How is motivation related to the belief system?

Motivation and self-motivation in everyday working life. An overview of models and methods

Table of Contents

List of figures

1 Introduction

2 basics

3 types of motivation

4 self motivation
4.1 Influencing factors of one's own motivation
4.2 Tips to increase your own motivation

5 Motivation at work
5.1 Motivation in change processes
5.2 Incentive Systems

6 Relation to market research
6.1 Motives to buy
6.2 Measurement of stimuli

7 Conclusion

8 List of sources

List of figures

Figure 1: Needs according to Häusel

Figure 2: From need to action

1 Introduction

The topics of motivation and self-motivation are becoming increasingly important in both personal and professional everyday life. In times of globalization and increasing competition on the world market, it is becoming more and more important for employees and employers to increase their own motivation and the motivation of others in order to achieve their own goals and use existing potential.[1] Companies and employees therefore have to adapt to new circumstances faster and faster and are exposed to increasing motivation pressure.[2] However, staying highly motivated over the long term is difficult and usually an impossible challenge. There is no general formula for increasing motivation that helps us to cope with the negative aspects of everyday life with joy and vigor.[3] Motivation is a complex term and means something different for everyone. The following elaboration should therefore show what exactly is hidden behind the expression “motivation”, what types of motivation there are and what methods can be used to increase and optimize one's own motivation and the motivation of employees. In addition, a final reference to market research should be established in order to show what influence motivation has on people's purchase decision and how this can be measured.

2 basics

Everyone acts differently and individually in different situations. We always choose certain actions, although we have a variety of alternatives. But what exactly is it that drives us? Why do we often draw such divergent consequences from success and failure?[4]

The reasons for our actions depend largely on our motives.[5] Motives are "control and engine of action"[6] of a human. They mark the direction, the intensity and the persistence of our activities and thus determine which activity we carry out with which perseverance and which vigor. In addition, they define the use of resources that we invest to take action and ultimately to achieve our desired goal.[7] Usually, numerous motifs interlock and form a common conglomerate. This mix of motives forms our motivation.

Motives can, however, function as opponents. For example, the decision between two equally desirable states can often be difficult if we cannot achieve both at the same time (Appetence-appetite conflict). Similarly, it can happen that we have to choose between two unpleasant goals that we actually reject (Aversion-aversion conflict). On the other hand, the realization of a motif can also meet an unpleasant side that should actually be avoided (Appetence-aversion conflict). Which motives are ultimately decisive and steer us in one direction or the other depends on the situation and varies continuously.[8]

Motives are therefore personal motivations and the driving force behind our motivation. But what is responsible for our motives?

All of our motives are based on needs. Although the motives are different for each person, the structure of the needs is the same for everyone.[9] Hans-Georg Häusel classifies these needs into three areas, so-called instructions:[10]

Figure 1: Needs according to Häusel

Figure not included in this excerpt

Source: Own illustration based on data from Häusel, Hans-Georg (2014), online in the Internet.

Accordingly, there are three major emotional systems in every human being that form our needs: that Balance system, the Dominance system and the Stimulation system. The balance system shapes the needs for security, stability and constancy. It strives for calm and harmony and the avoidance of dangers and surprises. Opposite this is the stimulation system as a second instruction.[11] This forms the human needs for new stimuli and variety and therefore strives for new experiences and individuality. Dominance, as the last of the three emotions, in turn forms the need to expand power and increase one's own reputation and thus strive for autonomy, status and control.[12]

These three instructions form the limbic system and interact with each other in every one of our actions. Depending on the situation, they send differently strong signals and calls to action so that the form of the instructions can vary continuously.[13]

Accordingly, all of our actions are the result of our needs. These are the same in structure for every person (limbic system) and, depending on the situation, personality and age, shape our motives, which in turn interlock depending on the situation and form our motivation. This motivation is ultimately responsible for all of our actions.

Figure not included in this excerpt

Figure 2: From need to action

Source: Own illustration based on data from Meier, Rolf (2015), page 11.

3 types of motivation

Basically, motivation can be classified into three categories, each of which can be divided into two forms.

The primary motivation is considered innate and thus represents the basis of other motivational traits. Primary motivation focuses on primary human needs, which are predominantly physiological in nature. They go hand in hand with the pursuit of survival and livelihood security. Hunger or warmth can be named as examples of this form of motivation. In contrast to this, the secondary motivation describes the expansion of social aspects that have developed in the course of human evolution through increasing social interaction. Striving for recognition from others and maintaining social contacts are part of this type of motivation.[14]

Another category differentiates conscious and unconscious motivation. The former is characterized by the fact that the agent knows the motives for action. The focus here is on a specific goal, which is to be achieved through appropriate motives for action. The unconscious motivation stands in contrast to the fact that motives are unknown to the actor at the time of the action. Behaviors that are brought about by unconscious motives are considered irrational because they can harm people. Examples of this are exceeding the speed limit or deliberately crossing a red light. An example of conscious action is intensive learning in order to pursue the goal of a better grade average.

The third category is divided into intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. In the case of intrinsic motivation, an activity is triggered by an internal incentive; in the case of extrinsic motivation, it is triggered by an external stimulus. Drivers for intrinsically motivated activities are, for example, joy, curiosity or interest in something. Because action is encouraged from within and is independent of external factors, this form of motivation is considered to be very stable. External incentives can be financial resources or a construct of external incentives, so-called incentive systems.[15]

4 self motivation

Many people find it difficult to motivate themselves. Without motivation, however, target-oriented actions and effectiveness are often difficult to achieve. Motivation deficits limit us, our satisfaction and our thirst for action in everyday and professional life.[16] But why do some people find special things easier than others? What influences our motivation and how can it be increased?

