Self-determination theory can be termed as a theory of motivation. It explains our inner ability to behave in healthy and responsible ways through the use of intrinsic motivations. Self-determination theory can be further explained as the ability of a person to take control over his or her own life. Human beings are motivated by two types of motivation which are intrinsic and extrinsic and all are within human being. A living human being experiences challenges that affect his psyche and psychology but it is through self-determination that one is able to overcome the psychological factors that have the likelihood to increase stress and lower the motivation of the person. The theory argues that a determined individual will be able to condition his mind in overcoming stressful situations by being determined to do so. This theory became more popular with researchers Edward Deci and Richard Ryan in the 1980s. Over time it has been refined and developed by other scholars but it is Deci and Richard Ryan who introduced it as a theory. Self-determination theory efficiently explains human motivation in different angles and viewpoints. Human motivation is an important aspect because it helps the individual perform maximally in any activities he is involved in. Motivation is the innate desire to achieve a particular objective. This paper looks at the various ways in which self-determination theory explains human motivation.
Self-determination theory effectively explains human motivation by looking at the factors within the individual that are innate in nature. These are things that an individual would like to have in order to feel good. When an opportunity presents itself, the person involved will be motivated to take up challenges that guarantee a solution to the innate needs that are different among human beings. Diverse things and goals motivate different people.
Human beings are always in need of competence. They are motivated to achieve competence in every activity they encounter in their day to day life. They feel that they are capable of producing great results and are determined to achieve the competence they yearn for. The burning desire to achieve competence is premised on the self-determination. Human beings believe that they have the mental attitude to achieve their goals. The happiness that comes with being competent shapes the mental setup of an individual into believing that they can achieve their best results. The desire is from within the individual and not motivated by outside factors or other individuals. When individuals engage in activities to improve their competence or to achieve their competence ideals, they are motivated by an inherent desire to do so and not necessarily any token coming from other individuals. The individuals are self-motivated to achieve their goals. Self-determination theory explains that individuals get highly motivated when they have a burning internal wish of competence that they want to achieve. For example, the act of a traffic police officer deciding not to be corrupt when on duty is guided by the internal desire to be competent in the line of duty.
People are motivated to make choices without external influence. Self-determination theory puts it that human beings always have an innate need to be recognized as authentic and correct. The internal need to be correct within the society in which the individual lives in is self-motivating in nature. Human beings that are really determined to be collected on their daily activities experience an internal motivation that is not perpetrated by external factors. This motivation is not easily destroyed by the negativity that comes from outside.
Human beings have basic psychological needs that must be satisfied and they are usually highly motivated if they feel that these needs will be satisfied by their actions. It is the realization of these psychological needs that keep the individuals highly motivated despite the challenges experienced in the process. The psychological need of relatedness will make the individual feel motivated into doing what he feels will help him build relationships with other human beings. People who are self-determined according to self-determination theory when they feel that their action will help them create a positive relationship with friends, family and other persons that they live together with.
Self-determination theory argues that human beings have a naturally occurring intrinsic motivation to seek out new possibilities and challenges that make life better. A person who is intrinsically motivated will work hard and feel motivated to handle a particular new challenge even without the motivation from the outside. Intrinsic motivations keep the mental focus on the overall goals as opposed to giving up when faced by lack of motivation from friends and colleagues. Self-Determination theorists Deci and Ryan put it that human beings are inherently proactive even without compulsion. Being inherently proactive helps an individual to work towards achieving of goals he feels motivated about. It is the self-motivation that is premised on self-determination theory that motivation that keeps the individual working hard and still maintaining the required mental discipline and focus.
Every individual has life goals on which they are willing to do anything to achieve. These life goals may include wealth and personal development. One would be motivated to work toward these goals from within. The mental state of that individual is set to always motivate the individual when an opportunity arises in which he or she can be able to work toward the attainment of these goals. Self-determination theory asserts that the individual is easily motivated towards a particular activity if he has a positive attitude towards that activity that comes from within as opposed to other forms of motivation like a salary. It is the self-determination to achieve the life goals set by an individual that keeps a person even more motivated. Lack of interest in something affects the determination of an individual's towards it and in return, there is less motivation to participate in such an activity. These life goals are only within the individual and it is his feelings towards the goals that are important. Another person might not view such goals as equally important thus feel less motivated towards them.
In conclusion self-determination theory capitalizes on an individual's personal drive as opposed to external drive. It is the personal drive that acts as the source of motivation in a person's life. If the drive comes from within then the individual feels the burning desire and restless whenever a situation presents itself that guarantees that the desires of his heart will be realized. When undertaking an activity that one desires or that leads to the achievement of a goal that one loves, mindfulness becomes part of the person and they are motivated to do so. This motivation comes from within the individual as a result of inherent determination as explained by the self-determination theory.
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