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You may have a strong skill set and all the advantages of career successes alongside plenty of people eager to help and support you in your quest for change, but motivation remains a door locked from the inside. No one can want you into doing something other than yourself. If you're to succeed, it will be because you want to and commit yourself fully. 

Motivation to Remain 

Conversley, you cannot want someone else into doing something; to be more ambitious, to finish the project or to run a marathon - they need to possess and invigorate their own convictions. Some people may well find themselves happy with the job they already have and are living life as they want to live it. They don't want change and they don't seek difference. Their motivation is to stay with what they have. 

Motivation to Change 

Many are ambitious for the next move: more responsibilities, greater power, better working conditions, more money. Motivation is the energy you can work to extract from inside yourself, subsequently catalysing your work ethic and propelling you to create goals and achieve them.

Some people find it easy to staty motivated, to learn new skills and put themselves in an unfamiliar situation in which they might not be the most knowledgeable or comfortable person in the room. They’re motivated to learn more and do more,  rather than finding themselves in a position of complacency. If this is harder for you, don't despair - with hard work and by creating positive habits, you can strike motivational oil within your own reserves.

Motivation to Avoid 

A different kind of motivation is one where the impetus is to get away from something you wish to avoid. For example, if someone’s main interest in a potential role is because they hate where they are working now and they want to leave, then their motivation will not be as strong and focused as someone who is fired up by the new opportunity. This may also begat decisions not quite as wise and considered as with more positive motivations.

Motivation and Directional Attitudes 

Positive people are likely to have a ‘towards’ attitude - one that is driving you towards something that is life enhancing. You could be working in this job because you want to be the Chairman or because you want to make a capital profit. You might be doing it because it gives you a great work-life balance, making you happier and healthier. These potential exciting benefits are positive drivers for people that propel them to success. 

On the other hand, ‘away from’ people are motivated by a desire to avoid something. They could be working to avoid the alternative, which is not being able to afford the lifestyle of their choice, or they could be avoiding the risk of doing something that they might prefer as they don’t want to fail. 

Many people stick in the job they’re doing as they don't want to risk rejection at the interview stage, or they may fear failure in a new role, not wanting to expose themselves to that risk. ‘Away from’ people can be perceived to be negative by their more buoyant and positive colleagues, and yet their caution can sound alerts about possible traps and pitfalls ahead. 


Uncertainty and avoidance are unlikely to lead to major transformational wins. For this to happen there has to be clarity, focus and an absolute determination to succeed. Take the opportunity to examine key areas of your life and decide those that you approach with a ‘towards’ attitude and those that you approach with an ‘away from’ attitude. Then ask yourself:

“Is this the best approach and, if not, how can I change it?”