4.1 Influencing factors of one's own motivation

The factors influencing our motivation can basically be divided into two categories. On the one hand there are so-called Motivators such as recognition, a sense of achievement, self-development and responsibility. Motivators have a direct and active effect on people and their motivation. The needs aspects of Häusel can be found in them and are satisfied in a direct way. The counterpart to this are so-called Hygiene factors such as B. an appropriate remuneration, a pleasant personal environment and promising prospects. Although these do not actively increase human drive, they demotivate when they are absent. We therefore only take them as a disruptive factor when they are missing.[17]

How and to what extent these motivators and hygiene factors affect us depends enormously on our own perception. Because the personal point of view always has a great influence on our motivation and consequently on our actions. From birth we are confronted with new situations and learn to deal with them. Impressions and experiences are stored in us in the same way as news and indirect reports. The more often we notice or experience them, the more deeply they become rooted in us and the more likely we are to associate certain feelings such as fear or joy with them.[18] As a result, a filter is placed over our perception, which subconsciously evokes automatic reaction patterns in us. Belief systems and value spectra consolidate in the course of our lives and have the effect that, for example, we apply philosophies such as “One does not object” to a wide variety of life situations.[19]

This harbors the risk of prejudice being formed. As a result, information is subconsciously weighted, interpreted differently or not even properly perceived. As a result, people are selective and concentrate only on those aspects that fit into their own image. This can lead to situations being simply accepted or completely ignored, so that a basic attitude to life is formed that has an enormous influence on our motivation.[20]

Motivation is therefore the result of our experiences, our way of thinking and our personality. For this reason, it can be actively influenced positively by your own efforts with some advice.

4.2 Tips to increase your own motivation

There are many different ways to increase your motivation. On the one hand, motivators should be encouraged and, on the other hand, inhibiting hygiene factors should be eliminated.

Brighten up your own everyday life: Monotony, senselessness and boredom reduce a person's level of motivation enormously. It is therefore important to make your own everyday life more varied and to evaluate the benefits of your own work. Activities should be questioned in order to find meaning in one's own work that can motivate one.[21] Furthermore, a pleasant environment should be created, for example by brightening up the workplace or guaranteeing a clear view of the outside.[22] Uniformity should be avoided both in the facility and in the way of life. By going new ways, not only in the proverbial sense, and making small changes in your own everyday life, self-motivation can be actively promoted.[23]

Face reality: As already explained in chapter 4.1, previous experiences and established beliefs have a decisive influence on our motivation. Generalizations and prejudices should therefore be questioned and at best avoided entirely. In order to increase your own motivation, you have to face reality and analyze your own contribution to the situation.[24]

See challenges: "You can also build something beautiful out of stones that are placed in your path."[25] Viewing upcoming tasks as huge problems lowers motivation and increases the risk of actual failure. Alleged difficulties should therefore be de-dramatized and actively addressed. There is no point in postponing matters any longer, as your own incentives can increasingly suffer as a result. Instead, they should be dealt with directly and with a positive attitude. In addition, it is necessary to be patient when mastering the respective challenges and to set partial goals that are realistic to achieve. The breakdown into such sub-goals actively promotes one's own sense of achievement and ultimately serves as a motivator.[26]

Ensure balance: Everyone has a limited amount of energy, so that careful use of one's own power reserves is essential for long-term incentives. Overloading is unhealthy in the long run, harmful to the body and the psychological condition and can lead to so-called burnout syndromes. Rest breaks and time-outs are therefore essential for effective self-motivation. On the other hand, it is just as important to pursue hobbies and active leisure activities that distract from everyday life and bring joy. In particular, sporting activities can serve as a balance for work and stress, which help clear your head and increase your own motivation.

There are various ways to increase your own driving force. The basis for this, however, is to be aware of your own motives and to be clear about what motivates you. Only in this way can motivators and hygiene factors be optimally influenced and changed, so that self-motivation can increase in the long term and increase our satisfaction.[27]


[1] See Sprenger, Reinhard (2014), p. 24 ff.

[2] See Niermeyer, Rainer / Postall, Nadia (2013), p. 14 f.

[3] See Niermeyer, Rainer / Seyffert, Manuel (2011), p. 6.

[4] See Kleinbeck, Uwe / Kleinbeck, Trudi (2009), p. 9 f.

[5] See Kleinbeck, Uwe / Kleinbeck, Trudi (2009), p. 9.

[6] Schlag, Bernhard (2013), 11.

[7] See Stangl, Werner (2015), Online in the Internet.

[8] See Hartmann, Heinz (2015), Online in the Internet.

[9] See Meier, Rolf (2005), p. 11.

[10] See Häusel, Hans-Georg (2014), Online in the Internet.

[11] See Shepherd, Olivia (2011), Online in the Internet.

[12] See Häusel, Hans-Georg (2014), Online in the Internet.

[13] See Shepherd, Olivia (2011), Online in the Internet.

[14] Stiller, Gudrun (no year), Online in the Internet.

[15] Landes, Miriam / Steiner, Eberhard (2013), p. 104 ff.

[16] See Rippler, Stefan (2015), Online in the Internet.

[17] See Meier, Rolf (2005), p. 15.

[18] See Meier, Rolf (2005), p. 25 f.

[19] Gauger, Andreas (2015), Online in the Internet.

[20] See Berner, Winfried (2014), Online in the Internet.

[21] See Wischhof, Judith (no year), Online in the Internet.

[22] See Meier, Rolf (2005), p. 42 f.

[23] See Eder, Wilhelm (no year), Online in the Internet.

[24] See Meier, Rolf (2005), p.61ff.

[25] Goethe, Johann Wolfgang v. (no year), online on the Internet.

[26] See Meier, Rolf (2005), p.61ff.

[27] See Meier, Rolf (2005), p.19ff.

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