Motivation: Main Key of Public Service?
Since their first day on earth humans have been running after happiness in form of one or the other, though happiness is something that eludes anyone who chases it, and instead, evolves out of one’s actions. Such characteristic of happiness was once nicely described by Allen K. Chalmers’s words – “The grand essentials of happiness are, something to do, someone to love and something to hope for.” A package of actions like that actually brought forth the idea of motivation – the charger of mind that would keep one inspired to fulfill one’s mission.
To make things better, the wise humans have even created many sets of do-s and don’ts to maintain a consistent streak of motivation. Those sets have tremendous utility value to maintain balance and consistency in decision-making and action-taking. Over the years, social scientists have improvised those sets and subset of ideas to further establish the cohesion of thought and action, the ideal approach for any individual or an institution to achieve any undertaken mission. Thus this paper focuses on some of the essential elements of organized behavior like Motivation, Goal Setting and Reward System, before coming to its own conclusion and indicating about its future implication in the field of child protective service.
What is Motivation?
a) It is an internal state or condition that activates behavior and gives it direction;
b) It is desire or want that energizes and directs goal-oriented behavior;
c) It is an influence of needs and desires on the intensity and direction of behavior. (Huitt, 2001).
Motivation is a psychological phenomenon that propels humans or any other organism to act – be it for survival, or to develop, in this regard, even inaction can also be counted as the product of motivation – especially when humans engage themselves in deep thinking or meditation. Motivation is that persuasive force which the living beings cannot do without. According to modern management guru Shiv Khera (p. 112), motivation is “a drive that encourages action or feeling. Motivation can also mean igniting the spark for action. It is powerful. It can persuade, convince and propel you into action. In other words, motivation can be defined as motive for action. It is a force that can literally change your life” (Khera, 2004).
The definition above might generate a few questions – if motivation is something like an automated process; why then people need to be motivated? or, if motivation process is already active, then what is the logic behind attempting to activate it further?
While it is right that motivation guides every action, yet the degree of its intensity determines the level of achievement. One easy example of that is the difference between humans and animals – while the animals’ achievements are limited in leading only a fuller life, humans lead a multi-dimensional life that is packed with uncountable actions in addition to the actions for living.
Thus motivation converts itself to a primitive urge to survive when it deals with basics like existence, and it works like the guiding light on aesthetics, emotional or esoteric plane of existence.
According to Paul Hanna, every individual has many kind of goals spread out at various levels of his/her existence, and to achieve each of those goals s/he needs to utilize the power of mind and the force of body. In such circumstance motivation could be the only catalyst to synchronize the body and mind of that individual. Here the synchronization of body and mind covers more than the plain eye meets – where motivation enables one to heighten the intensity of emotion and passion to achieve the goal, besides helping to create clear mental pictures of the goal and the roadmap to reach there (Hanna, 2001).
Now if one considers about how many instances of such goals a human has to achieve in a single day, the importance of motivation would come clear to one. Humans’ world of desires is far more spread than any other creatures of earth, and therefore they need an uninterrupted supply of motivation to accomplish their missions. And what is a desire, anyway?
Desire is a some kind of dream which people want to unearth through action. For that much needed action, humans need an intense urge to bring it to perfection. Motivation provides that intense urge with its persuasive force, as for example, auto-suggestion. “In the forming of that intense urge,” Shiv Khera says, “auto-suggestion is a statement made in the present tense, of the kind of person you want to be (Khera, 2004). Motivation thus, an element which conditions a humans to achieve their cherished goals.
Reason for Choosing this Topic
In this era of fierce competition in every sphere of life humans need to remain motivated to perform their tasks smoothly, to block the stress and to create space for thinking about future development. This more applicable when it comes to public service or on behalf any non-profit organization, where motivation could be the only guiding force to inspire one to stick to social cause and not to opt for other services for personal gain. Therefore this topic has been chosen to spread more awareness regarding the potential of motivation and it’s impact on humans.
How Motivation Works
Motivation creates a power-packed belief about achieving success and creates a make-believe condition where the possibility of the success seems as a reality. There are many ways to motivate the self, but the easiest way to be motivated is to repeat the belief time and again, just like hammering the idea again and again to get it registered in the subconscious mind. The reason behind such act is that, subconscious mind is considered to be a skeptic taskmaster who simply works on and on with whatever assigned to it!
It is for this reason Dr. Joseph Murphy, writes in his book, ‘The Power of Your Subconscious Mind’ (65), “Belief is a thought in your mind that causes the power of your subconscious to be distributed into all phases of your life.”
While it is true that practice of self-motivation could be a tough task for someone initially, as it might take time to generate a belief in the abilities of the subconscious mind. Yet, the enormous potential of subconscious mind is now widely accepted and one can easily check that with the wise sayings or from the success stories of many.
