What Motivates People?

Learn about the things that actually motivate people.

What motivates people?

Before we deep dive into strategies that ensure our staff are challenged, happy, and motivated, let’s zoom out and consider the subject at a human level. What is it to be human and what is it to be happy? After all, you’ve likely heard stories and seen examples of humans all over the world that are at varying, often contradictory, levels of happiness. You’ve probably seen how often seemingly successful actors and musicians, who society looks at as models of creative and financial success, end up facing hardships, like bankruptcy or rehab. Likewise, you may have read of monks in Tibet who own no physical possessions other than the robe that they wear and spend hours a day sitting in silence, reporting that they are as happy and content as they could be.

When you think about the happiest time of your life, where do you place yourself? Were you more or less free than you are now, richer or poorer, a care giver or receiver, student or teacher? What is it about that time that made you so happy?

The hierarchy of needs

Many factors contribute to humans feeling happy, motivated, and content. One of the most famous psychological models was published by Abraham Maslow in 1943. It’s often referred to as Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. Although it wasn’t Maslow himself that structured it as a pyramid. (that allegedly came later via a management book), the representation is useful to aid understanding.

Get hands-on with 1200+ tech skills courses.