What’s Your Motivation?

motivation written on blackboard

You wake up, brush your teeth, work-out, clean last night’s dishes.

You get ready for work, spend 45 minutes driving and the next 8 hours of your life at a messy desk.

You come home, cook dinner, sweep the floors, check your email, and fall asleep to Netflix.

But why?

OK, so the teeth-brushing and showering is a no brainer, but why is it that your day doesn’t feel complete without getting that sweep in after dinner?

In a fast-paced world where many of us are consistently in auto-pilot mode, it’s not easy to always understand exactly why we do what we do.

So, let’s break it down.

Simply put, motivation is the incentive or urge to do or avoid something. However, some motivations are more pure than others.

For example, we’ll go back to that whole brushing-your-teeth-twice-a-day-thing.

The motivation behind this action is undoubtedly straight forward: we’d like to keep our teeth from falling out of our heads and we’d also like to avoid causing anyone discomfort via the smell of our mouths opening.

That’s what we call a Direct Motivation. Motivation that’s simple and ordinary—no unclear intentions there.

On the other hand, take a look at that example of not being able to sleep until the floors are swept: it’s great to have clean, pet-hair-free floors and all, but the fact that there is a lingering feeling of uneasiness when this is not done, makes it clear that there is a deeper purpose to that nightly sweeping routine than just picking up some dirt.

For instance if the need to constantly clean stems from the desire to be viewed as an adequate partner by one’s spouse, or said spouse’s mother, that’s different. These types of motivations are what we refer to as indirect.

An Indirect Motivation is a reason for taking action that’s not so straight forward: in this example the sweeping isn’t being done just to get the house clean, rather it’s being done for the more indirect purpose of gaining approval. The act of sweeping is the figurative Vehicle we use to get to the Agenda of approval.

 “Daily activities are often not what they seem to be. Many times they are just Vehicles for completing a person’s Hidden Agenda, which forms the real and only motivator at hand,” Antoinetta Vogels, Healthy Sense of Self™.

Achieving these Hidden Agendas leads us to embrace the feeling author Antoinetta Vogels has titled: “Feel-good-about-self.” This state of feeling complete results from successfully reaching those Hidden Agendas, but it’s fleeting and doesn’t address our truest desires.

 “’Earning the ‘Feel-good-about-self’ state temporarily hides the painful fear of not being seen and heard by others, which can give you the feeling of almost not-existing. Then ‘Feeling-good-about-yourself’ offers something to lean on for a while,” Antoinetta Vogels, Healthy Sense of Self™.

However, when we put aside our Hidden Agendas and aim instead for identifying our true needs and wants, making our motivations serve ourselves, we are far more likely to develop and maintain a Healthy Sense of Self and with that lead a happier, healthier and more productive life.

So tell us, have you done what you really wanted to lately? Or have you been reaching for a Hidden Agenda and with that for approval without even realizing it? Let us know in the comments below!

To learn even more about motivation and the hidden goals we sometimes set for ourselves, check out the Healthy Sense of Self book and the online “Healthy Sense of Self Help!” course.

Leave a Comment