“You are the embodiment of the information you choose to accept and act upon. To change your circumstances you need to change your thinking and subsequent actions.” - Adlin Sinclair
The predominant message that arises from discussing motivational theories and perspectives is that THERE IS NO ONE ANSWER ABOUT HOW AND WHY WE BECOME MOTIVATED. What these theories do provide us with however is a range of points to consider. As we now know motivation can manifest itself in a variety of ways depending on the individual. Because of this it is important that you take out of this series WHAT IS RELEVANT TO YOU.
Do you for example feel as if physiological needs dictate your thinking and behaviour? If so instinct theory, drive theory and the beginning levels of Maslow’s hierarchy will be most relevant to you. Maybe you believe that incentives and goal-setting are more relevant, in which case you will take more from these theories. Maybe you feel that exploring a conflict in thinking regarding a specific issue will kick-start you into action, in which case cognitive dissonance theory may be more relevant.
If you do choose to embrace some or all of these theories, it is important that you can relate to the information in some way. This is true of all the information in this book. The more you can relate to the material the more perspective you will gain regarding your own decisions to change. The idea is that once you've read this series you will have a better understanding of motivation in general and, more specifically, of your own motivational process.
By understanding the process of how you develop motivation to change you can then attempt to recreate this process in the context of a specific course of action. This, in turn, will give you a level of control that you otherwise wouldn't have had. Essentially it will allow you to generate your own motivation (attempt to, at least) at a time of your choosing, rather than waiting for inspiration to strike randomly.
Alternatively understanding how you lose motivation will also give you more control of your situation. Understanding this process will give you the knowledge and tools to notice the warning signs of decreasing motivation and from here you can intervene accordingly.
All of this equates to control. All too often motivation is something that strikes randomly, or something that predictably surfaces when a new year is rung in. If motivation does come at these points in time, then that’s great. However it doesn't help those of us who want to do something NOW! By understanding motivation you’re putting the ball back in your court. You are taking charge of what you want to do, what you've always wanted to do. You’re taking control of your future!