lowest driver (I was being paid very well, thank you very much).
Motivational Maps – an on-going Tool for Motivation
Therefore, I retake the Motivational Maps test again periodically, to see where I am. My top two drivers are always just as important to me, but are now (unsurprisingly) being more highly satisfied.
What is interesting though is the changes to some of my lower drivers. Innovation & change (Creativity) is now my third biggest driver. This is probably because I feel empowered to make decisions and changes about my business that I wasn’t previously exposed to. Money has also increased in importance as I’ve become more commercial in the way I think, and have needed to to run a viable business versus an enjoyable side hustle.
As I also review my levels of satisfaction across the different drivers, I then make tweaks to ensure I give myself the best chance of success in the short and longer-term.
Understanding what motivates us can be the key to unlocking our performance, productivity and our fulfilment. It can ultimately determine our success. The best motivation tip for success is to understand you own motivations.
Identifying our motivational drivers is only the first part. So, it’s even more important to understand how well these drivers are being satisfied, and if not to make some adjustments to enable this.
If you’d like to know more about your key motivational drivers and how best to satisfy them, get in touch. Click here to set up a meeting with me to discuss further or learn more about the Career Compass session here.
Thanks for reading. Check out other Blue Diamond articles to help you take control of your work and life.