Motivation Examples

On this page you will discover some examples of motivation.

However, at the root of all of them is “pleasure” and “pain”.

You will always move towards what you define as being more pleasurable and move away from what you define as being more painful.

The keyword here is “define” as each person can choose what they believe will bring them more pleasure than pain.

For example…

The person who is willing to risk their life or bodily harm and go rock climbing defines that as pleasurable because they enjoy the adrenaline rush.

In other words, the idea of possibly getting injured (pain) is less than the desire for the sense of adventure and rush of adrenaline (pleasure).

See: What Is Motivation?

Examples of Motivation in Life

Here are some of the most common examples of motivation in life driven by pleasure:

  • Survival needs (food, shelter, clothing)
  • Accomplishment (school, career, sports, etc.)
  • Fun (partying, dancing, playing, beach, etc.)
  • Taste (food)
  • Curiosity (needing to know something)
  • Laughter (feeling uplifted)
  • Sex (dopamine release)
  • Drugs (dopamine release)
  • Money (the idea of freedom)
  • Social status (how you are seen by others)
  • Individuality (feeling special or unique)
  • Adventure (feeling of excitement)

Here are some of the most common examples of motivation driven by pain:

  • Fear of loss
  • Fear of rejection
  • Fear of the unknown
  • Fear of uncertainty
  • Fear of failure
  • Fear of change

Anything in your life that causes one of these fears will motivate you to behave in a way that moves you away from it.

This is why many people will not take risks in their life because one of these fears is prevalent in so many situations.


Tony Robbins Six Needs

In recent years, Tony Robbins has developed what he calls the “Six Needs” which include:

1. Certainty & Comfort

We all have the need to know that we are safe and will be taken care of. Most of the people who end up in poverty or struggle through life have the belief their needs won’t be met and therefore it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

2. Uncertainty & Variety

We all have the need to be challenged and for there to be enough variety in life to keep us engaged and interested, otherwise life would become mundane and boring.

3. Significance

We all have the need to feel important and unique. That in some way, shape, or form, we are different and special.

4. Love & Connection

We all have the need to feel loved and appreciated by family and friends.

5. Growth

We all have the need to grow and improve ourselves each day.

6. Contribution

We all have the need to give back to our community and society and play a significant role in being helpful.

Tony proclaims that when these six needs are met, it will drive us to become motivated to continue living a passionate life because it meets our needs of fulfilling our purpose in life.

Examples of Motivation in the Workplace

Here is a simple list of what motivates people in the workplace:

  • Acknowledgment and appreciation
  • Trust from management
  • The ability to do work they love
  • Incentives such as bonuses or vacation days
  • A positive and healthy work environment
  • Transparency and honesty
  • Flexible hours
  • Being inclusive
  • Allowing employees to voice their opinion
  • The ability to learn, grow, and move up in their career

It’s often believed that increasing a person’s paycheck, their hourly or salary rate, is going to be more than enough motivation to improve their productivity. However, that rarely happens. Sure, it might have been for a few days or weeks, but eventually they will return to their typical patterns of behavior.

A great example of positive motivation in the workplace is a manager or boss who takes the time to get to know each of his or her employees, understands their hobbies, passions, past times, and families. Then, when a job is well done, they make note of it and perhaps offer a gift card to that employee’s favorite restaurant, or some extra time off.

When people feel appreciated and that their boss takes notice of what they do and them as a person, it’s a powerful motivator. In the end, people want to feel special and unique.


Example of Motivation in Psychology

In psychology, motivation is composed of numerous factors. Some of those factors are internal while others are external. This is basically referred to as intrinsic and extrinsic motivation.

An example of intrinsic motivation is to have a sense of achievement or accomplishment. When a student begins college and wants to get their degree as a sense of accomplishment.

An example of extrinsic motivation would involve an athlete who seeks the admiration of his or her fans. If they perform well on the field or court, they get the recognition, and that is what is most important to them at that time.

