Or should we discuss lack of motivation? haha

Biologically, people are motivated by emotional responses to stimuli in the environment. This can also be a peron’s internal environment e.g., sensations of hunger or thirst motivate action to eat or drink (water, recommended). Below are some Theories of Motivation that you may like to research for your own benefit and understanding:

  • Intrinsic Motivation & Extrinsic Motivation.
  • Achievement Motivation.
  • Incentive Motivation.
  • Fear Motivation.
  • Power Motivation.
  • Affiliation & Social Motivation.
  • Competence & Learning Motivation.
  • Expectancy Theory of Motivation.

I think some of the many complexities that de-motivate us – or keep us ‘stuck’ – include:

  • Fear – this may be disguised as “laziness”
  • Overwhlem – also may be disguised as “laziness”. Have you ever noticed that when we have many options to choose from, it can be difficult to make a decision? This can be because we want to make the “most effective” choice which has a paralysis effect.
  • Self-motivation can be a tricky one because, often, we’re only accountable to ourselves, and we can “get away with” letting ourselves down. This does not promote healthy self-esteem. Self-esteem might be something worth talking about in therapy. I have my own theories on self-motivation involving thresholds of contrasting or conflicting motivators [nothing new I’m sure]. A basic example: You are motivated to get out of bed in the morning because you have things you’d like to do but you are also motivated to stay in bed because it’s warm, comfortable and you are still tired. This = internal conflict. The strongest threshold will produce action.
  • Self-efficacy (aka. expectency) i.e., the belief that you can or cannot do something.
  • Your values and life standards.
  • It’s comfortable in the ‘comfort zone’.
  • Lack of energy.
  • Lack of understanding and resources.
  • Lack of purpose, direction or meaning … and many more.

Follow the link below and have a read —

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From skill to will: From learning to motivation

The process [of motivation] does not end with skill and knowledge acquisition. Research shows there is a cycle that operates such that learning (‘skill’) fosters subsequent motivation (‘will’) (Martin, 2007, 2009, 2010; Pintrich, 2000), as demonstrated in Figure 2. For example, self-belief is likely to be enhanced (or sustained) when students acquire academic knowledge and academic skill. Similarly, students who are learning tend to value school and school subjects more than students who are not learning. Moreover, when students feel on top of their learning, they tend to be less anxious and have a greater sense of control. In all these cases, learning has enhanced students’ academic motivation.


The learning process can be characterised as one in which students move from ‘will’ to ‘skill’. Educational and cognitive psychologies have contributed much to our understanding of how students learn and how to move them towards independent discoverers via teacher-led explicit and structured instruction. When students have academic will and skill, their educational journey is much more enjoyable and successful.

The author of ‘From Skill to Will’ would like to thank the Australian Research Council for funding the research program informing this article and Professor John Sweller for comments on an earlier draft.

The author can be contacted at [email protected] and from January 2014 at [email protected].

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