Drive Theory Of Motivation Explained (With Examples)

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Do you struggle pinch motivation? Whether it’s not having capable aliases having excessively overmuch pinch nary target to purpose it at; knowing ‘motivation’ from an evolutionary and psychological constituent of view, could good beryllium nan cardinal to thief you pinch yours.

In this article we’re going to analyse conscionable what information is, from a ‘drive theory’ perspective. We’re past going to springiness you immoderate applicable proposal to follow, that will thief you to transmission your information successful work of a consciously chosen and desired goal.

A batch of this could autumn nether nan banner of ‘alignment’. That is to say: choosing a extremity that you genuinely desire, connecting that extremity end pinch your soul power/talent/skillset and past taking actions that inexorably lead to said extremity becoming portion of your experience.

You whitethorn person ne'er though of yourself this way, but you are a cleanable manifesting machine. Just return a infinitesimal to deliberation astir your life up until this moment; each nan good, bad and indifferent experiences. The sum of each that is who you are correct now.

How powerful could you beryllium successful realising your goals/dreams, if you could transmission that manifesting powerfulness and ore it astatine your desired outcomes? What if you could commencement to do this, simply by changing your thinking?

Here’s nan thing: this isn’t conscionable astir uncovering caller ways to forge up blindly pinch immoderate aged pursuit. This is astir you being capable to understand your affectional relationship (drive) to your motivations and why location whitethorn beryllium a disconnect.

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Are your motivations really aligned pinch who you want to beryllium and are they really serving you…or personification else?

Let’s find retired together!

What Is a Drive Theory?

First of all, let’s screen disconnected precisely what we mean by a ‘Drive Theory’. The word ‘drive’ arsenic it pertains to quality behaviour was thought to person been first utilized by R.S. Wordsworth successful his 1918 book, Dynamic Psychology.

In truth it was American philosophers J.B. Watson and J.J.B Morgan who published a insubstantial successful nan April 1917 rumor of nan American Journal of Psychology entitled Emotional Reactions and Psychological Experimentation.

Nevertheless; successful a missive that Wordsworth sent to Young, Young quoted him arsenic saying:

“A instrumentality has a system specified that if it is put successful mobility it operates successful a definite way; but it must beryllium driven successful bid to move. The “drive” of a instrumentality is nan proviso of power that puts it successful motion” (Young, 1936, p. 71).

What he, Watson and Morgan we each talking astir is nan narration betwixt our basal affectional states and our motivation. They centered their thesis astir 3 basal emotions: fear, rage, and emotion (using emotion successful astir nan aforesaid consciousness that Freud uses sex).

It could really beryllium immoderate type of affectional charge. With regards to motivation, it is nan affectional states that are built astir an absence of something. These make capable willingness (motivation) wrong america to return action successful bid to capable that absence.

So a ‘Drive Theory’ is really looking astatine nan emotions that dishonesty down a circumstantial quality behavior, conducted successful nan work of an extremity goal. The thrust mentation of information is astir apt nan astir basal of each thrust theories, because it lies astatine nan bosom of everything we do!

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The Role of ‘Time’ successful nan Drive Theory of Motivation

Again: this whitethorn look evident connected nan look of it, but it’s important to talk astir nan value of clip erstwhile it comes to our motivations.

I’m judge you’ve heard nan word ‘deferred gratification ’ before. It’s often utilized arsenic a basal parameter of intelligence and marker for occurrence successful life. In essence, what that’s pointing to is an knowing that early payoffs tin beryllium greater, if we don’t activity contiguous reward.

When it comes to our motivation, clip is basal to really it each plays out. In fact; clip is nan problem, because you are starting successful 1 spot and want to extremity up location else. The full logic why you’re motivated to return action, is truthful that your early is different to your present.

What is down this motivation? It could beryllium astir control: that you wish to build successful a grade of certainty to your future, truthful that you cognize you will beryllium financially aliases emotionally secure.

Say you are motivated to do a masters grade and salary into a pension, because you want to build amended occupation prospects and person financial information erstwhile you get older. You’re taking action now, successful bid to reap assumed rewards successful nan future.

What is driving you present though? What’s nan affectional motor that is turning nan wheels? Fear. Fear that you will extremity up successful a early abstraction of lack.

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We are going to parkland this script for now, but I want you to retrieve it, because we’re going to travel backmost to it later.

The different domiciled of clip successful what drives us, is of people that it’s finite. Being nan only surviving creatures that admit nan inevitability of our eventual death, we cognize that we must return action now earlier decease occurs, if we want to acquisition thing successful our lifetime.

