There is generally no doubt that motivation and attitude play a significant role in your life, and you might wonder how they are related to each other. Are they both part of your character or is motivation an attitude?
Also, the question is what we can learn from the answers and how these can help us in our day-to-day lives. What are the implications and does the knowledge in fact matter?
It would seem so, as both motivation and attitude in a large measure determine what we do in life, and even how successful we are at it.
So, what are the concepts of these two terms?
Motivation is some sort of need or desire that wants to be satisfied
Motivation is derived from the word motive, and is the basic impetus or reason for any action. It is why we do the things we do. Some definitions have described motive as a need, drive or desire in an individual, which requires satisfaction. Therefore, motivation impels or forces action, sometimes against other considerations in a person.
In the modern work environment, motivation is seen as a key quality to possess in the right degree and with the proper orientation, as it is deemed to be very critical in the accomplishment of goals and objectives.
In fact, success does not seem possible without a suitable level of motivation. That’s why it is so important to know its dependencies and relationship with other factors.
An attitude reflects a person’s mental state
Attitude is in many ways quite similar to motivation, but they are far from the same. Businessdictionary.com defines attitude as a “predisposition to respond positively or negatively towards a certain idea object, person, or situation. This means that attitude is primarily concerned with the internal character or orientation of a person.
Psychologically speaking, attitude is a buildup of a person’s mental state, requiring experience of life over time to form. It is thus an established tendency towards certain behavior or reactions in certain situations.
In a few words: Whereas motivation determines the reasons or “the why” of our actions, attitude is chiefly concerned with method or approach, or “the how” of what we do.
Motivation and attitude share common grounds
It is safe to say that both motivation and attitude share some similarities. These are:
- They are both an impetus for action. In their separate ways, each leads to action. For attitude, of course, that action may well be inaction.
- They both affect results or objectives. The exercise of both invariably determines outcomes.
- Both are internal constructs that are different from person to person. Motivation and attitudes are the results of both internal and external factors, such as knowledge, experience, and social standing. Thus, they differ from one individual to the next.
- Both are vital components of the human psyche that can determine behaviour or expression. Both manifest outwardly most times, and that is when they are truly appreciated for what they are.
- Both can ensure survival or the lack of it by how each individual lets them function.
- Both can be a function of experiences and natural disposition. For instance, an overweight person is more inclined to be motivated to sign up for a gym membership than someone whose weight is fine. However, a person to whom looking good and fit has become an attitude, may likely sign up at the gym whether or not he or she has a bit of weight.
Deep-seated internal and changeable external factors
Having looked at the ways the two are similar, it is pertinent to note that differences do exist in the nature and roles that each plays:
- Attitude deals with how we do things. Motivation deals with why we do things. Attitude is what decides which approach we take in any given situation. There are of course an infinite number of good and bad choices. Motivation hinges on the thought that gets us on our feet in the first place. It is the fuel that gets us moving, while attitude is the steering column that guides us to the left or right.
- Motivations always forces action. Attitude is introspective first and does not always recommend action.
- Attitude is deep-seated and changes slowly over time. Motivation can be affected easily by new situations and challenges as well as environment. For instance, a student with poor study habits or a poor attitude may not suddenly become a hard-working student just because of a change of schools. However, that same student may begin to attend class more regularly if there are certain social privileges to doing so, which motivates him or her.
- Motivation will usually need external factors such as other people, or situations in order to be realized; on the other hand, attitude can remain largely internal. For instance, I may dislike my dirty home, but not do anything about it. That’s attitude. However, if I decide I must have the cleanest house in the neighbourhood, I will likely visit the store soon to buy cleaning supplies. That’s motivation.
Like concentric circles complementing each other
You need both motivation and attitude to get ahead. This is because they work best together. When the two are complementing each other adequately, some very impressive outcomes can be achieved.
Attitude can refine motivation, changing it from naked ambition to something more ideal and ethical. At the same time, motivation, by its habitual drive, often takes attitude out of it comfort zones, forcing new awareness and rethinking on it. When this occurs, the two become more dynamic, and ultimately more effective.
Why this is important
It is important to know similarities, differences, qualities, weaknesses and strengths of both attitude as well as motivation. This is so that you may efficiently determine what needs work, and what is working.
You might have great motivation but a lousy attitude. This could lead to poor people skills, resulting in shoddy management of people either as employees, colleague or just business partner.
Conversely, your attitude may well be in the 99th percentile, but without the right motivation in the right degree, it could be a most private show, as you may never arrive at an external situation to exhibit it.
Working from home requires a high dose of both
It might seem that the double feature of motivation and attitude lose their critical place if you are working from home. Nothing could be further from the truth. Irrespective of where your office is domiciled, the rules of the business world hardly make allowances for anyone.
In fact, you might find you need even more than average doses of the two to achieve the same level of success as your counterparts in a more corporate structure. This could be due to the fact that you do not have that corporate image automatically at work for you, and may need greater exertions of the right motivation and good business attitudes to convince clients.
Even in the home work space, utilizing the dual stimuli of motivation and attitude will lead to a happier working experience, more intuitive responses to challenges, and a drive that never loses its zest.