Motivation gets generally a bad rep. I thought so too. But after a short discussion with a friend about discipline, something caught my attention: For somebody having a low opinion about motivation, I sure have lots of motivational quotes, poster, pictures and music in my everyday life.
Let us clarify the terminology first:
Definition of motivation
- 1a : the act or process of motivating
b : the condition of being motivated
- 2 : a motivating force, stimulus, or influence : INCENTIVE, DRIVE
Definition of purpose
- 1a : something set up as an object or end to be attained : INTENTION
b : RESOLUTION, DETERMINATION
- 2 : a subject under discussion or an action in course of execution
From my understanding of these definitions, motivation and purpose seem like they need each other. Or at least work well together.
Let me think
The bad reputation stems from the common misapplication of motivation. Everybody knows the meme about full gyms after silvester. Without the desire to fulfill the long-term goal (aka purpose) of being fit, looking good, getting healthy, … there will be nothing that keeps these folks returning to the gym.
If there is no purpose, motivation can be detrimental.
On the other side, what is purpose without motivation? The purpose is motivation enough! Haha, we are not kidding ourselves here. Without small wins, without some form of positive reinforcement or encouragement, the greatest purpose loses its appeal.
If there is no motivation, purpose can be not enough.
Have a purpose. Know why you are doing something.
Enjoy the way. Celebrate some goals, struggle after failures, and if a fist-bumping song helps rising the spirits, then turn the volume up.
Motivation and purpose are on a spectrum. They are neither good nor bad themselves, but what you make of them.
Thanks for reading!