The Link Between Motivation and Success


  The Link Between Motivation and Success

Do you ever feel like you're just not motivated enough to achieve your goals? Think about it: we all have them, and most of us feel like we should be doing better than we are.

To figure out why, let's take a look at the difference between motivation and success. What one feels like will definitely influence how successful or unfulfilling your pursuit is, and vice versa. But the more important question is why do some people find this process easier than others?

Research has shown that it's not always our fault; our circumstances can influence our ability to motivate ourselves as well as our perception of what "success" looks like.

Take the "Pygmalion effect," a term coined after the English playwright George Bernard Shaw's play of the same name. In it, a person is not only affected by expectations but also strives to live up to those expectations. This can be seen not just in schoolchildren who try harder when their teachers expect greatness from them, but also in employees who work harder because they feel pressure from their bosses or coworkers for results.

It's the same for us at work: when you come into work and see people who are more or less successful than you, it will affect your own motivation. If you're surrounded by people who are more or less motivated than you, it can make you feel like no matter how bad things get, they'll always be able to find a way to get ahead of the game. That can be intimidating – yet motivating in its own way.

Here's where Pygmalion effects become important. These influences can either motivate us to strive for greater success or make us feel like our failures are insurmountable.

Even though it's a natural part of our job, motivation can be a hindrance to success. One study showed that the most self-motivated workers were three times more successful than their less-motivated peers. Wouldn't it make more sense to not be so motivated? You'd think so, but the problem is that, while motivation is powerful it can also be overused. And of course, there's no such thing as a perfect formula – work and life are all about making choices and adapting behaviour to fit your situation. What works for one person may not work for others.

One thing to consider is that motivation works differently in different cultures. In Japan it's common to leave your work and personal lives for "vacations" at work, while the Chinese will always go home after a long day of work. So the idea of leaving everything behind to get things done can be empowering in some ways, but not so much in others.

For us Westerners, it can be refreshing to take a step back from your daily grind and let yourself completely absorb the tasks at hand once in a while. But you'll probably find that you're more motivated when you get back into your routine again, feeling as though there's nothing else you need or want to do. Motivation is great, but it can also be destructive if you let it get out of hand.


5 Habits Of Very High Performing People [ARTICLE]
How to Be Motivated at Work [ARTICLE]
Are You A 'Pygmalion Effect' Worker? [ARTICLE]
How Pygmalion Effects Influence Your Success [ARTICLE]
The Power of Color On Your Behavior and Emotions [ARTICLE]

[/ARTICLE][/ARTICLES] Our latest research shows that the perception of an individual's self-worth can accelerate or decelerate their own progress. To make this discovery, we conducted an experiment where we tested the effect of the self-view of a subject on their own performance and perceived progress.We describe this insight in our paper " The Pygmalion Effect: Perceived Progress and Performance ." Source: SAGE Journals Abstract: The Pygmalion effect refers to the positive impact that a teacher's expectations have on students. We tested whether self-perceived progress and perceived performance were affected by a teacher's expectations. A group of postgraduate business students completed an academic exam before their final session with a business professor. They then completed the same exam as well as financial, sales, CV writing and recruitment tasks in front of an evaluator after their final session with the professor. We found that a professor's expectations were related to the perceived progress of both groups. However, we also found that a professor's expectations affected self-perceived progress more than we expected. These findings reveal the potential of the Pygmalion effect to accelerate or decelerate one's own performance depending on how self-worth is viewed.

Actions speak louder than words: psychological and motivational implications for subconscious disharmonious motivational messages – Journal of Language and Social Psychology (via PMQ)  by Duke University researchers present new results showing an essential role played by unconscious thoughts in motivating behaviour .
The researchers found that simple messages paired with incentives can subconsciously increase how much people eat, drink or take risks. The results highlight the importance of motivational messages on decision-making and suggest that people may have a limited ability to control their own behaviour, even when their conscious minds are against it. 
The results suggest that while people may try consciously to reduce unhealthy behaviors like over-eating or over-spending, they may have a much tougher time doing so than they assume.
Although the effects in this study were small, they suggest that any efforts to change behavior should be aware of these unconscious processes and include ways to compensate for them... "Changes in behaviour only occurred when the money was made salient," Most suggested. For example, the promotion of fruit would have a greater chance of success if it were coupled with a sign that says, "now 20 per cent off," than a simple advertisement stating that an apple costs $1."
© 2013 Minty Lewis.

Motivation is a key ingredient to success at work. It's hard to perform well when you're unmotivated, but it's also tiring to try and motivate yourself all the time. It can be difficult to know how to strike the right balance... But we'll leave that for another post.
If you have any thoughts on this topic, please let us know in the comments!
** Apologies if this blog post seems more like a hodge-podge of unconnected articles, I'm trying something new and posting a bunch of different topics all at once **
*** Please note that I do not claim 100% scientific accuracy on any of these studies.

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