An order does not boost motivation

It is often been thought that being obliged to do something, as in the simplest case executing an order, boosts motivation. It clearly seems true after a superficial analysis, but in the end being motivated is really far from executing an order. In other words, the result of execution may look the same, but the causes, cognitive process and the long-term effects are very different.

Diapositiva1Starting with the discussion about causes, being forced to do something triggers a reaction more than an action. In this case, action is due to a response of “doing” but it has birth in a passive situation. Motivation is more than waiting for an input that becomes an answer; motivation is the push toward actions, it is an internal drive. Obviously when you are not forced to do something, emotions linked to this  are positive ones; in fact also emotions cognitive process leads to opposite poles in two situations because motivation is linked with positive attitude and mood that are not present in case of being subject to an order. Many times cognitive answers  trigger negative reactions and they are accompanied with lot of stress. As previously mentioned, emotions and  reactions are not visible by external observers, but clearly are different.  Even long term effects of obligation and motivation are different; in this case are more visible also by an external observer. Specifically, we say that being motivated allows to maintain a constant level of performance and reliability; at the contrary responses to external inputs not ensure same level of readiness and performance;  at the contrary  are characterized by more fluctuations.

This post has been only a sketch and situation is far more complicate, but here’s what it’s like the difference between being motivated and  waiting passively for actions.


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