We know that fear and greed are major motivators of human behaviours. Certainly these attributes have been applied over and over to how investors respond in the marketplace.
Aside from these more dramatic conscious states, what helps to being motivated in general?
In the ‘Corner Office Advice’ column in the August issue of The Insurance & Investment Journal, a question is asked to what extent there are truly benefits to audience members in being exposed to motivational speeches, insofar as personal effectiveness and productivity, as opposed to the belief that serious motivation is self-motivation.
The column coach replies that, while acknowledging anecdotally there are some people deflated by external experiences, these motivational environments provide energy, like food or gasoline for a vehicle. The analogy further notes such ‘fuel’ is needed every day to be one’s best. “The more energy you have at your disposal, the further you can go with the power you have.” Highly paid professionals, including business and sports leaders, exemplify this.
The coach observes that motivation ebbs and flows, especially challenged by the reality that losing is draining. Motivational ‘talks’ or even settings (as with a supportive audience) can provide that energy. “Everyone needs that extra push sometimes and motivational talks, in all their forms, help us all.” He relates the widespread impression that the recent excellent performance by Canadian athletes at last month’s Pan Am Games in Toronto was assisted greatly by the ‘motivation’ of the pro-Canadian crowds.
His conclusion declares that “Motivation is part of what it takes to be your best”; “It doesn’t replace technical skill in sports or business but it definitely steers that to your highest level of achievement.”
While this may be all good and logical, in my own experience the impact of the motivational message depends on the quality of the messenger, which is much more obvious in some cases than in others.