Motivation Examples in Business

“Entrepreneurs are willing to work 80 hours a week to avoid working 40 hours a week for someone else.” – Lori Greiner

Most entrepreneurs who start a business are motivated by two key factors: freedom and the ability to express their own ideas. There is a huge risk in running a business but the thought of working for someone else brings them more pain the risk of having their own business.

Or, some would argue that the pain of “never trying” is more than the pain of “failing”.

A small business owner most likely has put a tremendous amount of time, money, and energy into their endeavor. There’s no guarantee of success. An example of motivation within business is to keep the doors open and avoid having to return to the corporate world.

Another business owner might be motivated to increase revenue and therefore decides to invest more money in marketing. She might not really have the money for this, but the stronger the motivation to attract new customers, the more likely she will do what she can to let more people know her business exists.


Types of Motivation with Examples

When was the last time you were hungry? You might have parents, friends, or even a spouse who provides money so you can go out and buy food, but if you’re self-reliant, what do you do? Your motivation is the need for food and if you don’t have a job, you will either look for one, find a way to get money, or, like the example of the homeless person previously, you might begin rooting through garbage.

Most of us, especially when we’re younger, have this sincere desire to ‘fit in’ socially. We have a tendency to become motivated by acceptance in various social circles and might be willing to do certain things not normally in our character. For example, a teenager may take part in bullying a fellow classmate because he wants his new friends to think he’s ‘cool.’ That motivator was social acceptance within a narrow circle of friends, but it went against his internal desires. Unfortunately, in this example, the external motivators overwhelmed the internal.

Examples of Motivation in Literature

In literature, motivation is basically the various reasons behind a character’s actions. In order to be effective within literature, the motivations have to be clear, understandable, and believable.

Motivation in literature is usually driven by the “antagonist”: a person who actively opposes or is hostile to someone or something; an adversary.

Motivation Examples in Sentences

When writing sentences, either for a class, story, biography, or even an online form or social media platform, there may come a time when motivation comes into play. Here are a few quick examples of motivation used in sentences.

“What is your motivation behind saying the things you said about me?”

“His motivation to be an activist in political circles stemmed from his childhood mired in poverty.”

“Dylan needed no more motivation other than to hear his best friend was in trouble”

Examples of Motivation for Students

For students, motivation can run the gamut from social acceptance to earning good grades to receiving the approval of parents or other family members.

One student may be motivated to get nothing lower than an A- in science because they’re worried about losing driving privileges.

Another student might be motivated to take a certain class because it is considered ‘easy’ by his peers.

A student might be motivated to run for political office at school because he believes he might be able to do something about final grades at the end of the year.


What Are Different Types of Motivation?

There are plenty of different types of motivation to consider. There’s:

-Affiliation motivation – this is a desire to be able to somehow relate to others on a personal and social basis.

-Competence motivation -involves the desire to be good at something and understand how to use it to your advantage.

-Achievement motivation – you have specific goals you want to ‘achieve.’
-Power motivation – involves your desire to influence people or change certain types of situations. In order to do that, you need to have power.

-Incentive motivation – if you reap a reward from a certain type of behavior or action, you are being incentivized.

-Fear motivation -if you’re afraid of consequences, whether those are perceived or real, you will certainly be motivated and this is associated with your motivation.

See: Types Of Motivation

What Is Your Motivation?

Ultimately, you need to understand your own personal motivation and the only way to do that is to take an honest assessment of why you want to do something, why it’s important, and what it gets or earns for you.

Understanding your “why?” is going to be the most important decision you will ever make. People who have a hard time “finding motivation” to do anything in life do so because they don’t know what they want from life.

Once you answer the question, “What should I do with my life?“, you will see that the motivation to take action will be much easier.

At the end of the day, excitement, is the most natural form of motivation there is. Excitement is literally your bodies translation that says, “This is who I am”.

What Are Some of the Factors of Motivation?

These are highlighted in the Different Types of Motivation section above.


What Is an Example of an Extrinsic Motivation?

Earning a paycheck is an example of extrinsic motivation. So would be getting a new car for achieving a certain grade in school.


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