3 Types of Motivation


what really makes a person want to do something?
I’ve been pondering for over a week about this question. Oliver DeMille spoke about the 3 Types of Motivation some in the webinar I posted about previously and in a free audio I received with the webinar purchase titled “The 2 Hour Mentor”. “The 2 Hour Mentor” will be part of the new 7 Keys Certification that will be coming out soon.
I’ve also blogged about motivation before. Now I believe I’m getting a clearer picture of what these types of motivation are…a true “Ah-ha!” moment for me.
3 Types of Motivation
  1. The Carrot = Bribery
  2. The Stick = Force
  3. The Passion = Inspiration
The Carrot
I believe this type of motivation is far overused and very prominent in our modern day society. We see it all the time in the form of giving:
  • Points
  • Stickers
  • Prizes
  • Food
  • Privileges
  • Grades
Rewards. Bribes. Promises.
How sad it is that in order to get children to do chores or turn in assignments we resort to bribery? How long does the learning last when bribery is used? Typically one form of bribery becomes too routine and must be upgraded to or replaced by another form of bribery.
My in-laws would not let their sons get their driver’s license until they had received their Eagle Scout Award. This turned a rite of passage into a chore. My husband’s internal desire to achieve the award was squashed under the greater weight of his parent’s expectations and bribery. He did receive his Eagle, but when he looks at it he still feels the burden rather than the joy of the accomplishment.
The Stick
Opposite of the Carrot, we find the Stick a motivation by use of force. This type of motivation is still used today, but was probably more popular in generations past. It refers to the switch used to drive a horse or donkey.
We see this type of motivation in the form of:
  • Spankings
  • Taking away toys
  • Taking away privileges
  • Going to bed without dinner
  • Take away TV, video games, or friends
  • Verbal threats
Force. Coercion. Fear.
We feel the other person will not choose what we want them to do, so we find ways to scare, threaten, or punish them for not choosing it willingly. How long does the learning last when force is used? Typically only until the force is removed.
I experienced this type of system often. I even used it on my own children up until a few years ago. I took away privileges when children did not perform as expected. This creates anger between parent and child, or teacher and child. The child resents the punishments and will often lash out with more behavior that then gets punished, creating a vicious cycle of punishment/crisis. The loss of feelings of love and safety are another casualty to this type of motivation.
One of the least understood types of motivation is Passion. Why is this so little understood? I believe because our societal systems have relied so heavily on the former two, the idea of Passion through inspiration is a fairy tale. A myth. It can’t be real.
The questions become:
  • How does one gain inspiration?
  • How can one person inspire another?
  • If I don’t bribe or force, how will they learn?
We’ve rarely experienced it, so we don’t know how to recreate it. I believe all of us can, if we sit and ponder for awhile, remember times when we felt extremely passionate for something. Maybe we were determined to learn to ride a bike. Or, we desired more than anything to play a specific song on the piano, practicing for hours and hours on end until we mastered the piece. Think deeply. I know each of us can think of a few times in our lives when we felt that high level of passion for something.
I find these questions difficult myself. But, the “Ah-ha!” moment has impressed upon my mind the need…yes the vital importance…of getting away from The Carrot and The Stick to find out. I must stop these other forms of motivation in order to find The Passion. It is only once these two useless forms of motivation are removed that I can truly discover how to bring about Passion for the things that are true.
How long does the learning last when Passion is present?
Peace. Growth. Inspiration.

Posted in Motivation
2 comments on “3 Types of Motivation
  1. Mama Rachel says:

    How did you know I needed this right now??? Thanks for inspiring me, today, dear friend. 🙂

  2. This has been percolating in my mind for some time now. I just came to the conclusion that I must completely REMOVE the other two types of motivation for Passion and Inspiration to work. Truly a paradigm shift for me. I’m glad it spoke to you as well. 🙂

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