Generally motivations are of two types, towards or away from motivation. One way you want to achieve something and the other way you want to relieve yourself of some undesirable thing or state.
The energy or the drives that supplies the energy to convert an intention into action is the motivation. It’s the reason behind doing something when we do it. No matter how good an opportunity you come across or how good a plan you have, you wont act till you get the motivation to.
What drives motivation?
We all have purposes in everything we do, and sometimes these purposes are achievable in installments or segments. No matter as a whole or in portions, the final outcome that we see as a fulfillment of the action is what drives motivation.
The outcome is hugely subjective, each individual is driven or motivated by different aspects or has different motives for the actions they do. The same action could have different motives for different people, or the same motive could be achieved by diverse procedures.
The carrot and stick method of motivation
The classification we’re speaking of is in terms of the nature of what drives motivation. An here, we have either towards or away from motivation.
I mean either you’re doing a task to achieve something or to get rid of or avoid something. You must’ve heard of the carrot and stick method. You can make a rabbit either for the greed of carrots or the fear of a stick.
The desire to achieve something, the carrot is the towards motivation and the effort to avoid something, the stick is the away from motivation. Either way, you’re derived to take action but for different nature of motives.
The carrot and stick method is the general term used for towards or away from motivation.
Example of away from motivation.
People often get fed up of things or situations and wish to get rid of them. They start feeling the necessity of getting rid of that particular aspect or situation which is negative. Hence they want themselves away from that state of theirs.
It is more of an effort to disavow than to achieve. These people aren’t after anything, they’re rather running away from something which they perceive is after them.
When you hear someone say “I want to get rid of….” “I am sick of ……” “I want to escape from…….” “I don’t want to be……” “I don’t want to live with….” sort of statements then it signifies the away from motivation, there’s something that they want to distance themselves from.
Example of towards motivation.
The desire to achieve is the towards motivation. You may aspire to achieve a thing, a quality, a state or a skill. It’s just that you want something, and this desire of achievement drives you into action, this is towards motivation.
“I want to……” “I should….” is how the statement sounds like in case of this type of motivation.
How to spot the difference between towards and away from motiavation?
You can set then apart based on the vocabulary being used. There’s a clear shift of not only the vocabulary but also the energy when you come across both these types.
The person with towards motivation is more energetic, as he’s sitting to achieve something. And if he’s honest with his desire then he knows that he needs energy, without which is just a fantasizing wish.
And the person with away from motivation is less energetic, for the very obvious reason that he tired. He’s tired of what he wants to get rid of now.
Why away from motivation isn’t the optimum one?
The consequences of away from motivation is sub-optimal.
Let’s assume that you’ve got rid of what you wanted to get rid of, then what? you sure could be in a better state but think of what could have you achieved? I mean you let go of something, no doubt it was worth disposing of but my question is what have you got?
And moreover to what extent can we be satisfied that you will never experience the state you just got rid of? The situations could force you back to where you started, because you did get rid of it but didn’t equip you for something that ensures your betterment.
What do you think of if I tell you not to think of an elephant? Imagine thinking”I shouldn’t think of an elephant, I won’t think of an elephant” how well did that work for you? Negative states are like this.
The major thing that differentiates the latter of “towards and away from motivation” is that your brain gets preoccupied thinking about what you don’t want. And when you think of what you don’t want, that doesn’t really create a resourceful state in you.
In life, no matter what situation you are in or no matter what decisions you are to take, you are either on the cause side or the effect side. You are planning to bring about a change or you have succumbed to the change that has happened. It’s very obvious as to which one of these is more empowering though. The major advantage of the towards motivation is that you are on the cause side.
How to get the towards goal from the away from motivation?
In every situation when you desperately want to distance yourself from something or someone, there’s always something else which you want or would get. It’s just that you don’t focus on it.
The moment you shift your focus towards what your want, rather than what you don’t, you’ll get the desire to achieve and you’ll be on the cause side which has its own energy level. The disposal of what you denied, should of course be the collateral achievement.
Though some people do have a meta-program “away from” those who are best persuaded by the approach which matches their meta program. It’s also important to note that the “away from” approach has its own benefits, the need of which is undeniable despite the benefits of towards-motivation. The key is to know which one to use when based on the task or situation ahead.