Towards and away from motivation

Postby Mindformula » Thu Nov 30, 2006 7:09 pm

There are two types of motivators. They are called towards motivation and away from motivation. As simple as it may sound some of them you are so attached to you that you might think you are moving towards it when in fact you are moving away from something else. In the previous section we created a move towards motivation, were we created a future for you to move towards. Some of you may have started out by creating that future with a moving away from motivation to begin with then switched along the way. Of course we are going to explain this a little bit better to you. A good example of a moving towards future would be when you set a goal, or setup a reward system for yourself. This means you are moving towards the goal. When I get 15 sales I am going to treat myself to a nice dinner. This would be an example of a moving towards motivation. If I don’t get 15 sales done this week I will have to skip my weekly night out. This would on the other hand be a moving away from motivation.

Another way of wording these two motivators could be pain and pleasure motivation, the moving away from motivation is moving you away from pain. The pleasure is the moving towards motivation. Some of you might think that automatically you would be moving towards pleasure by moving away from pain, just to correct that immediately moving away from pain does not mean you are moving towards pleasure. Just because I move my hand away from something that is hot does not mean my hand is in a pleasure zone, it simply means that it is back to neutral. Now if I wanted to treat my hand to some pleasure I would probably order a massage for it, then I would have to go to the appointment and get it done. I would deliberately setup a situation where I have to move towards it. Just to make sure that you fully understand how this works here is an example that works both ways. Giving the same end result but with different motivations. Two men that I talked to that both have made millions as business men had different motivators when they started out.

Away from motivation

The first man had grown up in poverty, never knew what Christmas presents were, never guaranteed that there was food on the table, constantly hearing his parents argue about money. This man had it set in his mind that once he grew up he would not be poor, he would not have his children live in the environment he did when growing up. To him he linked extreme pain to being poor and did everything he could to move away from it. He was a classic case of away from motivation, yet he had great success at what he did. He has successfully implemented this strategy in other aspects of his life as well. During hard times he would catch changes that were happening because for him it was an anticipation of pain. So he took action before it got to that point.

Towards motivation

The other man had a very different mindset. He grew up in a middle class family, had plenty to eat, got nice presents at Christmas and lived what a lot of us would call a good life. He was very much into sports and loved going to school. When he was about 16 years old he made up his mind that he wanted to make his first million by the age of 30, he had a very clear picture in his head of what it would look like, feel like, what it would sound like. The only thing he wasn´t sure about at that point was how he was going to do it. He applied the same technique to this as when he played sports, when he was on the field he knew exactly what it would feel like to score, what it sounded like with the crowd cheering and had a clear image as his fellow team mates gathered around him. He knew the technique behind towards motivation and used it in other aspects of his life as well. He was always looking for now opportunities and did his best at utilizing every chance he got.

Now these two motivators work very differently, so if you ever wondered why a sales rewards system only works for some people there is your explanation. Some people do not have the mindset to go after the goal set. A better motivator for them might actually be that the person with the least sales gets fired. All of a sudden they would link pain to not selling, while towards motivated people would see the reward of making more sales, so it is something to move towards. Of course you can not setup a “challenge” that is designed with the intent of firing people. Now that you know that people are motivated in two different directions you can work with it. In the workbook you will find some exercises to work on towards and away from motivation.

Remember each of these have benefits to them as well as downsides. Even though it may seem a better choice to be motivated towards pleasure instead of moving away from pain they are both great motivators, and great systems for your body to keep you out of trouble as well. Since it is the away from pain system that keeps you from placing your hand on the stove, because you know it will mean extreme pain. To explain these two a little bit more here is an overall tendency that seems to separate the two groups, the moving away from group are problem solvers, the moving towards people are idealists. Here is why, the idealist creates ideas that are a challenge and give them something to aim towards, the moving away from people may see change as bringing a lot of problems with it that will cause them pain. Knowing this having one of each on your team may be a very good thing, the towards person comes up with idea, while the away motivated person will find the faults in the idea, and more than often find the solution to it as well since if the problem comes up if they are not prepared for it, extreme pain is what they will experience. Now remember this is just a generalization, and there are exceptions in both cases. Just because you are primarily motivated away from pain, does not mean you can not come up with ideas. Also just because you are towards pleasure motivated doesn’t mean you can´t solve problems. This is just a brief overview and an easy way in most cases to identify the motivation strategy people have.

A few more things that are good to know about these two types of motivation, for most people in business having towards pleasure motivation will bring you more success long term. It is easier to motivate yourself once you get that mindset about your business. Using the away from motivation to stay away from problems your experience has already shown you doesn’t work. As one person once said, it is hard moving your business forward when you are constantly looking at what has already passed. Walking backwards takes a lot longer than keeping your head forward and walking, making sure to look back every once in a while to see the ground you have covered.
Now note that people that start out with an away from motivation in business, under most circumstances will move towards an towards motivation at one point. So even though you start out with one motivation, you may switch. What do you think for example happens with someone that is towards motivated and then has two businesses go under, might they connect business with pain? Making it almost impossible to start over again, starting a business would not move them towards pleasure, it would mean extreme pain.

I look forward to talking more in the forums.
Just decided to post this here as an introduction to myself.
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