Introduction to Motivation part II

What is Motivation? 

In this theory, ‘motivation’ is generated by the reasons or reasoning we have (consciously or subconsciously) for doing or avoiding doing things. It is the force which drives us to act and the incentive for our behavior.

Why is knowing our motives important?

Questioning my motivations and coming up with true, sincere answers was the key to getting insights when working through my own self-knowledge towards my healing. Once the insights were there, the potential for healing was created. “What exactly drives me to do what I do, or avoid so strongly what I don’t want to do? What are the real reasons for my choices and behaviors?”

In this theory, we are not focused on the universal obvious motives of food, shelter, warmth, etc.

Instead, we are looking at other kinds of motives. We are looking deeply, beyond the surface. “Are my choices in life really motivated by what I believe my motives are? What is the real relationship between my goals and my motives? Am I really in touch with what drives me? Are the choices I make in daily life indeed directly linked to what seems, on the surface, to be my goal?”

You might assume you have free choice, but upon looking more deeply, maybe you’ll discover your choices are not that easily reversible, not as freely optional as you might have believed they were. That’s one clue that your choices are somewhat addiction-based.  Do you sometimes feel as if you’re being driven by an invisible power?

Knowing our true motives is important because not only our health and well-being depend on which motives are operating in us, but it helps us getting a clear view on where we stand within the criteria of this theory. There are two types of motivations: the one type of motivation stems from and leads to health and happiness, the other one stems from distress and leads to all kinds of personal and social problems.

In these webpages, I’ll help you look into what might be the invisible power behind our motives, and where, in many people, that power might come from. When you know your true motives, you can develop strategies for improving your quality of life. Helping you improve your quality of life is my goal. It’s my motive for creating to publish my theory, the results of twenty-five years of working toward greater health and happiness for myself.

‘Things are seldom what they seem.’

Consider these examples of differing motivations which are hard to spot.

First example: Two people, each taking their child to a music school. Even though to an observer these two people are ‘doing the same thing,’ their motives might be totally different. One might be motivated to develop their child’s talent and help the child be happy in the activities involved in that development. The other might be motivated to have a child who’s a good musician because it reflects well on her as a parent.

The outcome of the experience would therefore be different, for all involved. The first parent and child would probably find satisfaction and mutual enjoyment. The second parent and child would probably have stress, fights, tensions, and mutual dislike. And the child might not only rebel at the activities, but feel disempowered, manipulated, resentful, and inauthentic.

Second example: Two mothers are complimenting their children after a test at school. It looks as if they are doing the same thing.  But their motives could all be different, and the effect of the compliment could be different in each case, too.

The first mother might be motivated by unconditional love and recognition of the child’s intrinsic worth, so she is supporting her child’s self-image as capable and loved no matter what the test results were. The effect of the compliment would be smiles on both faces, a deepening of their bond, and better mental health for the child.

The second mother might be giving the child approval, which the child knows is only because of a good test result, a good performance. The child would be glad, but also already worried about future failures (link to Fear of Failure is momentarily under construction). The mother might be getting an emotional ‘rush’ from having a child who appears intelligent, to the world, thus reflecting well on her own intelligence, which she isn’t sure is high enough to get her own mother’s approval. The mother’s motive is to have the child do well on future tests.

For the second mother there it isn’t really about the child, and a nagging fear of future failure is lurking for the child as well as for the mother through the child. The child is a pun in the mother’s game. The child senses she needs to perform well in order to get ‘good vibes’ from the mother; the mother depends on the child for feeling-good-about-Self.

Motivation by a Hidden Agenda

It isn’t just to an outside observer that someone’s ‘true’ motivations can be hidden and hard to discover. Our own true motivations are often hidden from our own conscious minds, too, and very hard to discover.

Usually, in any situation, we can come up with a plausible reason ‘why’ we have chosen to do or avoid something. That gives us the comfortable illusion that our behavior is ‘justified’ and that the plausible reason is the real reason which gave us the incentive/motivation we needed in order to act.

In reality however, our motives and choices are often far more complicated than what we see and notice. What is happening when we feel motivated, and choose, is generally not at all as transparent as we would like to believe. Many of us actually have ‘Hidden Agendas’ operating – hidden even to ourselves! These are our deeper and ‘ultimate’ reasons/motives for doing or avoiding things.

A ‘Hidden Agenda’ in ourselves works pretty much the same as a ‘hidden agenda’ we see so often operating in politics: A specific thing is said or done by someone in order to create a situation in which it is easier to achieve the (hidden) goal that person has in mind. In order to achieve this ‘Hidden Agenda’, things are done that don’t have an appearance that openly shows this hidden goal, but that ultimately are supposed to lead to the hidden goal. The motive for the action is not what it appears to be; the motive is really to get to the goal of the hidden agenda.

The – Motivation Theory is based on the idea of a potential  ‘Hidden Agenda’ in our motivations.  Unlike in politics, however, for most of us, it is not a conscious process; it’s our subconscious mind trying to fool our conscious mind, hiding its agenda from our conscious mind.

Who exactly is motivated by Hidden Agendas inside themselves?

During my inner journey of over 25 years I noticed that, whenever my mind was playing hidden agenda games within myself, I was (subconsciously) trying to compensate for the missed chances in my childhood of developing a healthy Sense of your Self. However it was far beyond the due date and the only thing I still could achieve was ‘to-feel-good-about-myself’ which I mistakenly took for a sense of self. In this work I call that ‘feeling’ a Substitute Sense of Self.

This situation could be true for YOU as well and you truly wouldn’t be consciously aware that the bottom line for you is that you lack a healthy Sense of Self which then would result in the issues you currently have. A way to help you assess your own situation is by consulting the Comparison Chart.

You can discover more about Hidden-Agenda Motivations, and how on earth we have ended up having them, here.

Where the reader goes next….