Wednesday, June 24, 2009

What is Motivation?

Can you define the word motivation? For many people motivation is a catch phrase that is said all of the time. However, few people actually know the true definition of the word. I can remember being a undergraduate student at JMU and one of my professors asking what was the definition of motivation. Well, in a room full of kinesiology majors none of us could come up with a really solid answer. But when we were presented with an operational definition of motivation it just made so much sense. Sage (1977) defined motivation simply as the intensity and direction of one's effort.

The genius in that definition is in its simplicity. Breaking this word down into this simple meaning provides each of us with a clear sense of who is motivated and who is not. For instance, have you ever known a person to be enrolled in college (direction), but they do not aim to excel in their school word (lack of intensity)? Well, that person is not motivated! Or how about something more closely related to fitness. How about a client who signs up for personal training sessions yet shows up late or never at all for their sessions? I think you know the answer to this one and...ding, ding, ding...you are right. No motivation.

What we learn from this definition is that motivation is a two-headed monster that must be focused upon in both areas in order to achieve motivation. Challenge yourself in whatever you do to have a solid direction and a high level of intensity. Think about many of your colleagues, friends or family members how have been highly successful in their lives. What is the common thread. You got it! They all probably have had great direction and intensity in what they do.

I challenge you right now to think about something you are working on or something you want to do and apply direction and intensity to it. I promise you that you will experience unparalled success in the timing that is right for that success. In the world of fitness, health and wellness I truly believe that it is our mission to have a direction towards helping others and a passion and will for to go along with that. So go out there and be motivated because your motivation for what you do is highly contagious.

Remember...Direction + Intensity = Motivation.

Enjoy everyone and have a great day!

Dr. D
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