Which motivation should you choose?
How many times have you felt like you had to choose between achievement and learning-based motivation? You were told about the importance of achieving goals and also told to value the learning process. So which motivation should you choose?
I came across this article, Achievement Motivation Training, recently because our trainer team was investigating how achievement motivation interferes with effective coaching. For example, we may keep students engaged in a drill, such as falling practice, too long because we’re motivated by seeing them fall perfectly so they can feel successful. In reality, keeping them engaged too long exhausts them and their ability to fall correctly diminishes. This creates neural networks in their brains that reinforce this exhausted expression of falling instead of the ideal we want to move them toward. In other words, they digress instead of progress with their skill of falling.
Achieve to Succeed
The article points to an interesting problem that achievement motivation training addresses. We need to achieve to succeed in this modern, capitalistic system we’re all a part of. So it makes sense that it would be helpful to train ourselves on how to improve our motivation to achieve.
But–and it’s a big but–this assumes we want to arrive at the destination we’re being motivated toward. Here, the end justifies the means, and we’ll use any means, including training ourselves to improve our achievement motivation, to achieve the end.
I think this kind of motivation training can lack consciousness. It could cause us to focus on achievement for the sake of achievement, with little regard for the learning journey. It can also create a sense that our lives today aren’t okay, so we need to strive for a better tomorrow.
In other words, we start from a premise that the world today is unacceptable. So, we’re motivated toward a future world we think will be better than today. We judge our current lives, resisting the struggles. That resistance and non-acceptance is what drives us, motivates us, toward achieving that future state. This creates an either/or choice with our motivation. Consciously or not, we feel we have to choose between our current struggles and our future ideals. Since our current struggles are more stressful than our image of a problem-solved future, we choose to be motivated toward the future.
The Warrior’s Way® teaches that both achievement and learning-based motivations are important. This is a both/and understanding of motivation. It sits on a foundation of
both accepting the world exactly as it is currently and working toward a better future. You’re motivated both by goals and the work that’s required to achieve them.
This both/and approach helps you enjoy both what you’re doing during the journey and when you achieve the destination. If you’re going to do achievement motivation training, then do it consciously. Find a balance by also doing learning-based motivation training. Be motivated by knowing your life can both be okay today and you can work toward a better tomorrow.