Finding Your ‘Why’

In a batch of nan early discussions of “drive” amongst philosophers, nan word was often utilized successful quotation marks. Suggestive of their desire to item its utilisation arsenic a caller term. This besides implies that they considered it to be, successful immoderate measurement malleable and unfastened to a grade of interpretation.

If you are struggling pinch information astatine activity aliases successful your individual life, you mightiness find it easier to package each of this up arsenic your ‘why’.

You person doubtlessly encountered nan kid who replies, obnoxiously and robot-like to ever reply they’re fixed pinch “why?” It whitethorn beryllium annoying, but they person really stumbled upon something: our narration pinch truth!

As adults it is very easy to get mislaid successful nan short-hand. It is simply a merchandise of our subconscious programming that we activity efficiencies. This makes cleanable sense, of course. If you had to retrieve to return each activity and really to locomotion each clip you sewage up, you’d ne'er get thing done.

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This relentless automation and corner-cutting tin drawback america retired though. We tin get mislaid connected paths, dictated by motivations that we don’t really want anymore and that are not serving us.

A batch of psychology seeks to way retired puerility trauma, and for bully reason! Our subconscious mind is programmed utilizing nan connection of affectional energy. In our formative years, this is each nan much prevalent since we person not yet developed an intellect. It is truthful very easy for trauma to go stuck, dictating our behaviour agelong into adulthood without america moreover realizing it.

Really interrogating why we want (or don’t want) something, is nan captious first measurement successful uncovering your ‘why’. It could good beryllium that nan logic for your deficiency of motivation, inclination towards procrastination and evident self-sabotage: is that you don’t really want it!

The Drive Theory of Motivation and a Midlife Crisis

Coming backmost to that script from earlier – being motivated by nan fear that you will extremity up successful a early abstraction of lack. This is what lies astatine nan bosom of astir midlife crises. It’s nan realization, whether by deliberate thought aliases not, that you person been surviving your life motivated by personification else’s drive.

The scales of clip person tipped against you and you’ve spent astir of your life dancing to nan tune of personification else! Possibly not moreover a existent person, but an assumed one. We tin debar this though, if we do nan activity of consciously engaging pinch what’s driving america now.

Quite often nan mid-life crisis is nan truth nary longer capable to beryllium tempered by our narrative, breaking through. Once nan illusion that location will ever beryllium capable clip breaks down, what we really knew each on bursts out.

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Most group know; moving successful a occupation that will alteration them to jump done societal hoops (mortgage, pension, savings relationship etc…) isn’t satisfying. They do it because they want it to salary disconnected successful ‘the future’, but of people they don’t really see that it will mean spending astir of their lives successful work of their last fewer years.

When nan thrust mentation down their motivations is exposed and breaks down, that’s wherever things are thrown into disarray. They recognize that they’ve been driven by nan fearfulness that they will not meet nan standards of personification else, and it is devastating.

How to Understand Your ‘Drive’ And Start Taking Back Control of Your Motivation

The first point to recognize, ain and accept; is that you person ne'er grounded astatine anything! You are a manifesting machine, operating 24/7 pinch flawless execution. Failure doesn’t exist, but incorrect belief systems do!

You request to commencement reasoning of yourself arsenic nan creator of your reality. Not God-like aliases thing for illustration that; you’re not capable to dictate outer forces per se, but you perfectly tin dictate your consequence to them!

A elemental (to understand, harder to implement) life hack is to believe gratitude. By simply looking for each of nan things to beryllium grateful for successful our lives, we statesman to train our subconscious to commencement seeing much to beryllium grateful for. This starts feeding our reticular activating strategy (RAC) and creates 1 of those handy, corner-cutting short-hands successful our subconscious.

Pretty soon each you will spot successful immoderate fixed business is what you tin beryllium grateful for, and successful doing so: you will person reclaimed your powerfulness arsenic nan designer of your reality.

In accepting that basal truth though, you person to besides ain it all. Everything that has led to this constituent and each of nan experiences you’ve had successful your life…are connected you! Of course: disasters whitethorn person befallen you successful your clip and astir apt will again, but really you take to respond to them is wholly up to you.

This is not astir blasted aliases judgement. Don’t usage this arsenic an excuse for self-flagellation. You simply request to admit that who you are coming and nan constitution of nan world astir you was arsenic a consequence of choice.

Once you’re equipped pinch that basal truth and power, you tin spell astir making caller choices for caller outcomes. If indeed: you want caller outcomes. You mightiness find that, successful delving into what your thrust has been up until now and what you thought your motivations were, you are really happy pinch wherever you’re at. If so: observe that!

The Role of Environment successful Drive and Motivation

This is conscionable to concisely touch connected nan domiciled that our environment, some societal and geographic, plays successful what motivates us.

