PTYM: The Science Behind Motivation And Drive
Motivation is one of the key driving factors behind action in life. When you’re motivated to do or accomplish any task or goal in life (building muscle, losing fat, being productive), everything seems easier or more manageable.
However, motivation is short-lived, and many individuals struggle to even get motivated on a daily basis, no matter how many “pep talks” or motivational videos by Gary Vee (or insert your favorite insta-fluencer) they watch on YouTube.
The long and short of it is that no matter whether you can derive motivation intrinsically or extrinsically, it doesn’t last long…But, why is that? And, more importantly, what can you do during those times when motivation is low and you still need to perform to your max?
The Science Behind Motivation And Drive
The science of motivation is a rather complex topic, it’s not simply a matter of watching the right 80s action movie or music video. It is, as researchers describe, a:
“coordinated action of molecules (peptides, hormones, neurotransmitters etc), acting within specific circuits that integrate multiple signals in order for complex decisions to be made.”
One of the key molecules involved in motivation is dopamine.
Dopamine is a neurotransmitter made in the brain that is most often associated with feelings of reward and pleasure.
However, dopamine is also involved in:
- Motor control
Deficiencies in dopamine can result in feelings of apathy, fatigue, poor mood, reduced feelings of satisfaction and decreased performance (both mentally and physically).
You can naturally increase dopamine by engaging in healthy lifestyle habits, including exercise, spending time in nature, and completing assigned tasks/goals. It can also be enhanced by the utilization of certain supplements, such as L-Tyrosine (which is included in HyperMax).
As pivotal as dopamine is regarding motivation and drive, there are other components at play, such as the cost-benefit ratio of a certain activity.
Our brains are incredibly adept at calculating the perceived costs and benefits of a particular action. We also gather information about particular signals that are associated with achieving particular goals.
Collectively, this results in various signals that can have tremendous influence on our motivation and drive.
Another factor that should not be ignored is your “why?”
Why are you performing a certain action or why are you pursuing a particular goal can have enormous ramifications whether you maintain a certain set of actions (e.g. diet & exercise) or achieve a certain goal.
The stronger your “why,” the more likely you are to reach/attain the desired outcome.
At the end of the day, it’s critical that you realize that YOU are the catalyst for change.
No matter if you goal is to get bigger & stronger, lose weight, be a better spouse, get more sleep, the answer is the same -- YOU!
You can try all the self-help books, therapy, motivational videos/podcasts, and supplements in the world, but unless you actually want to change and show up everyday to make that difference, it won’t matter one lick.
Now, this isn’t to discount the impact of external motivators or supplements, as they can certainly provide a catalyst for action, but, they shouldn’t be the only thing you rely upon for action.
Remember, motivation is fleeting. True change and action is forged by good lifestyle habits, routine, and structure. Figure out what makes you “tick” and show up each and every day to put in the work, and that’s the real magic to staying motivated and driving to perform to your max!
Show everyone that you Perform To Your Max!
- Simpson EH, Balsam PD. The Behavioral Neuroscience of Motivation: An Overview of Concepts, Measures, and Translational Applications. Curr Top Behav Neurosci. 2016;27:1-12. doi:10.1007/7854_2015_402
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