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Motivation for Change #310449
08/16/13 07:08 PM
08/16/13 07:08 PM
Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 5,072
SW Chicago 'burbs
Mark1952 Offline OP
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Mark1952  Offline OP
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Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 5,072
SW Chicago 'burbs
Motivation and Change

There are different motivating factors for each of us and while any given one among us might be uniquely motivated by something specific to ourselves, motivations fall into some pretty basic categories.

Reward As Motivation

This really breaks down into two subcategories.
1) The action or change itself is its own reward
2) We receive a reward once the act or change is completed

Both of these motivators are strong in that we are willing to invest almost anything if the reward/payoff is big enough at some personal level. The second is usually why most of us end up going to work day after day and repeat the same things repeatedly, even though the action or event itself is not always enjoyable. It is why we stay in marriage that doesnt give us something yet we keep hoping it will happen someday if we just put enough into the relationship to keep it going long enough. The longer we go without a reward, the less motivation it becomes for us to continue to act until the return on investment is finally outweighed by failure to get our reward. Often, we actively seek other investments that hold greater payoff or we find ourselves no longer making any or only the minimal of investments needed to sustain our current level of satisfaction.

When what we do is its own reward, that is, we enjoy the act itself, we return to those types of actions time after time. They become habits that we seldom even think about and simply do because they pay us back immediately as we do them. This is the biggest of all motivations for doing anything. It is instant gratification just to act and so we act in order that we can gain the reward of doing it.

Fear As Motivation

Fear also has multiple levels or subcategories.
1) Threats to safety and wellbeing
2) Fear of loss of something we value
3) Fear of failure
4) Fear of being left without a reward.

The fourth motivates us by speaking to what we expect in return. We do something because we want something. The problem with this as motivation for long-term change is that if what we get is not sufficient even fearing the loss of the reward become a de-motivator. If it isnt worth the effort, why bother to try? If we struggle for a while and do NOT get our reward, then not getting a possible reward can no longer motivate us to change or do anything.

The third can motivate us to keep trying long after we have proof we have failed. We try harder. We try different. We try new and stronger or more emphatic. We try what people tell us to try. We try everything and then try it again in case timing was our problem. What we end up doing is becoming a true codependent, finding our worth and value in what someone else or others see in us. Admitting we failed or screwed up does not come easily but if we believe others will see us poorly if we give up, we go on long beyond what is healthy or can actually change our life in ways that will make it better. We get tied up in a routine of doing things because we think other people will think less of us if we stop trying. Seldom do we even know that what we have been doing actually matters, we are changing to reflect what others might think and feel rather than doing what we know will make our situation and ourselves better.

The second is a powerful motivation, at least at first. It is often what makes us begin to change. It starts to break down because the farther we have to go to reach our goal, the more we demand resolution. We can work harder all week so we can go on vacation next week, but if they cancel vacations before we leave on Friday, extra effort isnt going to be our mantra on Monday morning. If we stand to lose something, it can get us working harder to find a way to keep it, but our own expectations start to make it harder to keep going.

The first boils down to self-preservation and survival. It is that fight or flight response and it always motivates us to become self protective and self serving. We might respond in a way that looks like we are becoming more cooperative with the source of our threats, but we are really just playing along to find a way out. This is the kind of motivation that if left unchecked in isolation long enough leads to being physically assaulted, murdered or turning into a homicidal abuse victim.

While all of the threats might motivate us personally as individuals, because each threat must be followed through with actual action, it becomes a pretty weak way to motivate others. In some cases, they simply walk away. In other cases, they fight back. In some cases, they string us along while plotting revenge for feeling threatened. Threats dont motivate real changes. They simply motivate self-protective responses, some of which MIGHT be submission for a time, fighting or fleeing to get away. Using threats as motivation means the threat must remain or be cranked up a notch every time you seek to motivate the person. It keeps YOU responsible for their changes and what they do.

And it makes you a bully...

The most powerful of all motivations is when the act or change we make leads directly to our own reward for doing it. As motivation for someone else, it is also the most likely to get that person to change. A promise of reward, not determined by the one doing the motivating but by the one being rewarded, can often get a person to at least give it a try. If they do in fact find that the action or activity is rewarding for them, they immediately seek ways to reproduce those feelings and so repeat it time after time. The thing about this is that they must first find their own motivation for trying it out. You cant FORCE someone else to enjoy something or they will be highly unlikely to actually find it enjoyable.

To PROMISE reward and then not deliver, removes the promise of reward as motivation. Not only can you never leverage to change anything by offering reward once you have failed to deliver what the one you are trying to motivate might expect, even by delivering LESS than what they expect, but reward as motivation, even self motivation by self reward shuts down as long as it involves you.

