As part of my lectures, I am repeatedly asked questions that make me ponder afterwards. That’s what happened to me recently on the subject of “motivation.” The question was how motivation relates to interests and goals—a few thoughts.
The topic of “focus” is significant to me, especially when advising founders. In this context, motivation plays a unique role because motivation is the process that initiates, guides, and maintains goal-oriented behaviour.
Motivation is therefore needed to deal with goals. And goals, in turn, are the crucial elements of focus because the focus should be on these goals.
Two Directions Of Motivation
But why is it so difficult to direct your motivation to goals, or why does the view of specific goals and thus the focus get lost in the context of the many activities that each of us has every day? I think this has to do with the fact that motivation goes in two directions.
Interests And Goals
On the one hand, interests are essential. Our interests in certain things lead us to be interested in something. When we have no claims, we lie in bed apathetically and don’t even sleep.
On the other hand, the goals are important. Because goals awaken the desire to want to achieve something, especially the more important these goals are.
If we apply these considerations to motivation, it follows that interests motivate us to engage in anything. Goals, on the other hand, encourage us to want to achieve something.
Motivation: How Strong Are We?
So the difference, I think, is the level of involvement that comes from our motivation. For example, I may be interested in playing certain games on the Playstation.
So I feel motivated to do the “playing PlayStation game” activity. But if I want to beat other players in a game by participating in online tournaments and thus be the best, my motivation suddenly goes beyond just playing.
The situation is similar for founders. The motivation can be to try out a business idea. So there is an interest in dealing with this idea and continuing it in general.
However, no particular goal is associated with this, not the objective of turning the business idea into a company. Therefore, further motivation is needed to formulate a plan from interest.
Interests And Goals Belong Together
In the end, it is all about the goals, i.e., the motivation should be geared towards the goals and the achievement of the plans. But that is probably a bit premature. Because dreams usually don’t just happen but result from a (thought) process.
But that’s not all. They often arise from interests. So interests are the breeding ground for goals. Art lies in motivating people to deal with certain things to arouse interest.
When, in dealing with the interests, possibilities for goals become recognizable, the moment has come to set the right incentives to develop activities geared towards these possible (or perhaps even concrete) goals.
For this reason, companies like Google or events like the C2 Montreal business conference create a specific environment where employees, conference visitors, and thus people can pursue particular interests. So there is the possibility that these goals will become goals for which new motivational incentives will be set.
Motivation, Interests, And Goals: It Depends On The Environment
These results are an essential impetus for founders and entrepreneurs in general. An environment that motivates in two directions is necessary. On the one hand, people, be they employees or customers, must be made to want to do certain things, activities, and so on.
Because people who are busy with something have a higher chance of finding goals, on the other hand, the desire to achieve something specific, i.e., to pursue a dream, must be awakened.
Anyone who manages to design an environment in such a way that promotes interests and goals, be it in the context of employing employees or in a start-up, in the context of a conference, or the context of a realignment of a medium-sized company, wants to experience a refreshing boost in motivation.