What does positive psychology say about motivation? Motivation is an imperative aspect of human functioning without it we would seize to do the most important tasks in our lives. So what is it? And where does positive psychology take it?

Positive psychology has divided motivation into two sub fields’ intrinsic: inbuilt human attributes to pursue virtuousness and extrinsic: pursuing an activity for an alternative outcome, thus highlighting variant forms of motivational triggers. The self-determination theory formalises the four tenets of motivation being external: tasks driven by outside forces, introjected: self regulation of emotions conducting activities to avoid guilt, pressure, anxiety, identified: conducting imperative task regardless of it not being joyful and integrated: conducting tasks as they adhere to our values (Ryan & Deci, 2000). On a healthy motivational continuum the more we develop our intrinsic motivation the less likely we are to be forced to do things we did not want to. Autonomy is an important factor in finding your intrinsic motivation and so are competences, relatedness that form an overall driving force in finding your extrinsic motivation. The self-concordance model advocates well being as being much superior entity when individuals identify, amalgamate, implement intrinsic motivations within themselves in co coordinating their life goals (Sheldon, 1994).

Evidence based research supports this notion and postulates that the model does indeed promote well being through attending to an individual’s innate psychological requirements (Boniwell, 2006). Some interesting perceptions of motivational strategies have been developed as the following recommended five dimensional steps: trust: fostering positive relationships, reward system: promotes healthy competition reinforcing good behaviours, recognition; appreciation of accomplishments, career advancement: opening up opportunities for high performers is a good incentive to do well and happiness: reacting reasons to be happy (LMA, 1972).
A further 12 strategies have been recommended as helping individuals to cultivate motivation, they are as followed: setting goals, rewarding steps towards your goal, be adaptive to challenges, acquire a positive mindset, announce your goals so as to acquire support, reject distractions, visualise positive imagery, reflect, implement inspirational quotes, seek professional help for psychological or physical issues and practice self care (Allegheny college, 2018). More is gained from utilising motivational strategies and how individuals implement or best suit them is a bit of trial and error process. Thus these recommended strategies, I feel could be used visually, auditory and kinaesthetically as personally, I love auditory motivational music that suits my mood whereby helps me to complete a task at hand.

Collaborative use of motivational strategies for professionals

Presenting a treatment plan for patients is half of the battle for doctors the adherence to the plan and patient motivation is a key issue for positive well being. The patient must pursue an intrinsically motivated mindset and supportive family members should provide extrinsic motivational triggers for the patient. A collaboration of treatment and patient/family positive motivational psychological support enables the patient to function in an optimal manner (Heath, 2017). Counsellors take a more paternalistic approach to motivational counselling giving a more directive style of counselling involving instructions, information on health related behaviours and setting SMART goals (Eufic, 2010). Other person-centred counsellors implement the motivational interviewing technique to nurture people through the process of change and commit to it too (Psychology Today, 2018).

The future of motivation

APS: Association for Psychological Sciences a collaborative platform for psychologist to share research. Whereby an article on motivation found evidence based research reinforced the notion that dramatic team work can lead to higher levels of perseverance and engagement leading to higher levels of performance (Carr, & Walton, 2014).
A more collaborative effort should be made by psychologist to form a society that deals with motivation and accessibility of resources that highlight importance value research on human beings today with evidence based proven motivational triggers. A consensus should be established on what motivates individuals by implementing motivational strategies that promote positive well being.

https://sites.allegheny.edu/deanofstudents/wellness-education/todays-topic/12-strategies-for-motivation-that-work/ https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/therapy-types/motivational-interviewing
Lopez, S.J & Snyder, C, R, (2011) The Oxford Handbook of Positive Psychology, Second edition, New York, United States of America, OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS.
Positive Psychology in a Nutshell: The Science of happiness, IIona Boniwell, third edition, Open University Press, 2012.
Rollnick S et al. (2005). Consultations about changing behaviour. BMJ 331:961-963.
Rubak S et al. (2005). Motivational interviewing: a systematic review and meta-analysis. British Journal of General Practice 55: 305-312.

About the author: To find out more about Fizza Shah, please click here.

‘We Are The Positive Psychology People’

The Positive Psychology People is co-founded and sponsored
by Lesley Lyle and Dan Collinson,
Directors of Positive Psychology Learning and authors of the
8-week online Happiness Course

Read Similar Posts

Share This