When you are trying to get someone else to change, follow the natural hierarchy of what motives him or her to change.
1) Involve them in the process of finding rewards that you can then be involved in.
2) Offer reward for change but always allow them to determine what the reward is to be and never fail to deliver what you promised.
3) Withhold reward for failing to change, but without making threats of punishment since threats always trigger self-serving responses.
4) Appeal to ethical identity. Encourage success as what you seek and maybe even elaborate on what failure might look like.
5) Remove yourself from the relationship until change takes place. It is only actually fear of loss of something of value, if there is value to yourself in their eyes. Either make yourself more valuable first or if it comes down to this kind of motivation, dangle other things like things you can actually remove like retirement accounts, additional equity in the house, more child support or spousal support to reduce income etc. Everybody has one of these high value things and it might, as a last resort, motivate a person to reconsider what he or she might be doing.

Never

Let me say that again

NEVER threaten the wellbeing or the physical safety of the person you wish to motivate. It NEVER lead to actual change, makes them even less likely to want to change and inevitably cause him or her to seek to escape.

In here is basis to try to change whatever you find needs to change in order to make your relationship of more value to you. What you seek is your own reward and therefore your motivation. It applies to getting more sex, buying a new car, stopping an unfaithful spouse from continuing an affair and getting the kids to go to bed before the 11 oclock news is over. WHAT motivates each person is what is unique, but the kinds of motivations always follow a predictable pattern. Use the strongest motivations to make the most impact, but understand that threats of any kind rapidly become self-defeating.

Punishment and revenge do not lead to real and sustainable change. Reward or no reward is a strong motivation but punitive actions make the reward less inviting and almost never actually get you what you want. If you use a reward/punishment model to motivate someone, you will get submission in your presence and a strong urge to avoid being in your presence that will eventually win the day. If you require revenge for not getting what you want or for being wronged by the person, you will forever be responsible for any change that appears by keeping the threat alive. Eventually you will be tested and unless you actually follow through, you are no longer able to motivate at all. When you actually engage in threatened actions, you are pretty much done as motivator for the person you have been trying too influence.


mark1952.ma@gmail.com

I Was Thinking...

The secret to having a good marriage is to understand that marriage must be total, it must be permanent, and it must be equal.-- Frank Pittman
Re: Motivation for Change [Re: Mark1952] #341542
03/25/14 01:28 PM
03/25/14 01:28 PM
Joined: Feb 2011
Posts: 1,398
T
TC_Manhattan Offline
Member
TC_Manhattan  Offline
Member
T
Joined: Feb 2011
Posts: 1,398
Mark, thank you for this.

This is just what I needed to read in dealing with a bully situation at work.
Perfect timing! Thanks again.

Re: Motivation for Change [Re: TC_Manhattan] #341591
03/25/14 05:40 PM
03/25/14 05:40 PM
Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 17,282
The Castle Aaaggghh...
herfuturesbright Offline
Member
herfuturesbright  Offline
Member
Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 17,282
The Castle Aaaggghh...
Quote:
While all of the threats might motivate us personally as individuals, because each threat must be followed through with actual action, it becomes a pretty weak way to motivate others. In some cases, they simply walk away. In other cases, they fight back. In some cases, they string us along while plotting revenge for feeling threatened. Threats dont motivate real changes. They simply motivate self-protective responses, some of which MIGHT be submission for a time, fighting or fleeing to get away. Using threats as motivation means the threat must remain or be cranked up a notch every time you seek to motivate the person. It keeps YOU responsible for their changes and what they do.

And it makes you a bully...

The most powerful of all motivations is when the act or change we make leads directly to our own reward for doing it. As motivation for someone else, it is also the most likely to get that person to change.


For a variety of reasons, this struck me as especially wise and beneficial.

Re: Motivation for Change [Re: TC_Manhattan] #341594
03/25/14 06:43 PM
03/25/14 06:43 PM
Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 5,072
SW Chicago 'burbs
Mark1952 Offline OP
Board of Directors
Mark1952  Offline OP
Board of Directors
Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 5,072
SW Chicago 'burbs
TC,

You're welcome.

This is related to that TFAR deal I posted about elsewhere.

Our Thoughts determine our feelings which lead us into action which gives us certain results. Our results then modify our thoughts which lead us to reexamine our feelings which causes us to act differently and get different results.

We get stuck when our thoughts and feelings cause us to repeat the same actions and get the same results but if what we get as results are what we want, we don't have to change very much to get it. It is when we get results we don't like that we need to change how we think about the problem in order to overcome our feelings and act in a different way to achieve results that are more rewarding. This in turn reinforces our thoughts, enhances our feelings and causes us to move the new direction because we are getting what we need and want.

When training a horse, the simplest correction is usually the most effective. I apply pressure and the horse responds. To achieve what I want and expect, I must be consistent in delivering my cues so that he knows what I expect and can respond the way I want him to respond.

