Motivation and Happiness
Why might this be the case?
Well, we know that motivation is tied with a lot of things. Physiologically, we know that motivation is impacted by physical ailments such as injury, disease, or mental health disorders like depression. When the body is unwell, we struggle with our motivation. It really is worth noting just how much something like depression impacts our productivity—while not all depression manifests as obvious unhappiness like weeping or melancholy, it’s certainly not a very pleasant feeling. When we’re just trying to get by, we don’t often have the energy to divert to motivation and productivity.
On the flip side, we know that goal-setting and motivation can be balms for unhappiness. When we accomplish things—no matter how small—we begin to cultivate a sense of mastery and self-efficacy, some of those qualities of psychological well-being that Ryff taught us about. When we use the vehicle of productivity and motivation to get us out of a funk, we begin to move forward with more purpose, often yielding happiness. It’s not an exact science, but it’s darn close.
What we can take away from this information is the idea that these concepts can create each other, so we have two vehicles to move us forward in any given moment. If you’re unhappy, consider how you can take steps towards achieving small goals and boosting your motivation. If you’re unmotivated, dial into what makes you happy and the rest will follow. How can you cultivate your happiness or motivation today?
DiMaria, C. H., Peroni, C., & Sarracino, F. (2019). Happiness Matters: Productivity Gains from Subjective Well-Being. Journal of Happiness Studies, 21(1), 139–160. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10902-019-00074-1
Ryff, C. D. (1989). "Happiness is everything, or is it? Explorations on the meaning of psychological well-being". Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. 57 (6): 1069–1081.
Vrabie, A. (2014, August 18). The Complex Relationship Between Happiness and Motivation. Lifehacker. https://lifehacker.com/the-complex-relationship-between-happiness-and-motivati-1623287744.