Ask any person who is successful in whatever he or she is doing what motivates him/her, and very likely the answer will be―goals‖. Goal Setting is extremely important to Motivation and success. So what motivates you? Why are you in college? If you are in college because that‘s what your parents want, you may find it difficult to motivate yourself. Sure, it‘s possible to succeed with someone else providing the motivation for you. (―If you graduate from college, I‘ll give you a car!‖ or worse ―If you don‘t graduate from college, you won‘t get a car.‖) But motivation that comes from within really makes the difference.
Certainly, you need some intelligence, knowledge base, study skills, and time management skills, but if you don‘t have motivation, you won‘t get far. Think about this analogy. You have a car with a full tank of gas, a well-tuned engine, good set of tires, quadraphonic CD system, and a sleek, polished exterior. There it sits. This car has incredible potential. (Have you heard that before?) However, until a driver sits behind the wheel, puts  the key in the ignition, and cranks it up, the car doesn‘t function. You guessed it; the KEY is MOTIVATION.


Interest is an important motivator for a student. So is a desire to learn. When you link these two things together, you create success. Often success in an endeavor leads to more interest and a greater desire to learn, creating an upward spiral of motivation toward a goal you have established.
So be honest with yourself. Are you genuinely interested in being in college? Have you set realistic goals for yourself? How can you develop the internal motivation that really counts? When it comes to motivation, KNOWING is not as important as DOING. 

The Nature of Motivation and the Attraction of Opposites

  • There is that which is to us – that is, that which sure seems to be according to our understanding.
  • There is that which the ultimate reality of how things are is -.
  • There is that which we would change ourselves to become – that which we strive towards.

There are more things, Horatio, than are dreampt of in your philosophy‖ – Shakespeare

Types of Motives.

  1. The fundamental difference between Type II and Type III is that in Type II one is performing a intrinsically neutral or negative task because of the expectation (cognitive) that he/ she will receive validating feedback at some future time, or the expectation of some future benefit, while in Type III motivation the feedback is immediate creating a positive affective state (which in itself is sustaining).
  1. Therefore, Type III Motivation is Affective in nature, while Type I and Type II motivation are more cognitive in nature.
  1. What Conditions Create a Continued Positive Affective State

Motivating Tasks:

What makes tasks motivating in them-selves? The Flow Model explains one aspect of what makes tasks intrinsically motivating. It is really a function of self concept internal motivation. When skills matches challenge, individual‘s valued skills (central to identity) are validated in the process of the activity (synchronous feedback). I believe that some degree of autonomy and Feedback (Knowledge of Results) are also necessary for Flow to occur.

 Theories of Motivation

The self-worth theory assumes that a central part of all classroom achievement is the need for students to protect their sense of worth or personal value (Covington, 1984, p. 5).‖ The basic assumption of this theory is that several factors influence a student‘s sense of worth, including performance level, self-estimates of ability, and the degree of effort expended.
A student‘s sense or worth depends heavily on that student‘s accomplishments. This is shown in the performance/self worth linkage above. The implication of this linkage is that unless students can become successful at some valued activity, they will be cut off from one major source of self-esteem.