There are numerous motivational theories including McGregor theory of motivation; Maslow’s hierarchy of needs; Frederick Herzberg‘s two-factor theory but the best motivational theory is a “sincere words of appreciation”. I remember an ice breaker at a Toastmasters meeting, wherein the speaker shared his life story in 6 minutes and what left a marked impression on me and the speaker himself, were the words of appreciation given to him by his teacher in his early school days.
The story goes as such, the speaker was the worst student in his class, failing many times. During the forthcoming exams the class teacher was worried that due to this one student – the speaker, the class result would fail to be impeccable. However the student (Speaker) worked hard and managed to pass with flying colours. Now it such happened that the teacher used this student’s example to encourage students of other classes. “He is a true example of how hard work pays off; if he can do it, so can you.” This feedback of his was passed onto him (The Speaker) by a friend who happened to attend that class. The second hand feedback motivated the speaker to put in more hard work and excel thereafter and so he did. The second hand sincere words of motivation propelled the speaker because those simple and profound words became his internal voice that kept propelling him to perform and excel.
On the flip side I believe there is another kind of motivation that we generally find in sports or high impact events. The coach, mentor, trainer who propel and continue propelling the target to perform and excel. Having said that, this motivation is an external voice and your performance lasts up until you are being fed this motivation – unless the performer internalizes this voice. So is your motivation internal or external ?
Watch a brilliant piece on External voice… external motivation