The subject of motivation is a long, complex and incredibly interesting one. In fact, even defining what motivation is can be tric

The meaning of the word is derived from the verb ‘to move’, which suggests that motivation is all about action and drive. Yet in its purest form, we can also relate motivation to what gives our life meaning or to what we, personally, strive towards.


Current literature contains some great ideas on what people, generally, desire and there appear to be three common elements that keep cropping up. One of them is the need or drive for control within our own life. 


Control is sometimes also called ‘self-determination’. Or sometimes it’s labelled ‘autonomy’.


The concept of ‘control’ typically refers to our desire to be in charge of our own destiny, both in the future and on a daily basis. 


When this control is taken away from us, and things go wrong we are often left with a ‘victim mentality’. At least, if we make a bad decision then it was our own doing, and our own responsibility.


Self-responsibility is what is needed for people to make choices that create a good life for themself. 


Our sense of control is often taken away when we are not consulted about important decisions – be that at work or at home. When it feels like we have no say in what will happen or is occurring, or when someone deemed more expert tells us what to do without taking our feelings into account, we can feel bypassed and undervalued. This tends to create a sense of despondency and a lack of, well, motivation.


How can we regain self-determination? 


The solution lies in making our own decisions rather than looking to someone else to do so for us.


In the area of health and wellness this happens constantly. We know what we should eat, what we should (or shouldn't) drink, what's good for us, what's bad for us, what to avoid... yet, many people actually feel disempowered by this constant stream of advice. Sometimes even just plain confused.


The key is to spend quality time working out exactly what you want and why you want it. This will ensure you can make decisions that are based on knowledge and information. And if they don't work, then you can try something else, but along the way you will continually be taking responsibility for your life. And that will go a long way to keeping you motivated on track to achieve your goals – whatever they may be.


Responsibility simply means, ‘the ability to respond’ – which (accurately) suggests we have a choice in all matters! And with choice comes exactly we truly desire – an authentic sense of control.


Check out Part 2 of this article series on ‘The 3 Things That Drive Us’.