The Misinterpretation of Motivation


I often hear about how companies should make it an effort to motivate their employees or to provide conditions to motivate their personnel. Lately, I came across this again and it made me ponder. I think this is a misinterpretation of the meaning of the word “motivation”. Because that way, people are actually manipulated or paid off to do something they don’t want to do. In my opinion, the meaning of the word is used wrongly.

To me, “motivation” does NOT mean

  • sitting back and waiting for others to make me happy or excited. That way I would give up responsibility for my life and I would make the quality of my feelings and the value of how I fill my life depending on circumstances and on other people’s moods or kindness. Again, this would make me get stuck in the present moment instead of taking the present moment for improving myself (like I wrote last week).Β 
  • forcing myself to do what I don’t want to do or lying at myself in repeating words I don’t feel. That only costs energy.

To me it means

  • Finding a meaningful reason for doing what I need or have to do by observing a project or task from different angles
  • reminding myself of why I started doing something

This generates energy.


Obstacles can appear and not everything in life is roses. We cannot give up only because we have to lift our feet a little higher for making some particular steps. But if I cannot find a reason for what I am doing or when my goal changed then I should rather change my path instead of pushing myself to keep it up.

Don’t get me wrong. This should not be an excuse because we all have our obligations and responsibilities – in for a penny, in for a pound! And sometimes such not so desired tasks or situations are going along with or are part of what we actually like doing. For example, someone loves living in a house but doesn’t like doing the household. So what? It is part of the deal. One comes with the other. In such cases we simply need to remember what Maya Angelou said:Β 


So, don’t force yourself to do what you cannot stand doing because you misunderstand the word. Motivation has much more do with a positive tenor. Thereby responsibility is taken for what needs to be done, the view goes to a place behind the current task, or solutions are found to improve the situation.

Motivation means, generating power and enthusiasm for what I am doing which simply means: I love what I do and I do what I love. It is an inner concept that improves how I approach tasks and enhances the quality of what I do.

Having said this: Stay motivated and conquer this day!


In Love and Light


About the Author

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The purpose of my blog is to inspire and shine a light on the beauty and power of the wonderful being inside your body. You came into this world to share what only you can give. Remember who you really are, conquer the world the way you always wanted to, and become the blessing to us all that you were meant to be.


I like the last line. Conquer your day. I think that is enough for me to be motivated.. because this day is the beginning point of any journey. And making it the best we can is actually the most important thing to do. Thanks for sharing:)

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I am amazed that you are reading this at this point of your life. As we know, those timely signs means something and I am happy you get confirmed in the direction and determination. Yes, whatever we do or start, with a positive mindset we are already half way there. Wish you all the best for and on your journey!

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I agree 100%! It takes your own drive and determination to be successful and happy doing what you love! It takes a great leader and organization to harness that motivation and initiative in their people and make it work! really great post! Those that are unhappy will not magically become happy if the upper echelon throws motivation in their face!

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Hi, Cruz, thank you very much for stopping by and taking the time for reading. I appreciate your comment a lot. It sums up the message very well. Yes, we may need some inspiration or encouragement from outside but the reason we feel motivated, excited, enthusiastic, and determined to go for whatever we do needs to come from within. The bait only works until it is eaten…
Again, thank you very much, Cruz!

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Well said Erika, its a two way streak so to speak.. And while its good to feel motivated it shouldn’t be a driving force or used as a reward for the end product.. For then as you said its manipulation into getting others to achieve something you want.
I see this in the shops.. Buy One and get second at half price . or extra bonus points if you spend over a certain amount- often more than you would have otherwise.. etc.. just two examples of a manipulate motivation to buy more.
Yet real motivation comes from that inner drive that tells you something is right to pursue.. And also as you stated in that lovely quote from Maya Angelou, you can always change your attitude to that which you cannot change.
I also think its our perception too… We often look at different things from our own personal view points, not all see what motivates us in our various goals in life because they can not see from our perspective. So how others are motivated to achieve one thing perhaps doesn’t motivate another because we are looking at the same thing from totally different angles.
A great thought provoking post Erkia..
And I dear friend am always motivated by your thoughts πŸ™‚ You and I are often on similar wave lengths in our thought process and I loved reading this today.
Now to go to your link which you wrote last week.. ❀ Hugs

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Sue, whatever I have not mentioned in the post, you completed it with your comment. What you said here is exactly how I feel about it. And the examples with the sale’s tricks are exactly what mirrors the meaning of what I wanted to say.
I also love what you said about the different ways people become or don’t become motivated. Absolutely! That’s why some are only satisfied once they climbed the Mount Everest while others want to write books or build houses, or raise plants. The motivational aspects are as individual as we are. You cannot get me in motion with money in case I cannot identify with what I had to do for it. But if I am excited about a specific task I’d do it for free.
Yes, we definitely have the same wave lenth and this is amazing to recognize every time again we read each other’s posts.
Feel strongly hugged, Sue πŸ’–

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I see this in two ways, Erika.
One as you mention the importance to find our own motivation inside ourselves.
Another how to be motivational to fx employers, who need a kind of kick to get started.
Our own way of viewing this seem to be the most important.

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HI Erika:
Quote – “I often hear about how companies should make it an effort to motivate their employees or to provide conditions to motivate their personnel” I think this is a misinterpretation of the meaning of the word β€œmotivation”.

I don’t understand what aspect of this is misinterpretation of “motivation” to you. Having worked with a small staff, I would suggest that motivation is exactly would should be acknowledged, both for productivity and for the employees personal job satisfaction. I do not acknowledge money as a true motivator because the effect is short lived, but helping the employee to understand the ramifications of their responsibility (and therefore receive positive feedback when appropriate) is surely motivational. In fact I would suggest that simply acknowledging good work is motivational. Acknowledging input at decisive moments is motivational.

I think it fair to say that we are all “wired” to appreciate compliments and, in a work setting, it means so much to just be told that you are providing a necessary/valued service. We all have a “need to be needed” and an employee that feels that their contribution is valued will generally be a very productive employee!

Just some thoughts. πŸ™‚

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Hi, Colin. I agree about companies should provide conditions for their employees to enjoy coming to work. But what I see that is done has not much to do with their work. However, this was only the inspiration which led to the post.
Motivation is necessary to see through and beyond tough situations in order to make it through but it should not be seen like a tool of manipulation. That’s basically it.

Liked by 2 people

I totally agree that manipulation should not be a tool, but motivation from an exterior source is quite legitimate. i.e. We are not totally dependant on our own motivation. There are quite acceptable “outside” influences … such as bloggers commenting on each other’s blogs! We may well be self motivated to start a blog, but surely it is the ongoing interactions that maintain that momentum. πŸ™‚

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It is our attitude that counts. We don’t need to wait to be motivated to do something, like you stated, if you have a meaningful reason and understand why you are doing what you are doing, then that is motivating in itself. This is a refreshing reminder post! Conquering the day! Thank you, Erika!

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Yes, exactly, Sylvester. Motivation should actually seen as a reminder itself what I am doing it for and generate the power to keep the eyes on it and hang in! Thank you very much for this comment which sums it up exactly how it was meant!

Liked by 1 person

You’re welcome, Erika. When it comes to motivation there are so many interpretations, but I understand completely where you are coming from here. Stay inspired!

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