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Motivation is the powerful force behind all our actions. So how do we pinpoint where our motivation comes in order to control it? A recent Forbes article shared the neuroscience behind motivation, and how to use that information to empower ourselves in our worklife.

Factors of Motivation 

The motivators that affect and drive us are part of a multi-layered system. Consider them a circle and at the center is our core purpose along with our most sacred values, experiences and feelings. We’re intrinsically motivated by work that satisfies these altruistic ideals we hold.

The second ring is our identity, our perception of self. We’re driven to satisfy understandings of who we are, producing statements like, “I am… a generous person, a hard-working person, etc.” The third layer is our beliefs, our perception of others and the world around us. We’re impacted by our surroundings and influenced by perceptive thoughts like, “they are here to help me” or “it is a productive environment.” The fourth ring is our capabilities — the skills, tools and abilities that we bring to the table. The fifth ring is our behavior and actions; and the sixth ring is our environment, the physical emotional and mental space in which we operate.

Ways to Create Motivation

These aforementioned six driving factors have the power to stall and accelerate our motivation in the workplace. Understanding this empowers us and gives us the ability to learn how to adapt each factor for good.

One way to increase motivation in the workplace is to ensure a match in values. When we feel connected to the mission behind the work that we do, we’re more driven to put our best foot forward. On days when we’re feeling uninspired, we can reinvigorate our core by reading up on company values and remembering the causes behind our work.

Another way to boost motivation is to create a clear path to success. Occasionally, we slow down when we feel defeated by the tasks at hand. We can combat this by taking control of our fourth ring (our capabilities) by affirming that we have the available skill set, resources and time to overcome these challenges. We can also utilize attention management skills to prioritize our day. 

A third way to activate workplace motivation is to find emotional balance and center. This addresses the outer layer of affecting factors—by acknowledging the influence of our environment and taking time to recenter ourselves, we can reapproach our work with fresh, bright eyes.

Finally, to drive motivation we need continual feedback and error analysis. Not understanding where things went wrong in a past task can unsettle our perception of both ourselves and the world. Having accurate data analysis through feedback, reviews and reports helps us make sense of failed tasks and come at new ones more informed than before. An educated person is an empowered person.

Ultimately, there are limitless ways to find motivation in our worklife. It all starts with understanding how we operate, and the six-factored ring is the perfect guide to discover what that looks like.

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