THEORY OF MOTIVATION
There are at least five sets of goals, which we may call basic needs. These are briefly physiological, safety, love, self-esteem, and self-actualization.
In addition, we are motivated by the desire to achieve or maintain the various conditions upon which these basic satisfactions rest and by certain more intellectual desires. If we do not fully understand and visualise these basic human needs then motivation is not possible.
These basic goals are related to each other, being arranged in a hierarchy of pre-potency. This means that the most prepotent goal will monopolize consciousness and will tend of itself to organize the recruitment of the various capacities of the organism. The less prepotent needs are minimized, even forgotten or denied. But when a need is fairly well satisfied, the next prepotent ('higher') need emerges, in turn to dominate the conscious life and to serve as the centre of organization of behaviour, since gratified needs are not active motivators.
Thus man is a perpetually wanting animal. Ordinarily the satisfaction of these wants is ‘Not altogether mutually exclusive, but only tends to be.’ The average member of our society is most often partially satisfied and partially unsatisfied in all of his wants. The hierarchy principle is usually empirically observed in terms of increasing percentages of non-satisfaction as we go up the hierarchy. Reversals of the average order of the hierarchy are sometimes observed.
Also it has been observed that an individual may permanently lose the higher wants in the hierarchy under special conditions. There are not only ordinarily multiple motivations for usual behaviour, but in addition many determinants other than motives.
Any thwarting or possibility of thwarting of these basic human goals, or danger to the defences which protect them, or to the conditions upon which they rest, is considered to be a psychological threat. With a few exceptions, all psychopathology may be partially traced to such threats.
A basically thwarted person may actually be defined as a 'sick' person, if we wish or an unmotivated being.
It is such basic threats which bring about the general emergency reactions and desire not to seek inspiration or motivation.
The stronger the intellectual desire to achieve better things in life and at work makes a person truly inspired and motivation follows.
Hence, I contend that there is an urgent need in our increasingly competitive world to motivate the unmotivated.