what is your motivation in life?

Do you recognize the feeling of inner excitement? A sense of an emotional eruption, kind of like a huge wave clashing on ocean rocks, firstly nourishing its surface and slowly deepening into its inside areas. The act of creating and absorbing vital flow feels refreshing. It makes us alive. Most important, we establish purpose by getting closer to personal values, interest and talent. WELCOME TO CW #5: MOTIVATION!


Motivation. That is what we are in need of when carrying the desire of action, of putting something into practice. “Being motivated” implies proactive intentions and an act of endurance in order to experience effectiveness. Therefore it can be described as the sum of all intentions triggering readiness to act. As a result, we are motivated to perform actions when we strive to achieve aims. Hence, motivation emphasizes ambition and realization skills.

The term motivation derives from the Latin verb movere meaning to set sth. in motion, to activate or to move sth. In a natural way, it refers to an active and productive situation. Motivation is all about implementation. Its primary focus is to transform individual motifs into action. In other words, there is a personal demand for accomplishment and fulfillment. When talking about issues like these, we relate to the term volition.

The term volition has a wide historical background concerning its linguistics. Its etymological definition dates back to the Roman Catholic Western Europe, the Porto-Indo Europeans and the French. In order to make an approach more accessible, we will first have a look on its Latin derivation volō, meaning to wish, to want, to mean or to intend. Beyond that, since the early 17th century it has been translated from French as volition, referring to will and willingness.

Volition is the cognitive process of denoting a decision or choice made after deliberation. In science it has been characterized as a conscious and intentional implementation of targets and motifs since the early 20th century. Furthermore its focal point bases on outcome achievements by targeted control and coordination of thoughts, emotions, motifs and actions. Consequently, its most important effect is the paradigm of self-control or self-regulation. What is more, it involves overcoming strategies for the purpose of breaking down inner as well as outer resistance, for instance during phases of reluctance or distraction through willpower.

Talking about motivation and volition may create an irritation concerning its distinction. What exactly is the difference between motivation and volition? According to Joseph LeDoux the term motivation can merely be described as striving for aspirations. Whereas the actual implementation of motifs and targets requires further self-regulating processes. Among others, Narziß Ach, Albert Bandura and Frederick Kanfer made an important and fundamental contribution in regards to self-regulating theories and the differentiation between volition and motivation. The following illustration is based on scientific findings of researchers listed above and efforts of integration by Prof. Waldemar Pelz, leading authority at the Institute of Innovation-Management in Germany (THM, Technische Hochschule Mittelhessen). The image will help provide clarification with the terms motivation and volition.


As can be seen from the above figure, the action of motivation and volition is strictly separated, though the one cannot survive without the other. More precise, without motivation there is no volition, therefore no action and no outcome!

Another important aspect when talking about motivation theory is the distinction between extrinsic and intrinsic motivation (also shown in image). Meaning that, extrinsic motivation is based on external goals, such as being motivated to work harder on the job in order to receive a salary increase. The motivational goal is connected primarily to the pay raise. Therefore it is managed and controlled by instructions and rewards. When speaking of extrinsic motivated actions we also relate to emotions like recognition, appreciation, acknowledgement and respect. At the same time, the meaning of compensation, punishment and reward represents relevant dependency factors. Whereas intrinsic motivation finds its incentive in the action itself. The honored behavioral scientists DECI & RYAN call this phenomenon COGNITIVE EVALUATION THEORY implying that the source of behavior is based on capacities of oneself. Their THEORY OF AUTONOMY is leading to the conclusion that intrinsic motivation is the only form of action reaching the true levels of self-realisation. 

Three main achievements of intrinsic motivated actions are the experience of autonomy, mastery and purpose. When talking about AUTONOMY we are referring to control expertise, such as managing your own time and decisions on what you do. MASTERY deals with coping strategies, for instance being able to use and improve skills that you enjoy. By trying to make a difference, or understanding that what you do has a real value, we are relating to PURPOSE. All three components have a significant effect on our levels of personal satisfaction and contentment. That is the reason why they play such an important role within self-fulfilling processes, and further PERSONAL GROWTH settings.

The American mythologist Joseph Campbell once said: “Follow your bliss”. Meaning: get to know your personal interests, your individual desires and future goals! Also, do NOT be afraid to follow your personal idea of contentment and satisfaction. At the end of the day, it is YOU having to deal with your individual journey called LIFE! This following little method might help as an assistance to identify your personal sense of interest and purpose.


  1. Think of your personal values. What is important to you in terms of your personal development? For instance, do you take responsibility for your own actions?

  2. Write down things you like to do. What catches your interest? Is there a passion for arts, sports, music, cooking, writing, handcrafting, debating, reading? Is there something you have already enjoyed doing since you were a child? Get into it!

  3. Name a few things you have always been good at. Anything! What is it, that you have been enjoying for years? Go back to your childhood. Sometimes even long forgotten abilities become essential.

When you are ready collecting all important information, find coherences in all three fields. The cross section of your listing is the result you want to focus on! Get your thoughts on this list. Try to establish your very own personal foundation. Working our way through the CAACTUS Effect we will do further process methods based on this list.

Now, I want you to have a wonderful calendar week #5, wishing you a motivated mind, being able to accomplish all your goals and desires for the next few days (and surely months)! Next week we are going to dig a little bit deeper talking about SOCIALIZATION. Make CA(A)CTUS the prick worth dealing with and feel its effect on YOU!