Motivation and Emotion

Motivation and Emotion

There is a strong link between motivation and emotion that runs through our lives.  This is link can work either by being able to motivate ourselves into feeling a different emotion, or by our emotions dictating how much motivation we have for a specific task.  For example, if you are feeling tired, you won’t be feeling motivated to do something, even if it’s urgent or something you usually enjoy.  Alternatively, if you want to do something but are feeling unwell or unhappy, you can usually convince yourself that you should do it; the motivation pulls you along and erodes the feeling that you’re “not up to it”. 

There is a strong link between motivation and emotion that runs through our lives.  This is link can work either by being able to motivate ourselves into feeling a different emotion, or by our emotions dictating how much motivation we have for a specific task.  For example, if you are feeling tired, you won’t be feeling motivated to do something, even if it’s urgent or something you usually enjoy.  Alternatively, if you want to do something but are feeling unwell or unhappy, you can usually convince yourself that you should do it; the motivation pulls you along and erodes the feeling that you’re “not up to it”. 

Once you accept this link that exists between motivation and emotion, you can use it to help you achieve more with your time as it can help you overcome such things as procrastination or fatigue.  Determination could be another word for motivation in the case of fatigue as it is your determination to do a task or activity even though you aren’t feeling 100% able to do it – but you want to do it, so you motivate yourself into the right frame of mind and go do it. 

If there’s something that you don’t want to do, then you need to convince yourself that you do want to do it, or you’ll procrastinate the time available away until there’s no time to do it.  Convincing yourself isn’t always an easy skill, but acknowledging that once you change your frame of mind, then you’ll find it easier to carry out the task you don’t want to do, then you find ways of being able to tempt yourself into the right mindset – and that’s basically what combining motivation and emotion is all about.

Offering yourself rewards for doing things you don’t like doing often helps with the motivation and emotion equation.  For example, you may not like ironing but if you reward yourself by watching television or listening to music as you iron rather then just standing and ironing, it may make the task easier to begin and complete.  You are distracted from the task itself and become more emotionally involved in the movie or music and so the ironing gets done because the resistance to doing the task is removed by diverting the negative emotion and motivation to get the job done takes over.  At work, you may have a task you hate doing, such as balancing your mileage or filing some paperwork, but the thought of bribing yourself with lunch at a favorite restaurant, or a new magazine, can help to change your attitude towards doing the task and bring together your motivation and emotion so that you can get through the task in half the time you’d take without the motivation to get it done.

Sometimes you’re just in the wrong frame of mind for doing something, for example if you’ve had bad news just before you’re due to go to a party, and the last thing you feel like doing is putting on a happy face and socializing with other people.  With motivation and emotion going hand-in-hand you know that once you make the effort to go out as planned, you will cope with the initial impact of the bad news better as you’ll have to put it on the back burner for a while then you can take it off later and look at it with a more balanced viewpoint – this is far better than just staying home and dwelling on the news alone. 

Once you understand that there is a link between motivation and emotion it makes find the energy to do things you don’t like much easier because you know that if you can put yourself into the right frame of mind, that you’ll get the task done and it won’t be half as bad as you’d thought it was going to be!