Motivation Is...

Nov 25, 2021

Motivation Is...

...different for everyone

...defined by our circumstances

...driven by our core drivers and values

...fluctuating, depending on innumerable external factors

...a reason for action.

This last definition is the one I usually go with. More specifically, I like to think of motivation as being a "motive" for "action".

However, everything else on the list above is also true.

Different for Everyone

It is obvious that we are each motivated by different things. Indeed, it is a blessed relief. The world would not be such a rich tapestry if we were all moved by the same things. The diverse environments we embrace are so amazing specifically because there is debate, challenge, different perspectives and opportunities to think.

Defined by our circumstances

What inspires us when we are hungry is very different to what we are willing to expend energy on when we are full to the brim. Similarly, factors such as our financial situation or our satisfaction with our health can underpin the levels of motivation we have for certain activities. Our circumstances play a major part in the peaks and troughs of motivation in our lives. This is particularly true when we think about our motivation at work compared to our motivation at home.

Driven by our core drivers and values

There are drivers which will determine how we respond to specific situations or opportunities. Our levels of enthusiasm or disdain, our desire to keep going or willingness to give up are often preset by our beliefs about the world and our subconscious attitudes. These values and drivers can often be at play when we're not quite sure why we have consciously made a choice to do something or not participate.

Fluctuating, depending on innumerable external factors

As well as underpinning drivers, our thoughts and actions are often determined by our immediate environment or circumstances. We can find ourselves motivated or demotivated by things that normally affect us in exactly the opposite way.

For example, a core driver may be collaboration but the particular team I am working with currently is dominated by behaviours that turn me more towards solo activities. Or, more topically, I may be an extravert that has loved working in isolation during the lockdowns.

So what?

The reason for exploring the complexity of motivation is to highlight the value of taking a temperature test regularly. Understanding what is motivating and demotivating you in the moment is critical to tuning-in to changes in energy, drive and excitement.

Often, when I am exploring life with a coaching client, they can't put their finger on what is holding them back. Normally, they are full of energy and eating into challenges enthusiastically, but now they can't summon up the energy to even get up from the couch.

This type of unmotivated behaviour can literally be debilitating.

In these circumstances, I devised a series of questions to get under the skin of the problem and often the conversation was quite exhausting for all involved. I felt there had to be a better way and so, with a fellow coach, I set out to develop a quicker, more engaging way for individuals to self-diagnose what was going on for them motivationally. A few years later, Motivate Cards was born.

What's Demotivating You?

Motivate Cards is a fun way of determining what is motivating and demotivating you in the moment. It has 48 dimensions ensuring all of the motivational factors are covered across Relationships, Environment, Activities and Life.

Based on the latest research, and validated by Professor Charlotte Rayner, a leading expert on workplace bullying and meaning at work, the cards offer an assured way of understanding the hidden factors behind our current motivational energies.

The personalised self-coaching report enables you to assess what is going on and plan a route through the challenges.

“So much more useful than the traditional tools and fun to do!”

If you'd like to sort your Life cards for free and get real insight into your current motives for action, just pop over to


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