Motivation in 2022

In my last blog I discussed McClelland’s Theory of Motivation first postulated in 1961.  I am now going to fast forward sixty years till now to consider modern motivation theory.  My information is sourced from a recently published book, The Art of Impossible – A Peak Performance Primer by Steven Kotler.

To achieve peak performance Kotler advocates a four-step process: Motivation, Learning, Creativity and Flow which he uses to structure the book.

Kotler begins his analysis of Motivation by stating that it is based on six neurochemicals: dopamine, oxytocin, serotonin, endorphins, norepinephrine and anandamide.  The five prime motivators are curiosity, passion, purpose, autonomy and mastery which depend on differing mixes of the six neurochemicals.  I must confess I found this book difficult to read with a new exercise appearing every couple of pages.  In the final chapter Kotler puts all the exercises together.  There are 8 daily activities and 11 weekly activities.  Overwhelmed does not begin to describe it.  Some I already do: 7 to 8 hours sleep a night and 3 weekly bouts of physical exercise; some of the others have limited appeal to me.

The 7MTF model began in 1924 with the work of Rosanoff.  Until his work, doctors defined abnormal psychological conditions in black and white: people were either mad or not.  Rosanoff suggested that such a distinction between the normal and abnormal states was artificial and the difference was not one of kind but of degree on a spectrum.  Normality and abnormality should not be thought of as black and white but as different shades of grey.

Rosanoff, further noted there were few mental illnesses compared our physical ailments, and proposed a theory of personality based on the most common four: – schizophrenia, epilepsy, hysteria and cyclodia (what we now would call the bi-polar personality disorder).

The 7MTF model uses this structure but has seven different mental illnesses as its base: Neuroticism, Mania, Depression, Autism, Paranoia, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, and Psychopathy.  Each of these is associated with a different temperament component and a different motivation.  In same order as the mental illnesses these are the desires for order, to communicate, for security, to create, to win, to complete projects and for material success.

I totally agree with Kotler that motivation is the key first step on the path to peak performance.  But Daniel Goleman, the St. Paul of Emotional Intelligence, has removed motivation from his original EQ model.   After seeing research that showed motivation was handled by self-management, Goleman scrapped it as a domain.  So I believe you are better to start with lifting your EQ first and then moving on to motivation.

Understanding your own dominant motivational drivers and learning how to control and use them are the initial key two steps to developing emotional intelligence.  I still believe a model of temperament like the 7MTF is the secret to lifting your emotional intelligence.  If you want to quickly lift your EQ consider doing my practical emotional intelligence courses.  Do the basic 7MTF course for an investment of A$25 and 5 hours of your time and you will dramatically increase your EQ competency in days.

This blog was first posted on LinkedIn on 2 June 2022.



Add Your Comment

Chris Golis - Author


"Put in a sales perspective, I loved your presentation! I got a lot from what you talked about and I will read your book."

Peter Morris, Executive Officer, Lomax Financial Group

Your presentation on 'Lifting your Level of Emotional Intelligence" to 10 CEOs scored an average 8.9 out of 10 for the topic and 8.5 for the presentation which is great. A couple of the attendees gave you a 10 out of 10, and the comments were:

- Great presentation. Very informative.

- Excellent presentation.

- made me think.

Christi Spring CEO Institute. - web