Motivation is Key: Baby Steps to Success

Are you frustrated because you know in your head you could achieve your goals, but your body doesn’t seem motivated to take the first step? Motivation is an important key to accomplishing our goals, yet for some it is hard to come by. Maybe, its the type of motivation that is standing in your way.

According to a modern interpretation of Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Motivational Needs, there are 8 tiers that must be satisfied to accomplish our goals. When the needs of a tier are not met, the person is not compelled to aim higher.

8 Tiers of Motivation

For example, Tier 1 represents Physiological Needs- hunger, thirst, and sex. Tier 2 is Safety- security, shelter, and stability. I am reminded of the financial crisis and obesity epidemic in America. When people feel their job is insecure, or their paycheck may not be enough, some people turn to food, alcohol, or pleasures. This may not satisfy Level 2 needs, but the mind believes something is better than nothing.

When work or home life is stressful, the motivation to socialize can be difficult to find- Tier 3. These people may choose either to hide away or alienate the ones they love. Without the support of friends and family, people often lose self-esteem which effects their mental health- Tier 4.

The motivation to learn or try new things- Tier 5- relies heavily on a personal sense of recognition. A person might be physically able to paint a beautiful picture- Tier 6- but all they see are the faults.

Ultimately, Maslow contends that people are motivated to reach for something important-a sense of purpose (Tier 7) and a connection to something greater than ourselves (Tier 8).

Baby Steps to Success

Laid out in simple terms and colorful diagrams it seems easy to understand these motivational needs, now its time to activate our motivation. Think of it like stepping over a speed bump. First we have to see the bump- identifying our successes and our short comings. Then we have to figure out how big or small the speed bump is- differentiating between healthy motivational needs and unhealthy thoughts. Finally we gather up our courage to step cross the speed bump- activating the motivation within ourselves to get to the other side. One foot in front of the other, baby steps all the way.