Have you ever thought about what makes you want to work hard? What gets you up each morning with a smile on your face and ready to take on the world? When we know WHY we do something, we can use that information to accomplish more. Knowing what motivates us will help us achieve our goals, both personal and professional.
Many of us believe that the only reason we work is money. Although there is no question that money, or what it buys (mortgage, food, etc) is a prime motivator, money alone does not create the sense of fulfillment and accomplishment that many of us are seeking.
Have you ever looked at someone with all the money in the world and asked yourself, how on earth could they be so unhappy? What on earth do they have to be down about - they have everything! Well if you think about it, it is the difference between people who do what they do for money vs enjoyment. People who do it for money only have money to reference as their measure of accomplishment. People who do it because they love what they do have stories, memories and usually like sharing the riches of their passions with others.
I wanted to learn more about this phenomenon and researched some reasons for what makes someone motivated in life. Funny enough there are so many reasons other than money it would make clear sense why someone with what you thought “had everything in the world” would actually be unhappy.
LIMRA International, a research association, suggests you prioritize the following motivators for yourself. Once you've identified what works for you, share it with your boss. If you're the boss, ask your employees to prioritize their motivators. Whether you're the boss, the employee, or it's just you (a work-at-home mom or a solopreneur), this is important information for you to know.
RECOGNITION: The tangible rewards you get for doing a job well, such as being singled out in a publication or speech. How important is winning to you? How do you feel when others receive recognition? Do you go out of your way to win awards?
ACHIEVEMENT: The feeling that you get from successfully accomplishing a job...overcoming obstacles and obtaining goals.Is your performance relative to your effort? How do you feel when you have completed a task? What kind of goals do you set for yourself?
LEISURE TIME: The amount of time that you have free to use as you wish and the extent of enjoyment that you get from this time.Do you find yourself neglecting things? Have you postponed a desired activity? Do you really enjoy your leisure time?
POWER: The sense of control that you feel you have over your destiny and the destiny of others...your feelings of influence to direct the behavior of others.Do you feel that you have control over your destiny? Do people tend to lean on you, ask your approval? Do you find yourself doing things you'd rather not do?
PRESTIGE: The respect accorded you by your peers and by business or community associates...how others feel you compare with your peers.Is prestige important to you? Do others tend to hold you in esteem? Do you find yourself performing to gain esteem?
PRESSURE: The constant feeling or need to show continuing improvement in your job performance.Do you feel guilty about not exerting enough effort? Do you continually feel that you must do more? Do you want continual motivation from superiors?
SELF ESTEEM: Your feeling of self-worth...how you feel you measure up to your peers.Are you confident that you do as well as you can? Do you feel guilty about poor performance? Are you satisfied with your performance?
FAMILY LIFE: The amount and quality of family activities that you engage in.Do you spend enough time with your family? Is time meaningful when with them? Do they talk about the time that you spend with them?
SECURITY: The certainty that you feel of maintaining your position...the feeling that tomorrow will be at least as good as today.Is job security important to you? Are you afraid to try something new? Do you do things that tend to secure your job?
PERSONAL GROWTH: The feeling of growing as an individual or becoming more competent, more efficient—a better person.Do you think that you have grown over the past year? Do you do specific things that result in improvement? Do you have plans for doing more?
Now that you've prioritized this list, you have clear idea of what motivates you. It's not just money, is it?