If motivation is something like a train raring to move out from the platform, what could be the shortest possible roadmap between the starting point and the destination? With this question one discovers the importance of ‘Goal- Setting’ a vital task for a person utilize the power of motivation. However motivated one becomes, in the absence of a roadmap, that power will be a sheer waste – as the old adage goes – an aimless life is like a rudderless ship in the sea without any fixed destination.
Goal and Goal-setting
Goal-setting enables one to march ahead with confidence and brings in joy and cheer through fulfilling a mission in the shortest possible time. Situations shape like that, because the process of goal-setting imbibes the sense of purpose in any action, and thereby justifies it wholeheartedly. Human life has many sets of goals bundled within one big goal like happiness or contentment – thus it can easily be understood that if one wants to achieve the main goal, one has to obtain the goals within it.
But is it possible to achieve every goal of life? Certainly not. If it is so, then are the humans destined to miss the happiness? Certainly not, because it is the attitude towards accomplishing the goal that brings in satisfaction, which counts more on the devotion of one’s inner beings rather than the external conditions, which might not always be conducive to achieve the goal.
To clear the confusion in this regard, the sages have provided a solution, where they created a sub set of goals within the main goal of happiness, which usually covers the six areas of human life. And they are:
1. Family : To achieve harmony and prosperity.
2. Finance : To achieve source of sustenance and development and freedom of movement.
3. Physical and mental health : To achieve healthy body and a sound mind.
4. Social responsibility : To achieve good understanding with the world around by mutual exchange of good vibes and necessities.
5. Spiritual standing : To achieve the understanding about the greater world and its association with self.
There are many explanations available about these areas – however, all are varied or extended interpretation of one single idea – to be happy with one’s endeavor in life. Thus, it is easily understood that goal-setting is that coveted road-map or the action-plan which not only helps to achieve the goals, but also adds purpose in the actions.
In other words, goal-setting is a multifarious instrument which encompasses all individual as well as collective goals, all the while acting as a helper to determine the feasibility of a goal, as well as a provider of suggestion of an alternative plan (John, 2007).
Reward system is something that is based on the effect of appreciation and recognition on the humans. It caters to the emotional need of humans, which in turn motivates them. In today’s world, when every people are stretched with competition the need for emotional support is being felt more than ever. “Every behavior comes out of ‘pain and gain’ principle”, says Shiv Khera (p110), while emphasizing on the fact that if the pain is greater than the gain, then that would be a deterrent to smooth action. If the gain is greater than the pain, that is a motivator. (Khera, pp110)
There can be many types of gains, ranging from money, vacations or gifts to medallions, or even they can be intangible too – recognition, appreciation, sense of achievement, growth, responsibility, sense of fulfillment, self-worth, accomplishment, and belief are the examples of such gains, which comes more from selfless public service.
Reward system separates the elements of motivation into two categories, external and internal. In the first category it lists items like money, societal fame, approval, or fear, while in the second, it keeps factors like “pride, sense of achievement, responsibility and belief”. It values the fact that inner motivation is actually the inner gratification that might not always depends on the material success – it is an innate desire to feel content with an accomplishment, rather than just achieving a goal (Khera, 2004).
This is very important issue in the sphere of public service. The elements like praise, love and faith can rise anytime as the most important element of motivation under a specific environment, they can be instrumental to boost one’s self esteem, or to build a strong conviction to march ahead towards one’s cherished goal. Inner motivation factors are bound to be more powerful than the outer ones.
From the above discussion it becomes clear that motivation, goal setting and reward system together form the way towards, the ultimate goal, and all three of them are entwined and can even be flexible in their order of appearance. Primary motivation (to succeed in life) helps to goal setting – which then can check and filter the mission before breaking them into easy steps.
Next, reward system inspires a person towards accomplishing the mission. However, in all its form, motivation is extremely powerful and an invaluable tool to succeed in life. It persuades, convinces and propels one into action and therefore, it is an invaluable tool to motivate oneself and others in public service or in non-profit organizations.
Application of Motivation in Chosen Mission
Since I’m planning to work as child protective service worker in charge of four co-workers, I can utilize the power of motivation at every level of its functioning, where goal-setting can help us in formulating our schedules in three steps – long-term, mid-term and short-term, while reward system can take clue from the history of civilization that records innumerable selfless human endeavors to achieve happiness for the society.
For the greater application of motivation we would use factors like pride, sense of achievement, responsibility and belief in oneself, besides practicing auto-suggestion technique and covering all areas of life that one has to deal in life. This way we would keep our spirit fresh to devote ourselves in public service.
A Brief Overview of How Motivation can be Applied into My Workplace
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