We generally know when we aren’t motivated to do something. We drag our feet, procrastinate, and find other things to pass the time rather than doing the one thing we know we need to do, but have no motivation for.

Learning to recognize when we are more motivated and when we aren’t, is a very important thing. But, knowing when we are or aren’t motivated provides no value to us unless we understand what actually keeps us motivated or hinders motivation in us.

Motivation can come from many areas. It can come from certain activities or interests, how people engage and interact with us, or our own level of responsibility and the potential consequences of failure.

In any case, learning to identify what helps motivate you in each circumstance and what causes you to lose motivation can help you reach greater levels of productivity and accomplishment.

Let’s use an interest as an example. Say you really love music. Having such a high interest in music, motivates you to go to concerts regularly. Therefore, music is a motivator for you. When working in an area you don’t enjoy, listening to music while working will probably help you be more effective, than if you work in silence. You can also use buying a concert ticket as a reward for accomplishing the task you would otherwise want to avoid.

The more we understand the areas that motivate us, the more we are able to apply those motivators to other areas we don’t enjoy. Instead of avoiding areas that decrease our motivation, we now know how to motivate ourselves and engage in those areas productively.

So, what motivates you?