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Mindset Reality Check on Motivation

By Harry Petsanis and Donna McCance


Motivation is the reason someone has for their action or behavior. It involves the emotional, biological, cognitive, and social forces that drive human behavior. There are different types of motivation, depending on the reasons. Motivation is goal oriented. It’s why we do things.

Motivation can be either extrinsic or intrinsic. Extrinsic motivation is behavior that is driven by external sources, such as rewards for our behavior or punishment avoidance. Intrinsic motivation is behavior driven by the individual from within themselves, for self fulfillment and personal gratification.

Use of praise is an example of extrinsic reinforcement that can extinguish intrinsic motivation because people become dependent upon rewards rather than motivating themselves to succeed. When the praise ends, so does the motivation, and then so does the action or drive to complete tasks. (See our blog on Praise, October 1, 2021)

Self esteem, self confidence, and self worth are part of self-satisfaction. Praise is contradictory to self-satisfaction. “Self” is who you truly are as an individual. It’s your sense of worth, personality, and character. Praise should be replaced with a sense of self-satisfaction that we get from the work and deeds that we do, not the acknowledgement and reciprocation of others.

People frequently look for praise or rewards to be the incentive for them to do something, which means their nature is lazy at the core because they’re not willing to change or better themselves for the sake of change and bettering themselves for themselves

If you have to motivate someone to do something, you’ve already failed. If a person isn’t willing to motivate themselves, then that’s a person who isn’t willing to succeed. Most people are looking for an excuse and a reason not to do something, which is their real motivation.

Human nature stems from our primitive nature to conserve energy, a point of origin for laziness and unaccountability. People don’t want to acknowledge that. On the surface they give the appearance that they truly want to change and strive for something better, when in reality, they don’t want to be honest with themselves and admit that they do not want to put in the work and effort necessary to change and better their situation. They’re conserving their energy to do nothing.

People have conditioned themselves to ask “what’s in it for me” as a reward to be motivated externally for anything and everything, rather than seeking personal motivation within themselves to achieve goals. People have conditioned themselves to look for the “easy way out” of doing things, rather than focusing on personal satisfaction and gratification from doing a job well done. They do the bare minimum, just to get by. People have conditioned themselves to try and do nothing at all.

External motivation has become one of the most dangerous things enforced on our society. People have become conditioned to not look inward to motivate themselves, but to look for some external force, person, or product to motivate them, which has conditioned them that without the person or the product, they can’t do it themselves.

People have become conditioned to distance themselves from themselves, because the further they get away from doing something for themselves, the more they become conditioned to think they can’t do it without someone or something else. External motivation has become a multi billion dollar industry, with many sales tactics that try to convince people that someone else has the answers for them, and more importantly, to condition them to think that they can’t find the answers for themselves.

Anyone who is truly looking to change their life should stop seeking external motivation. They should be looking to change their mindset so that they become intrinsically motivated. What people say they want is rarely what they really want. They portray themselves in a positive light by saying they “want to” do something, when in reality, they have no intention of doing the work it takes to achieve it. Change starts with being honest with yourself.

It’s not complicated. If you want to become self-motivated, then be honest with yourself, truly define your goals and objectives, define who you want to be, and live your life aligned with those three things. Follow "The 1, 2, 3's of Me":

You have to choose to do the things that other people choose not to do. Those are the choices that separate you from the pack. If you want to do something, do it. If you want to be something, be it. If you’re going to say something, honor it. If you want to live your life, live it.

Mindset is very efficient. There’s no ambiguity in it. There’s very little to discuss about it or understand about it. You’re either doing it, or you’re not. Well done is always better than well said. If you’re going to do something, do it, and then do it right.

And remember...

About the Authors

Harry Petsanis is a philosopher of human nature, mindset consultant, and lifelong fitness and wellness specialist. He is a writer and author, with three published books: “The Truth is A Lie,” “The Logical Path To Life,” and "Knowing Me from A to Z, A Child's Mindset," which he co-authored with Donna McCance, M.Ed.. Harry has a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism. He has an intense passion for psychology and the human condition.

Donna McCance, M.Ed. is a business administrator, writer, author, licensed teacher and principal/vice principal with over 20 years experience teaching in elementary education and educational leadership. She has a Masters in Education, Masters in Human Services Management, Bachelors in Business Administration and Associates in Business Administration.

Click here to order Harry Petsanis’s books

The Truth is A Lie" and "The Logical Path To Life"

Go to this site:

to order Harry Petsanis's and Donna McCance's newly published book

"Knowing Me From A to Z, A Child's Mindset"

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