Why Are Some Boomers Still Struggling?

Let’s figure out why some people haven’t realized the success they desire.

Some people just have it all. You know that person. They’ve got their stuff together. They’re out there making waves, breaking glass ceilings, and are doers. They simply get stuff done and make no bones about what’s important to them. They are successful.

How they find their motivation? Do you know why they’re motivated to implement and succeed while you’re others are  not? Do you know what they went through to get to where they are?

Let’s look at potential motivational blocks the average person experiences, and then we’ll discover ways to get through them. But first, let’s look at the study of motivation and motivational theory.

Old School Motivational Theory

It can help to look at some research from the study of motivational theory. Understanding the research on motivation can help you to understand your life and actions better. When you understand this scientific work and relate it to yourself,  you can better understand how motivation works for you and how to get motivated any time you need it.

There are essentially four basic thoughts regarding motivation.

  1. Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs
  2. Herzberg’s Dual-Factor Theory
  3. McClelland’s “The Need for Achievement”
  4. Vroom’s Expectancy Theory of Motivation

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

Abraham Maslow created a motivation model that states individuals are motivated by different types of needs depending on how pressing they are. For example, before one can worry about their self-esteem or do what they love they must first satisfy the basic needs of hunger, safety, and affection.

In other words, if you’re struggling to live safely, and keep food on the table, it’s going to be very hard for you to feel successful or reach for more because you’re just scrapping at the bottom. It’s not easy to save for a rainy day if every day there is a storm. It’s important to be able to differentiate needs vs. wants and to understand where you are on the spectrum.

Herzberg’s Dual-Factor Theory

This theory says there are two factors in the workplace and life that cause you to be satisfied or dissatisfied and that each is completely independent of each other. For example, if you have a job that makes you feel useful, your employer is kind and appreciates you, but you aren’t paid much, you can still be satisfied. However, you could make a ton of money, be treated poorly and be miserable. Money doesn’t always equate to success, depending upon the situation. That’s why it’s important to define what success means to you.

McClelland’s “The Need for Achievement”

According to McClelland, every individual has a unique need for achievement. The reward should be structured for the individual. Not everyone has a need to be publicly recognized, for example. For some, knowing that if they succeeded, they would be in the public eye (even just among co-workers) would lower their motivation to achieve.

He also believed that everyone had different needs and wants based on where they were in life, similar to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. However, McClelland believed that we all have three motivators in life: The need for achievement, the need for affiliation and the need for power. We are usually dominant in only one of these areas and that drives us. For example, if you are “affiliation” dominant, you want to belong to the group, be liked, prefer collaboration, and don’t like uncertainty or high-risk situations.

Vroom’s Expectancy Theory of Motivation

Vroom believed that every human wants to minimize pain and maximize pleasure and that increased effort will lead to increased performance and thus more motivation because the more you experience success the more you want success. But, not everyone has the right skills, resources, or support in life to experience these things. Therefore, the ability to identify what is missing and can fill that missing piece of the puzzle will create more success and thus m more motivation.

You must know what works for you, why it works for you, and how to repeat it when you need it to build more motivation toward reaching your goals and experiencing success. Discovering the roadblocks, you set up for yourself, or that another person has placed in your path, and how to overcome them will set you up for the success you desire.

You can read a lot more about these motivational theories on this Lecture from Stuart-Kotze in the UK

More to follow

Kerri