The Art of Motivation

Motivation. It’s such a strange concept, blanketed across civilization in a way that doesn’t make sense. We’re not all the same, and therefore not the same thing makes everyone tick.

“Desire or willingness to do something; enthusiasm”, that’s the Oxford dictionary definition at least. Of course I’m not talking about our basic motivation for survival — i.e. I am motivated to eat — well obviously I’m motivated to eat, failing to do so may cause a multitude of problems. No, I’m talking about the type of motivation that is often linked to success. The drawl of a loved-one who may state, “You’re just so unmotivated”. But, perhaps my motivation is different to yours?

Who is to say that the executive that is an early riser, gets to work on time and proceeds to work until late at night, is more motivated than the guy who sleeps late everyday but freelances from home?

Or, the corporate worker who surfs facebook most hours of the day, but is at work bright an early compared to the guy who works nightshift at a bar?

What happens if your actual job doesn’t motivate you, but your after-hour hobbies do? Does that make you less motivated or inclined to be successful?

Motivation needs to be viewed on an individual level. Imagine Hemingway was told that he wasn’t motivated because it was viewed that he didn’t have a ‘real’ job. Such a term needs to be viewed as an art, sculpted according to the individual, around their habits, dreams and contributions.

Does this mean that you should discard everything else and only focus on the things that truly motivate you? Of course not. Finances and stability will always rear its ugly head, making such survival a balancing act. But maybe, just maybe, we should be looking at the way in which we understand the term ‘motivation’. Simply because I may not see the importance of something you’re doing, does it give me the right to say that you are unmotivated? If a person is actively working at something, day-in and day-out, regardless of what that is, surely we can’t label them unmotivated or lazy simply because their motivation doesn’t fit our own ideals?

And for those battling depression, where the term ‘motivation’ sometimes only serves to weigh them down further, perhaps we truly need to define what exactly we mean by motivation. Motivated to succeed in your career/business is very different to finding the motivation to get out of bed each day. No, motivation is an individual art. It reflects the individual’s essence and screams to the world exactly who they are.

Originally posted on

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