Motivation: Now With Science!

There Is A Scientific Reason For “Creating” Motivation For Yourself

When someone has the passion and drive to do something they love, whether it be a hobby such as surfing, or, if they’re lucky enough, a career, quite often it will take up a lot of their time. This is time they are willing to give up for it because they have a sense of dedication and drive to become better at it. Most of us simply refer to this as motivation. But motivation like this is not easy to come by. In fact, a fair amount of biological science working behind the scenes has to do with this kind of human behavior.

Perhaps you did not even know that the concept of motivation has anything to do with biological science at all. We will get into this in more detail further into the article. Let us put it this way for now: motivation involves two working parts of the brain both involved in the decision making process. If an individual is asked to do something that they have no motivation to complete, they will either agree to do it begrudgingly, more than likely for personal gain, or they will simply say no, typically because they perceive that they could make better use of their time. It is important to understand that these decisions to deflect, provide an excuse, or say no in a reactionary manner have more to do with mindfulness than motivation itself.

So what is actually happening in that moment? What is it that creates the drive and desire to do something and saying yes with a good attitude versus the other immediate, knee-jerk reaction to simply say no and walk away?

Your Brain Is A Highway Of Motivation-creating Decision Making

Each and every day millions of neurotransmitters and reactions within your brain determine how, where, why and when you are going to not only make that decision but how you will take action upon it. This process can take anywhere between shooting off an immediate (and often strongly unconsidered) answer, or a well thought through consideration of a situation and developing a plan.

Unless you’re a neuroscientist, it’s more than likely that the most you know about the brain is that it is a very complex and confusing organ. It controls (rather, interprets) everything we experience consciously and subconsciously. Quite often, we take this incredible piece of human biology it for granted. This is why it is important to remember and retain a certain amount of gratitude for what it does for us. It is this simple and and straightforward mindful practice that can help us actually train our brain to make “better” decisions as opposed to impulsive and selfish ones.

Creating Motivation Is Subverted By Habitually Saying “No”

There is a scientific reason why people more often than not go for the “no” option, and it actually involves how different parts of your brain deal with decision making. When you are confronted with the prospect of completing a task that requires work, time and effort in order to a reach a payoff, your mind immediately starts making a pros and cons list.

For those who simply say no or attempt to ignore the entire situation altogether, their limbic system is doing all the work. This is the part of our brain that considers factors such as instant gratification and immediate payoffs, the part looking for a quick fix. If you were able to subvert having to do work and go on to engage in more selfish activities, you feel as if you’ve won or accomplished something. A mind that has repeated this thought process over years can be very difficult to train to consider alternatives.

Motivation Is Actually Something You Can Wield Control Over

Training is actually a bit of a misleading term when it comes to how we help our brains to break old habits and form new, positive ones. The prefrontal cortex is in charge of a great many functions that have to do with “growing up”, as it is not fully developed until an individual is in their mid-twenties. Some of the responsibilities of the prefrontal cortex include: day-to-day planning and organization, memory and information retention, the prevention of impulsive behavior as well as focusing attention in the moment.

In other words, you could call the prefrontal cortex the “Mindfulness Cortex.” This part of the brain is highly developed within individuals over the age whom are highly motivated or incredibly good at their chosen craft. This is especially true for individuals who are involved in jobs or activities that require constant and complete focus and attention and spend hundreds of thousands of hours doing them.

Simple Ways To Help Motivate Yourself To Do Anything!

The ironic thing about the following list is that you probably know most of these things already. Becoming motivated is not a decision, it’s an action. So, take actions like these and you’ll more than likely develop better habits to help keep you in that state of mind:

  • Stay organized. Know everything you have to do each day. Being unsure about responsibilities will actually suck the motivation right out of you without you even knowing it.
  • Get the hard tasks out of the way first.These are often the most dominating and frustrating things that are taking up negative space in your mind. Do them first and the rest should come easy.
  • Go above and beyond.By this we mean try to do at least a little more than what is asked of you. Not only will you find it rewarding, but it will make the next time someone asks you to do something seem easier because you’ve already done a “harder’’ version before.
  • Take breaks.No one said you can’t rest once in awhile. Just plan them.
  • Keep realistic expectations.It’s a little hard to be motivated when you expect the world from yourself.
  • Surround yourself with others that achieve what you aspire to achieve.No one got anywhere by hanging out with people who were doing even less than they were. Get out there and make some motivated friends!

Final Thoughts About Cultivating Motivation For 21st Century Youth

Scientifically speaking, this is preventing our teenagers and young adults from fully developing these parts of their brain that are directly responsible for helping provide positive personal decision making and well thought through choices for themselves. Without this kind of development, stunted emotional growth, poor decision making and even drug use and abuse are seen all too often as solutions to individuals who no longer can “think” their way out of a problem. This is why the science of motivation and positive decision making is so important, especially in this day and age.

Cultivate Motivation By Example To Help Others Help Themselves

That is why we urge you to teach your children, your friends, or anyone who may come to you for advice and explain to them what you have learned here. Consider being mindful when it comes to hundreds of decisions you make each day. Attempt to accomplish daily tasks in a way you hadn’t considered before. Feeding our brains with knowledge and information during school was a positive and necessary step of growing up to be sure, but failed to provide us with the tools necessarily to become motivated and successful in our day to day lives.

About Avinash Satz, CPC

Avi Satz, CPC, specializes in helping others achieve a fulfilling and impactful life. He has years of experience in personal development and professional leadership. His passion for helping people experience breakthroughs is what founded Core Coaching Groups and the amazing community it has built.

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