From a geographic position it is rather evident that, wherever seasonal changes are astir severe; group person had to cultivate a information to statement themselves up during nan little utmost periods, successful bid to upwind nan much utmost ones. “Make hay while nan sun shines” and each that. The thrust present is intelligibly a elemental fearfulness for survival.

When it comes to societal factors; it is first important to admit why we are societal creatures successful nan first place. A batch of it stems from nan necessity for attraction arsenic infants. Whereas a foal aliases calf tin guidelines and locomotion unaided successful a matter of hours aft birth, quality children require years of dependency successful bid to create analyzable centrifugal skills.

So we are calved pinch an innate knowing of our frailties and request for thief from others, and this motivates america to cultivate a support group. Whether that’s successful nan shape of family, friends aliases mentors; we cognize that we request help. That fearfulness of not receiving nan requisite nurture and guidance successful bid to past is what drives america to shape bonds pinch others.

Quite a batch is made of nan ‘evils’ of capitalism and money being nan way of each evil etc… nan accusation being that these are nan incorrect kinds of things to beryllium driven by.

No doubt, group consciousness pressured into ‘keeping up pinch nan Joneses’ – but nan thrust down that again is fear. The fearfulness of missing out, being judged aliases near down and truthful not having a support group. It stems from nan aforesaid spot arsenic our request for nurture and inclusion; we want to support growing!

Money is thing much than nan practice of a collectively agreed aggregation of value. It’s a totem. We tin connect immoderate meaning to money we want. Seeking much of it, successful bid to fulfill our existent desires, alternatively of personification else’s: doesn’t alteration nan result aliases moreover nan motivation, connected nan look of it.

What does alteration is nan volition – and that is wherever nan really important thrust lies.

Creating a New Drive

How tin we return backmost power of what drives us, successful bid to support information successful nan areas that service america nan most?

We said astir clip earlier and really it relates to our motivations successful a basal way: we don’t person thing successful nan present, truthful we’re driven to attain it astatine immoderate constituent successful nan future. That’s beautiful easy to understand, but what if you were to enactment arsenic though you do person it now?

This is not astir ‘fake it till you make it’. What we’re talking astir present is creating an energetic alignment pinch who you want to be, not what you want to attain. If you tin genuinely understand and consciousness nan affectional authorities you’ll beryllium successful connected an mean time successful your dream life, you tin commencement to consciousness that measurement now. By surviving successful those energetic states now, you’re calling that reality successful and making it an inevitable portion of your future.

Energy has a wave and emotions are ‘energy successful motion’. By holding connected to nan wave of nan emotions we want to person (i.e. simply by imagining our early and past allowing ourselves to consciousness nan emotions associated pinch it) we are connecting pinch nan early we want successful an expansive way, alternatively than a contractive way.

Again: it each comes down to intention. If you beryllium astir reasoning astir being a millionaire, surviving connected a yacht and driving a Bugatti – but do truthful from nan premise that you don’t person that life now; you’re simply holding nan wave of lack. By doing so, you’ll conscionable pull much luck!

If nevertheless you beryllium around, still reasoning astir nan yacht, nan money and nan Bugatti – but this clip you’re reasoning astir really awesome it will feel, really blessed you’ll beryllium and each of nan awesome things you’ll beryllium capable to do pinch your life; you are expanding. Your full volition is geared towards description and reasoning expansively.

Your volition makes each nan quality and is what will yet support your motivation, agelong aft nan ‘honeymoon’ play successful immoderate fixed endeavor.


The thrust mentation of information is some analyzable and simple. It’s thing innately understood by astir everyone, but successful bid to bring it afloat wrong nan power of our intellect – we person to do a batch of analyzable thinking.

In galore ways, it represents nan conflict crushed betwixt our prehistoric ‘lizard’ encephalon and our evolved, conscious mind.

So if you are uncovering that your information for thing is requiring much and much conscious effort to maintain, aliases you are questioning whether aliases not you really want thing anymore, effort pursuing these steps:

  1. Breakdown and understand precisely what’s down your ‘drive’
    • Are you acting retired of fear, rage aliases love?
    • Are you driven to execute personification else’s goal?
    • Recognize and admit nan truth, without judgement.
  2. Understand your ‘why’ and group your intentions from a abstraction of description .
    • Make judge your goals promote you to grow, alternatively than correspond nan unachievable and connection you an excuse for not trying.
  3. Practice holding nan affectional wave associated pinch your desired future, and witnesser nan changes successful you arsenic they hap successful nan present.
    • Spend clip really envisioning your desired early arsenic though it’s an mean time for you. Witness nan beingness feelings (butterflies successful your stomach, quickening heartbeat etc…) and admit them arsenic they statesman to show up successful your regular life now.

Featured photograph credit: Louis Hansel – Restaurant Photographer via

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