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Motivational Emotions

Motivational Emotions

Motivational Emotions

Emotions that can be powerful motivators. There are three particular emotions that have the power to motivate us:

  1. Fear.
  2. Anger.
  3. Desire.

All three emotions work in the sense that they have the power to make people move. But two of them are negative emotions and only one of them is positive.

Motivation : Motivational Emotions

Fear and anger are both negative motivators. Desire is a positive motivator.

But the two negative emotions are dangerous because they are detrimental to mental health and peace of mind. All three motivators work, in the sense that each emotion will get people moving. But fear and anger are detrimental to the human psyche. Fear and anger make you sick. On the other hand, desire, is a positive emotion. It feels exciting to be in a positive state of desire; to be in a state of drive, hope, ambition, anticipation, wishing, and expectation.

If you want to motivate people, then you have the same three options.

  1. You could stir up fear.
  2. You could stir up anger.
  3. You can stir up ambition and a promise of a better future.

Fear is a powerful motivator.

Fear is a powerful motivator. That is why politicians, the media, pressure groups and advertisers all like to use it.

Fear implies threat: "Unless you do as you are instructed, then painful consequences will befall you!".

Of course, those particular words are not actually uttered or printed. The message is subliminal, but it is still there!

Politicians say, "If you break the law, then you will be punished". or "Unless you vote for us, disaster will befall the country". "You are facing a dangerous world, and unless you do as I say, your future is in jeopardy". And advertisers say, "Unless you use our product, you will not be attractive".

Fear works. This is why politicians use this method. That is why terrorists use this method. This is how the media sell their papers and magazines. And this is how some managers manage. They do it by the application of fear.

Although this method works, it is horrible to live under the threat of fear. So, after a while, people rebel against the fear mongers.

The manager or parent who manages by the fear of threats, and painful consequences, eventually fails because people move away from him or her.

Fear motivates but fear is destructive to the mind. Professor Mary D. Moller, PhD, the director of Psychiatric Services, Centre for Integrated Health. has investigated the effects of chronic fear on emotional health which include:

  • Inability to sleep.
  • Low self-esteem.
  • Sexual problems.
  • Learned helplessness.
  • Phobic anxiety.
  • Mood swings.
  • Obsessive-compulsive thoughts.

Don't fall into the trap of motivating by inducing fear. It is a short-term emergency method only.

Motivation by anger.

Anger is a powerful motivator. If you become angry, then you will be motivated to take action. Unfortunately, the actions usually associated to the emotion of anger are often destructive.

How many people have done things they should not do, or said things they should not have said, because they allowed their anger to take charge of their brains?

Anger causes people to act in negative ways; it has negative effects on the physical body, relationships, society and mental health.

  • Anger disrupts digestion, assimilation, sleep patterns and hormone levels.
  • Anger causes the breakup of marriages and families.
  • Anger accounts for violent reactions to trivial events.

Clearly, anger is an emotion that we must put limits upon.

  1. Keep a watchful eye on your anger levels.
  2. If you feel yourself getting angry, stop talking and / or leave the room. Revisit the situation only when you have mastered your negative emotions, or the emotion has naturally dissipated.
  3. When you are angry, be careful what you write and post online. Many people have lost their jobs after writing and posting in anger.

We recommend you do not use anger as a tool of motivation.

Motivation by desire.

The third and best motivator is desire. Desire for something good. Desire for a better future. Ambition. Hope. Goal achievement. Optimistic visions. These are the materials that go to form the positive motivations.

When people have sufficient reason to believe that by acting, they will achieve a benefit, or achieve a goal, or make their world a better place, then they will be highly motivated to act.

Use desire as your primary motivation tool.

Only when we motivate people with valuable goals, big ambitions, positive expectations and hope for a better future, will people feel inspired, motivated and happy.

In relation to motivation by desire, we can conclude the following.

  • This should be our main method for motivating people.
  • We will motivate ourselves with it.
  • We will motivate everyone else with it.

Desire is the antidote to fear and anger, because there is only 24 hours in a day, if you spend more time thinking about how to motivate people by optimistic desire, you would have less time remaining devoted to anger and fear.

The goal is to "crowd out" the negative emotions by filling so many hours generating positive motivation that there is NO time left over to be negative.

Desire comes in many forms. There are many forms of desire. Here are four forms of desire you should use as positive motivators.


Motivation comes in many forms: some positive and some negative.

We recommend, that you do NOT use fear or anger as your primary tool to motivate people. Instead, motivate people by the positive motivator of desire.

About the Author: Chris Farmer


Chris Farmer is the founder of the Corporate Coach Group and has many years’ experience in training leaders and managers, in both the public and private sectors, to achieve their organisational goals, especially during tough economic times. He is also well aware of the disciplines and problems associated with running a business.

Over the years, Chris has designed and delivered thousands of training programmes and has coached and motivated many management teams, groups and individuals. His training programmes are both structured and clear, designed to help delegates organise their thinking and, wherever necessary, to improve their techniques and skills.

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Further Reading in Motivation

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