At first, he doesn't know what I expect and so resists my pressure to move a certain way. If I pull, he pulls back. He weighs 900 to 1400 pounds. I weigh just under 200. I can't win that tug of war. I can't MAKE him do anything unless he agrees to do it. Whatever I supply as motivation must somehow be connected in his mind (yes, horses have a good deal of cognitive ability) so he thinks about what I am doing and figures out what I want him to do.

If I am consistent, I can reach a point of being able to apply slight pressure to his left hip to get him to move his back end a step to the right. But how can he know that is what I mean? I don't speak horse and he doesn't speak people very well either.

The way it works is that I apply pressure and he moves away from that pressure, which in this case, is exactly what I want him to do. The instant (that split second when he begins to move the way I want him to) I release the pressure. If I am consistent, my with pressure and the release, it doesn't take that long for him to understand that my pressure on his left hip means I want him to move his butt to the right. Soon, I can get him to turn about his front by moving his back end around in a circle by giving him one step at a time with pressure and a release.

Now, when I put pressure on his right hip, he figures it out faster and my work is easier. Before long he will walk around in a circle, moving his front legs only enough to keep from twisting himself into a knot and falling down. His back legs will propel him around, with each touch of his hip telling him to take another step.

Now, once he knows that pressure means move and pressure on his hip means move away (a natural instinct anyway) and he can repeat it at will, I might be ready to keep more constant pressure on him to tell him to keep moving around until I stop the pressure. Mixed with other subtle cues like the reins touching his neck on the opposite side and gently pulling the bit the same direction I am trying to get him to turn, he learns that I want him to move both ends in the same direction, clockwise or counter clockwise. Before you know it, he is spinning in circles or stepping sideways with his legs crossing in front of and behind each other.

At no time do I have to punish him for not getting it right or for having a lazy response instead of doing what I want from him. I return to the basics time after time so that he understands that I will apply pressure to get him to respond a certain way and as soon as he does, I will release that pressure so he is immediately rewarded for his response.

Eventually, most horses begin to look forward to the performance you want from them. They want to participate because they enjoy the time you spend with them because they accept you as a partner and leader. They feel safe, know you are not a threat and know what to expect from you as well as knowing what you expect from them.

As prey animals in nature, horses have as their most important need that of safety. They will not let themselves be in a situation in which they feel unsafe even for comfort, water, food or other more basic needs. So anything they feel as threatening they will seek to avoid or get way from. You can't entice a horse to follow you into a dark confined space with food until he knows that he will be safe by doing it.

People are predators. We smell like what we eat, which is meat. We also demonstrate a predatory mind set in that we approach what we want confidently most of the time and try to take it. We sneak up on the unsuspecting and hide our true intentions to make our unsuspecting victims more willing to let us approach. A horse, being at the other end of the food chain recognizes our behavior at once and will not willingly let us be in control of things without some sort of escape plan being considered. This signals that we are a threat to a prey animal because animals that act this way are trying to get you to come to lunch. Just walking up to a horse in his blind spot and touching him from behind can get you a ride in an ambulance and maybe a hearse. Surprises are not a very good way to motivate most of the time.

Because horses are bigger than people, they have ways to protect themselves from anyone they feel is a threat. They can pull away, run away, kick, buck, and make their own threatening gestures to get you to back off and leave them alone. If you punish a horse, he simply avoids letting you get close enough to inflict harm, though removing or not giving a reward or treat can sometimes make him think about his responses and respond differently. So, withholding reward might be enough motivation (like continuing the pressure until he moves the right way) but if that is all you do, it won't get much traction in his thinking. The reward is the motivation for repeating it, not the loss of reward for not getting it right.

Another top need for horses is having fun. They will play games when left to their own devices as a group. It is easy to spot one horse chasing another, but is sometimes more subtle to realize that they might at times take turns chasing each other or that one will chase the rest a while and then a second will take a turn doing the chasing. If you leave a bucket where they can reach it, they will carry it around,. If you give them a ball, they will eventually start kicking it about. We had a horse at the barn who would pick the lid off of the garbage can and throw it down the aisle like a Frisbee. If he could reach the lid, he threw it down the aisle. If you put it back, he thew it again. If you put him in the arena with the other horses and left the can where he could reach over the gate to get the lid, you could expect the lid to be hitting you in the ankles when you turned your back on it. The solution was to move the can where he couldn't reach it. Had I wanted to teach him to pay Frisbee, I might have had other options.

So, some things can be made fun enough so the horse looks forward to doing it and the activity itself becomes enough reward so the horse and rider both benefit and both want to repeat the same thing again and again. Now is when those subtle cues really start to pay off because as the horse starts to enjoy being ridden and the rider gains even more confidence that the horse will respond the right way, a sort of relationship occurs where both of them are rewarded by different aspects of the same event.

And none of this happens overnight.


mark1952.ma@gmail.com

I Was Thinking...

The secret to having a good marriage is to understand that marriage must be total, it must be permanent, and it must be equal.-- Frank Pittman

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