Your Professional Activity… What is it Motivated by?
Enthusiasm, an emotion of joy and glee, can be fed or can dwindle like a straw fire, proportionally to the motivation to act in general. To be motivated to work, the action of doing this work must produce emotions. Fear, envy, amazement and gratitude are four main emotions which act on our work motivation.
Motivation by Fear
When one is under threat of being beaten up or killed, one is motivated to work because this fear is felt. This situation is akin to slavery. Unfortunately, slavery has not disappeared: many workers across the globe still work under the rule of fear. However, fear can also demotivate when the fear itself is created by the work conditions or the other people that one meets in the course of a day at work. For example, if one asks a worker to operate on a construction site where safety measures are grossly insufficient, this worker can lose all desire to go to work. Similarly, an office worker who feels fear caused by the presence of a coworker or boss can become averse to return to work.
Motivation by Eagerness
When one receives promises of rewards which send glimmers of hope that some desires will be met or, when one wants to reach a certain rank within a category of persons doing the same activity, one is motivated to move upward driven by eagerness. For example in sales jobs, the hope for a bonus, a travel or any other rewards and/or the hope to be recognized for being the best motivates sales representatives to work harder. Eagerness generates a mercenary spirit under which all that matters is the expected reward or ranking. However, eagerness can also demotivate to work, if an employee considers their treatment to be insufficient compared to colleagues.
Motivation by Amazement
When one is under a spell of wonder for one’s craft, for one’s boss or for one’s colleagues, one can feel being a part of a quality endeavor, of excellence or beauty, and one can be motivated to contribute to accomplish it. This amazement can engender an artisan spirit. On the other hand, if one does not have admiration for one’s work, for one’s boss or colleagues because they are no longer highly motivated themselves, one can lose all motivation from not being on track to contribute to something perceived to be of value.
Motivation by Gratitude
When one experiences gratefulness towards one’s boss, or towards the people one works with, colleagues and clients, or if one feels one can give oneself through one’s occupation, by helping others and participating in a socially useful activity which increases the common good, one can be motivated to accomplish it. This gratefulness creates a spirit of volunteering. On the other hand, when one does not feel gratitude towards one’s boss or colleagues because they are not benevolent or they are not perceived to be purposeful, one can feel like one is not or no longer participating in a socially useful endeavor for the common good, and henceforth lose all motivation.
One thus notes that emotions, whether beneficial or not, have a role in getting us to act, because they are closely linked to “extraordinary” phenomena, literally, in the sens that they take us out of our ordinary considerations. For the 4 main emotions which act on our work motivation, these phenomena are:
- Danger: fear
- Obstacles: eagerness
- Perfection: amazement
- Gift: gratitude
Furthermore, not only do these 4 emotions act on our motivation, but they also lead to 4 different soul spirits at work:
- Fear generates the slave spirit
- Eagerness, that of the mercenary
- Amazement, that of the artisan
- Gratitude, that of the volunteer
Humans thus work for 4 different motives: to escape some danger, to overcome some obstacles, to accomplish something of perfection, or to make a gift to others. In other words, they work to stay alive, to make money, to create something of beauty, or to serve others. They work as slaves, mercenaries, artisans or volonteers.Social tagging: Mindfulness